The Secret to Happiness at Work

The Secret to Happiness at Work

by Mark Lilly for St. Joseph the Worker

Courtesy of Flickr user John Williams

Courtesy of Flickr user John Williams

Can you think back to the last time when you really felt like you had happiness at work? It’s easy to take times like that in our lives for granted when we’re in the moment. But sometimes it’s important to think back and reflect on why you were happier then. Was it the coworkers surrounding you? Was it a good boss who displayed solid leadership? Maybe it was the last point in your life when you truly felt you were using the skills with which you’ve been blessed.

As St. Joseph the Worker in Phoenix examines what makes for a happy work life, let’s take a look at some common responses:

A Great Group of Coworkers
There’s no doubt that one of the most important factors in your happiness at work is the attitude of those around you. We see articles all the time on career websites discussing how to handle negative coworkers and toxic environments. This is an important skill to have and one that will be put to use throughout your career, no matter which field you’re in. But sometimes, even if it’s just for a short period of time, we end up as part of a team that just seems to click and work well together.
A True Leader as a Boss
One of the quickest ways to poison a work environment is with poor leadership. Oftentimes, people cite that the main reason for hating their job is that they can’t stand their boss. Leadership is a tough skill to master, which is why it’s so rare to find it done well. When you have a boss who knows how to communicate effectively, get results, and show genuine concern for his/her employees, consider yourself fortunate in that moment.
A Fit for Your Skills
A major reason people tend to dislike their work is that they either don’t feel like their skills are being utilized properly or they’re being expected to use skills that they haven’t developed. Think about someone finally completing medical school only to realize they hate working in the medical field and were meant to be a restaurant owner. If you’re feeling this way, there’s probably a valid reason for that. Think back to the last job you had when you felt like you excelled in your area of expertise. This may give an indicator as to what your natural skills are and where you should be focusing your attention.
High Compensation and Benefits
There are obvious reasons that compensation and benefits would be important to most. But in recent years, plenty of people in high-paying, prestigious jobs have begun to look elsewhere for fulfillment. Some are willing to take substantial pay cuts because they realized the path they took was not all it was cracked up to be. So while pay and benefits may be important to survival, remember that you should not attempt to derive your happiness from this alone.
The Ability to Help Others
The ability to affect positive changes in the lives of others is one of the most rewarding aspects you can hope for from your job. Some of the happiest people you could meet are not getting rich from their work but get to see positive results manifesting in other people’s lives stemming from the use of their abilities and talents. Getting something for your work is great, but there’s no feeling quite like giving.
What was your happiest moment at a job?
St. Joseph the Worker wants to hear from you! Think of a time when you experienced true happiness at work or think of the best job you have ever had. What made it such a positive experience? What does this say about your work values? What do you need to be mindful of in planning your job search? Share your thoughts with us here!