Serious Question: What Makes You Happy At Work?

Serious Question: What Makes You Happy At Work?

I get the simple reason why we work, we want to make money to do the things we want to do. We trade time and energy for money. Then spend money on things to make us we need/want. This I totally get.

However, most of us are trading time and energy for money and still unhappy.

In fact, over 52.3% of Americans are unhappy at work.

This is crazy! In most cases if something makes you unhappy. You quit doing it! Yet most of us go to work every day at places we don’t want to be.

Are we idiots?

Are You Unhappy With Your Job?

I was recently asked if I was unhappy with my job? I was a little surprised a co-worker asked me this. Their reasoning was that I USED to be extremely happy and excited about everything, now I was more monotone or lacked the excitement I used to have.

Honestly, I was a little pissed. No one wants to be told that they lack anything. Yet in reality, I was madder at myself that I let it show that I was unhappy. I’m part Irish, I’m used to bottling up my feelings and not tell anyone that anything is wrong.

It made me ask myself if I was unhappy with my job? It was pretty scary.

What Does Unhappiness at Work Look Like?

If you ask yourself “Are You Unhappy At Work?” it’s not an easy answer. So I started to create a list of signs that would force me to see the truth.

  1. Do I hate waking up in the mornings and coming in for work?
  2. Do I feel I have no future at the company I’m at?
  3. Does the day fly by or drag on?
  4. Do I get excited about new projects or is it dread?
  5. Am I doing the same thing over and over or is it new and exciting?
  6. How do I describe my job to new people?
  7. Does Jenny in Accounting ask if you’re unhappy at work? WTF

Dang, I totally answered yes for quite a few of these. So do I quit my job now or start looking for a new one? I freaked out just writing this list.

Does it even matter though if I hate my job? Whether I hate it or love it, I still NEED it. I have bills to pay and the money I make can buy things that make me happy. Should something I do 40 hours a week need to make me happy?

Well, yes….. Your job should totally make you happy. It absolutely should. However, before you quit you should answer the same question I’m now asking.

What Would Make You Happy At Your Current Job?

The other day I pulled a senior co-worker aside and asked them “What do you think I should do in 2018 to improve the company, goals, vision, etc?” I was expecting some generic answer like things to help the bottom line. However, he surprised me entirely.

One of the best questions I’ve ever been asked was “What do you want to do that makes you happy?”.

Holy Cow! It’s a simple question, but one I’ve never been asked before. I couldn’t actually answer right there and there though. I told them I had to think about it and I’m still thinking about it.

What would make you happy at your current job?

Most people say better pay, but that’s a reward, not necessarily something that affects your everyday duties. What would you change in your day-to-day duties that would make you happier?

That’s currently what I’m thinking about. What would you say?

2 replies
  1. Steveark
    Steveark says:

    I was lucky in that my job was my favorite hobby and then after I retired my side gigs turned out to also be equally fun. But I did your exercise, I asked myself what did I love about work and then I build side gigs that satisfied those needs. So now life is even better because I designed out the parts of my previous job I didn’t enjoy. That’s very sage advice for such a young grasshopper.

    Reply

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