Reflecting upon Happiness in the work place.

Don’t we all want to find that right job that brings us happiness? Which in turn, brings happiness to others. Do you agree?

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I read an article on Facebook recently, shared by the wonderful Carys Hughes. I have recently connected with Carys as I am going through a career change, again. Yes, again!  Don't worry, this time I have a super happy middle chapter to report, but not today. Today is about an article. 

The article was spied on a website and it talked about the Sunday night blues and the Tuesday terrors.  Personally, I couldn’t quite relate to this specifically, because I had been on a recent journey of so much change that every day was a scary nose dive into the unknown.

So, if happiness at work is classed as critical for success, how had I been fairing?

The article suggested that in a recent study by Firm Robert Half that - happier workers perform better, have closer relationships with co-workers and take pride in their work. I can completely relate to this, the 'why' you feel you have achieved a role of satisfaction, fills me with purpose and can make me happy. I verify this as a truth.

Four messages were conveyed.

1. Feeling accomplished is the strongest driver, apparently for those employees under 35. I can only relate with hindsight and agree. However, also argue, age doesn’t come into question – accomplishment and a sense of achievement is essential to provide some evidence of accountability.  This is when my reading of the book The 4 Disciplines of Execution returns to my memory and I recall the book written by C. McChesney et al going into a lot of detail about focus, goals, targets and more. I chuckle as I remember the WIGs which is not a reference to hair care products, but an abbreviation for wildly important goals.  I loved learning about business strategies when I didn't have a single thought about running a business - I even managed to get a copy of the book signed - Crazy times!

Setting bench marks and focusing on goals is in essential good practise for a happy life, or so they say in both book and the monster article.   Looking for signs of achievement. Thinking project management. All excellent buzz words into creating a strategy and in obtaining that feeling of happiness. The satisfying feeling of ticking or crossing off that list as complete. Ready to begin a new list tomorrow.

2. Findings and positively reinforcing came next. The sensation the body feels when you are appreciated, ahhh, it has a quality signal to both body and mind that should not go unchecked in the workplace, especially when in full-time employment. Most of our days and weeks are consumed by employment, place and people – it is in the appreciation that solidifies teams and sets a standard for fellow personnel to imitate - kindness goes a very long way, not only in the workplace but in life and living itself.

I’m currently looking for that next potentially correct role for me and in recent experience I have learned that what it says on the tin, is not always put into practise. I am going to have to be more savvy during the interview process and trust my intuition.

3. What about the co-workers, they need to be liked, right? Of course if you enjoy the company you keep, the days are going to be more pleasant, attendance levels will be maxed out and work satisfaction brings the reader back to feeling accomplished. However, how do you know if you will like who you are working with? I suppose we have to be willing to find out and give the opportunity a try.

I recently learned that being authentic is a no mans land, people don’t expect the genuine you to turn up and in asking others how their day is can create that response of ‘what are you after?’ I have to laugh. Once upon a time I would be hurt if someone reacted in this way toward me. Now, after recent changes and adaptations in my own career history I have come a long way on my journey, mind-mapping out ideas and trying a variety of new adventures.

Who would have thought 2 years ago that I would be referring to the redevelopment of my C.V. as an adventure?

But it was, and it is… an adventure. . . thanks to the continual input and support from Psychologies.  Sometimes you do have to work with people to find out who they are. You also need to talk via regular 1:1 chats and group catch ups once known as team meetings, now its Zoom meetings, to relate, to share and remind each other that we are not alone by far. This is called creating a rapport. 

Finding shared interests is easy, committing to a lasting and long term relationship within your career can be harder than you think. Commitment is the key word, you have to commit, you have to be willing to be authentic and you have to accept that there will be good days and bad days, because that’s the true cause and effect of work life balance.

Finally, and if you are still with me:

4. There is autonomy, and the ability to take pride in the output, which again connects with reinforcing and feeling accomplished. If you find a role that fits your moral mind-set, you are part-way to contributing, appreciating, reinforcing and accepting that you are in your ideal place to make a difference, not just any difference, a difference that is important to YOU.

I personally don’t like to brag about what I am doing. I like to be trusted and to have that feeling of autonomy in the workplace, that sense of self-worth and value is all I desire, in knowing that I am doing the right thing. If I have chosen to work in an environment were there is no accountability or positive reinforcement I begin to wobble and feel unvalued. For me the job has to be much more than the salary alone. The salary is a perk and the true satisfaction I receive is in watching the growth and progression of others thanks to my support, guidance and sometimes leadership. I feel pride in simply putting into words how I feel about being happy at work. There is nothing more gratifying to me than seeing the results of my own or the team I play a part within, their efforts, determined by circumstance.

Wow, who would have thought so much could be gained from a Facebook link and an article about happiness at work, thanks Carys. I am forever living and learning. This makes me very happy.

How about you?


This month my theme for my own website is Reflection. I have been sharing a few Writing tips and reflective words on Creative Writing Space, if you would like to take a look.  



Julie Spencer

Ambassador and Learning Support Assistant, Psychologies Magazine

Proud Ambassador for Psychologies Magazine. The magazine encapsulates many of my core values: being kind, have compassion, look after your health and wellbeing, be professional and be supportive of others. A little self belief can go a long way. I have studied as a mature student. I went into a writing frenzy and spent 3 years writing in solitude. I was a stay at home mum, too. What I learned: being alone for long periods of time is bad for your health and wellbeing. Thanks to a little nudge from Psychologies Magazine I am reconnecting and rebuilding my C.V. I'm a creative. I have lots of ideas and I need to constantly realign my focus onto one project at a time. Until recently I had a real fear for public speaking, but after reading a book that suggested I acknowledge my fears and challenge them anyway; with the support of the Psychologies community and more I'm working through my fears one blog at a time.