What makes you happy? It seems like a silly, simple question, but when asked, it is often hard to pin down. This is because happiness isn’t determined by just one thing; but rather several factors that are specific to each individual, with their own weight or importance. One of the most significant factors impacting our everyday happiness is our job. In September 2018, the average American worked 34.5 hours per week. If you are unhappy in your current job, you are investing a significant amount of time and energy in a situation you have the power to control.
Leaving a job or changing careers can be stressful, but there has never been a better time to make a switch. With 200,000 open jobs in the US currently, options are abundant, and employers could be looking to fill a position that might be perfect for you. But, in an effort to not feel overwhelmed by such a significant decision, evaluating what happiness in the workplace means to you is an excellent place to start.
Think outside the box
Pros and cons lists are nothing new or revolutionary, but when evaluating a job or career, it’s essential to think outside of the basics of salary, upward mobility, and location. Is there a specific field or topic that doesn’t feel like work to you? Does your company enforce a strict dress code that is uncomfortable or unoriginal? Maybe you would prefer everyone wore ties and held themselves to a more professional standard.
Does your commute often leave you stuck in traffic? Is your schedule flexible enough to accommodate coaching a Little League team? Or maybe you desire a consistent schedule with very little change? Every company and employer are different, but so is every employee and job candidate. Identifying the factors in your life that bring you happiness will help you begin to piece together your ideal job.
Happy employees equal more productivity
Supervisors and bosses should also be looking to hire employees who enjoy their work. Studies have shown that employee happiness is directly related to employee efficiency and production. Happier employees make their companies more money and feel better while doing it.
If you are unhappy with your current job, remember nothing is permanent. Leaving a job can feel like a leap of faith. However, when you can identify the specifics that’ll bring you happiness, you may find that it’s easier than you thought.