There is no greater waste of energy than getting up in the morning and hating where we spend most of our day.
If we aren’t enjoying our work, chances are that we aren’t much fun to be around. On the other hand, when we feel inspired at work, we make a difference to our co-workers and those closest to us. Our clients also benefit when we are happy and customer service levels improve dramatically when we feel more connected to our work.
Despite the prevailing pessimism regarding the economy, the 5th-annual Labor Happiness Index commissioned by Snagajob in the U.S. (hourly job specialists with the world’s largest community of hourly workers) recently released some interesting findings on the subject. Although the economy remains a key issue in for workers, these macro-concerns are not preventing individual job happiness. Roughly six in 10 working Americans say they are happy in their current jobs, relatively unchanged in the past three years. The Snagajob survey is showing some consistency in the key contributors to workers’ happiness. Over the past three years — since this particular data has been collected — the top drivers of workplace happiness have been personal satisfaction the job provides (27% this year), feeling fortunate to have a job at all (26%) and the job being a good fit for the worker’s lifestyle (19%). Meanwhile, only 15 percent of workers say that their paycheck is the No. 1 factor that defines their job happiness.
“One message to workers and employers is that the paycheck isn’t everything,” CEO Shawn Boyer said. “While we all want to be compensated fairly for our hard work, most people won’t be truly happy unless they are deriving a sense of pleasure from what they are doing and from what they are contributing to.”
If you are miserable in your job and still feel you aren’t ready to make a job change, or financially you cannot envisage taking the risk right now, realize that you could ultimately pay the highest price in terms of the physiological, psychological and emotional consequences to your well-being.
Even though you are consciously aware of your goals and desire to create change for yourself, recognize that there is a part of the brain that automatically reverts to a fear-based, negative response unconsciously.
Consider athletes who train for the Olympics or World Championship events. They do not allow themselves the luxury of a negative thought during their preparation. Instead, they use visualization to literally create a winning state of mind. The mental preparedness is equally as important as the physical aspect of their training. Therefore, with discipline, repetition and practice, you can begin to alter the pattern of your thinking in order override the “pre-programmed” response mechanism.