I recently finished reading The Happiness Project, by Gretchen Rubin. The author decided to undertake a year-long experiment putting the best research on happiness into action. With a healthy and humorous cynicism balanced with the objective methodology of a scientist, she tried out 12 months’ worth of behavior changes, and discovered that she truly did have the ability to be happier, even in the exact same life circumstances. It made me wonder – what can people do to find increased job satisfaction in an environment where new jobs can be risky, scarce, or both?
“I don’t like my job”. It’s an often heard complaint these days, and the convenient solution is to seek a new opportunity. So often though, the grass isn’t greener as the saying goes. For me, in a 25 year career, I have had good bosses, and bad ones. Fascinating projects and dull ones. Periods of work overload, and times when opportunities were scarce. The only constant is that situations do change, whether you want them to or not.
Before you take steps to switch companies, or even careers, you might want to undertake a “happiness experiment” of your own to see if it is really your work life that needs a boost.
• Do you have a close relationship with someone who cares about and understands you?
• Are you investing time in your fitness and health?
• Are you cultivating your authentic passions and interests during your free time?
It would be great if a job change would bring that sought after sense of complete well-being and happiness… But more often than not, it doesn’t. What does help is increasing your satisfaction with your personal life. As you spend effort and time on that, you might just discover that the job you dislike has suddenly developed new potential…
Michelle Milam Davis is a Partner with PeopleResults. You can connect with Michelle on Twitter @MilamDavis.