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How To Find Happiness at Work

03.05.2016

How To Find Happiness at Work

If you’re unhappy in your job and not sure how to change it, here’s how you can turn your career around.


Working in recruitment means you meet a lot of people who are unhappy in their job. We all have bad days, but I’m referring to those who feel so professionally unfulfilled that they’ve started to question the entire value of their career.

“The only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work; and the only way to do great work is to love what you do.” Steve Jobs

Of course everybody wants a job they love, but sadly for a large number of people this seems a million miles away and, in a time-poor society, they simply can’t balance the risk of change with the right steps forward.

If that sounds like you, then you’ll be glad to know you’re not alone. People at the start of their career and those who’ve stumbled into financially successful roles both need help with this.

So how can you make a positive change? Well one thing for sure is, whatever the situation, you’ll be much happier making conscious decisions that guide your career, rather than allowing time, circumstance and fate to dictate the future.

It’s said that ‘difficult roads lead to the most beautiful destinations’, but unless you have a map, there’s only so long you can tolerate being lost. We all spend a huge proportion of our time at work, so if you’re unhappy you only have two real options:

1. Become happy in a job you don’t love

Many people find great joy in a job that isn’t the one they dreamt about as a child. There are many things that contribute to making you happy at work and, as you go through life, your personal motivations and priorities will almost certainly change.

“Things work out best for those who make the best of how things work out.” John Wooden

Unless you understand what drives you – whether it’s family, friends, health, career, helping others or something else – you won’t be able to identify the parts of your role that have the most potential to make you happy. Simply put, you could be focussing in the wrong places.

Job satisfaction plays a big part in our well-being and if you can find something you do which has personal significance, you can start to concentrate on this area, potentially making it possible to change your outlook and regain a sense of purpose and control in your career.

2. Change job

More daunting, but if you can’t turn your current job around I’d urge you not to let fear and uncertainty hold you back.

If you know the industry you’d like to work in, but not a specific role, then speak to a specialist recruitment consultant in that area. They can provide invaluable insight into the opportunities and skills you need, as well helping you to understand the job market.

“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” Confucius

If you’re not sure what to do next, try thinking about a hobby you’re passionate about or if another career allows you to use your skills in a different way. By exploring your pastimes and talents you could unlock a number of new opportunities.

Try writing down what you’d like to be remembered for and want to ultimately achieve. Big questions, but if you then work backwards, you’ll quickly build an action plan that could cover the next five, 10 or even 15 years.

In summary, to find happiness at work you need a genuine understanding of your strengths, values, passions and skills. Combined with knowledge of the options available, you’ll then find yourself in a position to make informed decisions about your future; and that can only have a positive impact on your happiness at work and life in general.

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