Are You Happy?
April 19, 2017
Most of us spend eight hours a day at work. When you add in commuting time, it means we spend nine to ten hours, on average, away from home, family, friends, hobbies and pets. This translates to almost half of every 24-hour period. When you account for sleeping, it means the majority of our time is spent at work.
So, are you happy?
I think it is important to distinguish between job satisfaction and happiness. According to Boundless.com, there are five key factors one can use to measure job satisfaction:
- Pay (including benefits)
- The work itself such as the work done on a daily basis
- Possibilities for advancement
- Relationship with supervisor
- Interaction and work relationship with coworkers
I believe one can be satisfied in their job, but not be happy. Sure, happiness depends on Boundless.com’s five factors, but happiness is a subjective feeling — and much harder to measure. It is more of an overarching feeling of well-being in the job. It means you look forward to work on a daily basis. And, although important, I don’t think it is solely about “passion,” either.
Inc.com compiled a list of 15 revealing signs that suggest you love your job. I won’t list all of them (you can access them all here), but here are a few that stuck with me:
- You don’t struggle to stay disciplined, buy you struggle to prioritize — meaning there is so much you enjoy, you have difficulty choosing which tasks are more important.
- You think "I hope I get to…" instead of "I hope I don’t have to…," which means you’re continuing to look for new projects because each one you work on is interesting, rewarding and challenging.
- You enjoy attending meetings — they challenge and excite you as you discuss projects.
- You hardly ever look at the clock. Essentially, you are busy and enjoying what you do versus continually looking at the clock hoping the end of the work day is nearing.
Ultimately, I think whether a person loves their job depends on a number of factors. They must be passionate about some element of the work; feel challenged, respected and valued; have fun; feel engaged with their team and the greater company; receive good (not necessarily the best) salary and benefits and feel as if what they are doing is of value to the company.
What if you aren't happy but you’re satisfied? Should you start the job search process?
That doesn’t mean you don’t have your eyes and ears open for potential positions. I recommend that at least every six months, even those who love their jobs, should at least take a peak to know what is out there — you never know when the dream job may come along.
Anne Converse Willkomm
Director of Graduate Studies