Monday, September 29, 2008

Does Happiness Matter?

Welcome to Monday and another wonderful week!

Seeking happiness in your work and workplace is a relatively new phenomenon. Only in the last forty years, as Baby Boomers raised in the age of “Do your own thing” entered the workforce, has the concept of happiness carried much weight as a work value. Does how you feel about your work matter to you?

In the past a lot of folks had the feeling that if you had a job you were lucky so just do your job and collect your paycheck. In today's wildly volatile financial world that may not be a bad strategy. Some people still have the, “Show up. Do the work. Get paid” attitude and if that works for you, it works for you.

However, most people understand that happiness in work is a good thing. No one wants to trudge to a job they hate every day for 30 years. It seems like a waste of life.

What many people fail to realize, though, is that the concept of happiness is internal; it is based on what we think about the work. Work that might be onerous to one person is a delight to another. I hate painting a house. My neighbor sees it as making art.

I often encounter people who tell me that the external issues of work—money, title, office size or placement, perks—don’t really matter. “What really matters is the work,” they say. Maybe, maybe not. Whatever matters to you, matters to you.

Considering how crazy things have gotten with the financial environment in which we work this might not be a bad time to ask yourself why you work. Is it the money? Using that as a sole reason is getting pretty scary.

What actually gives you the "feeling" of being happy? Does work have anything to do with it or are you just putting in hours?

Good luck this week.

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