Washington Post publisher and owner Katharine Graham reportedly once said, “To love what you do and feel that it matters, how can anything be more fun?”
Agreed, not all of us love our work every second of every day. Nor are most of us rushing off to the bathroom to weep or call a friend in a panic. Well, not every day.
You don’t have to love your job all the time, but you can try to love your job a lot of the time. So just how can you call in love, or stay in love with your job, your work and your career?
Some experts say, that starts with how you treat others.You don’t have to always love your job, but you can try to love it a lot of the time #womenleaders Click To Tweet
“By giving others the benefit of the doubt, you’ll feel a lot happier at work because you won’t be held back by resentment or anger. Just think about how much easier it would be to get back to your work when your mindset changes from ‘My boss ignores everything I’m working on,’ to ‘My boss doesn’t micromanage me,’ according to The Muse.
And if you feel as if your boss or supervisor is competent, you are also more likely to like your job. Nothing like feeling you are a passenger on a runaway train to bring you down. Trusting that your manager knows what she is doing makes a huge difference in your happiness level.
“We found that employees are far happier when they are led by people with deep expertise in the core activity of the business,” write Benjamin Artz at the University of Wisconsin at Oshkosh, Amanda Goodall, at Cass Business School and Andrew J. Oswald at the University of Warwick, in the Harvard Business Review.
Traditional reasoning that “a good manager doesn’t need technical expertise, this argument goes, but rather, a mix of qualities like charisma, organizational skills, and emotional intelligence. Those qualities do matter, but what our research suggests is that the oft-overlooked quality of having technical expertise also matters enormously.”
This is Leadership Power Tool # 3, designed by Gloria Feldt, co-founder and president of Take The Lead. Being positive and giving others the benefit of the doubt is employing the tool: “Use What You’ve Got. What you need is almost always there. See it and use it with courage. Because power unused is power useless.”What you need is almost always there. See it and use it with courage. #WomenInBiz Click To Tweet
Having a good boss, giving others the benefit of the doubt, sure, these help, but how many of us are really happy at work? The truth is we have to work at being happy at work.
“New research suggests that actually, most of us aren’t lucky enough to create a career that has has leaping out of bed each morning in anticipation. In fact, when ranked among person feels about over 40 different activities, work is one of the least happiness-provoking activities we could do, according to a UK study published this month in The Economic Journal,” writes Georgina Lawton in Bustle.
Since most people in the study reported that being home sick in bed made them happier than being at work, just how can you become happy at work?
Lawton suggests, you start the day in a positive frame of mind. Then you work to fight boredom. “A 2015 Gallup poll found that only 32 percent of American workers are actively engaged in their role at work — meaning that most weren’t engaged at all. What’s more, another study found that being helpful at work alleviates dissatisfaction; happier workers help their colleagues 33 percent more than those who aren’t happy.”
So is it all attitude? If you whistle while you work, is it automatic that you’ll be fine?
Some workplace cultures must be doing something right, because nearly unanimously, their employees say they are happy.
In a recent survey to find the nation’s Best Workplaces in Technology, “a ranking based on employees’ assessment of their companies’ culture, management, opportunities for advancement and other traits that add up to an exceptional workplace,” the winners revealed what employees said, according to PR Newswire.
One company on the list, BlackLine, reported they surveyed employees “about career development opportunities, risk-taking, work-life balance, compensation and recognition, transparency, camaraderie and other factors.”
They got an A+. According to the survey, “94 percent of employees said BlackLine is a great place to work and 97 percent said they are proud to tell others they work for the company.”
Back to that UK study, Business Review reports, “Wellbeing at work varies significantly with where you work (at home, at work or elsewhere); whether you are combining work with other activities; whether you are alone or with others; and the time of day or night at which you are working. Many of these circumstances can be influenced by public policies to facilitate working conditions conducive to ‘happier’ working – something that economists have noted can also improve productivity.”
As women in the workplace, surely feeling that your job is meaningful and that your work matters contributes to your happiness. Right? That was what Katharine Graham told us.Feeling your job and work matter contributes to happiness #womenintheworkplace Click To Tweet
According to a new Gallup study, “Most workers, many of whom are millennials, approach a role and a company with a highly defined set of expectations. They want their work to have meaning and purpose. They need to be able to see clearly how their role contributes to the success of their team and organization. When employees have this sense of purpose, their engagement soars.”
Maybe we do want to have meaning, but in smaller doses and not forced.
“Few things provide a greater source of motivation to employees than working in a job they find meaningful. However, employers that try to force ‘meaning’ into their employees’ work end up hurting their performance and the organization as a whole, new research finds,” writes Chad Brooks in Business News Daily.
“The study in the Human Resource Management Review journal found that strategies that are designed to manipulate how much meaning employees find in their work — such as encouraging workers to adopt organizational values and to support good causes, and linking work to a wider purpose — can end up leaving employees looking for new employers,” Brooks writes.
So, for many women in the workplace, the bottom line is, hold the meaning.
And if you are lucky enough to have been a woman serving in the military during the Vietnam War, you may be the happiest of all working women.
“A study just released by Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health reports on the health of American women who were deployed to Vietnam for either military or civilian service. The results show that 48 percent of career military women were very happy compared to 38 percent of women in the general population, and of better than average physical and mental health,” according to the Good News Network.
Additionally the study showed, “Career military women who never had children also reported being happier than the average American woman.”