Joy in Work, Joy at Work

Photo by Jopwell from Pexels

Many of us have been brought up with the mindset that if you work hard enough, you’ll be successful, and then you’ll be happy. 

However, the changing demands of both employers and employees have evolved the definition of career success into more than just your performance. It now relates to a sense of fulfilment, purpose, and happiness; and many firms are making staff happiness a priority.

Why? Because a disengaged workforce can be expensive. In fact, Gallup’s 2018 State of the Global Workplace shared that 85% of employees are not engaged at work, and it’s costing our economy approximately $7 trillion in lost productivity each year.

While success isn’t a point on the map you can easily navigate to, here are the 3 ways to balance purpose and passion in your job. 

Don't Fake It

A Forbes analysis showed that 51% of people “Always or Frequently” have to act or put on a show at work. Moreover, the study showed that this very group are 32% less likely to love their job. On the other hand, the survey revealed that those that don’t feel like they have to put on a show are 59% less likely to dislike or hate their job.

Of course, there will be bad days and sometimes you just have to get through with a hard smile. However, if your job consistently puts your brain in a pep-talk loop just to try and force yourselves to display the right kind of emotional intelligence, you’re depleting valuable energy. If you’ve found yourself having to fake your emotions (and we’re not talking about just being professional), here are some questions to help you gain insights on where the emotional pain points of your job might be:

  • What was the setting? 
  • Where did I feel that? 
  • What was going on at that moment?
  • How did I handle those emotions?

It's Not (Always) A Competition

While having a little friendly competition to spur you on is healthy, ambition coupled with hyper-competitiveness and a single-minded focus on winning can be damaging. You might turn a blind eye to the impact of your actions on yourselves and others. Being less mindful at work may hurt relationships between you and colleagues, causing for collaborations to suffer and productivity to lower. 

When you start chasing goals only for the sake of hitting targets; work begins to lose its meaning. Instead, focus on working together to hit even more targets that are not just yours.

That Tingly Feeling

Sometimes pursuing your passion knows no boundaries. For instance, Dean Martin, Growth Partnership Manager, Techbridge Market, left behind his life in Canada to move to Singapore with a goal to strengthen the volleyball industry in Singapore. 

Previously the Head Coach for Volleyball Association of Singapore, he is currently deepening his skills in the recruitment industry. Working with a lot of candidates, he noticed: “A lot of people are in their jobs, convincing themselves that they love their job. Oftentimes, that’s not the reality. 

“If you love something; you care about it, if you care about it, you spend time mastering the craft – and as you master it, you’re also doing something you love. It envelopes you into the whole capacity of ‘how can I be better at my job (that I love)’?

“You could essentially be doing a job that you’re good at – and most people usually do – but they still find themselves empty cause they’re lacking ‘that tingly feeling’.”

You may or may not love your job completely, but you can choose to find parts of your work that you love. Perhaps you enjoy designing the sales deck, or maybe analysing market research. It could even be helping to plan the team bonding session – try to dissolve negative self-talk, find these pockets of joy, and get involved in more of them.  

A lot of people are in their jobs, convincing themselves that they love their job.
– Dean Martin, Growth Partnership Manager, Techbridge Market

But if being happy means a switch...

Alas, sometimes a career change is inevitable in search of your happiness. If that is the case, Julio Orr, CEO & Founder of Happyer, recommends to reflect on when you feel most fulfilled and happy (outside work); and consider if this can be a career option. 

Other than that, he encourages you to network at events where you can possibly meet people in your desired career path. He shared: “Talk to people outside your industry, and network with people in potential career paths that you’re interested in.

“Don’t be discouraged too easily as it takes time. If it is a career path that feels far away from where you are today, it may take a few steps and some time – stay open minded and optimistic.”

Written by

Cheryl Toh

Last updated on

November 8th 2019, 4:21 pm

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