This is the second blog in our series on being happy at work. Our first blog covered the ways you can experience positive, pleasurable emotions at work (click here to read). This article will help you to create lasting satisfaction at work. Is it possible for you to feel fulfilled with your current job? Apply the following principles and see what can change!

Being Virtuous Matters

We naturally feel better when we are doing the right thing. Integrity is king. One of the central elements of positive psychology is that developing good character makes us feel better about ourselves. As we actively pursue virtues in our daily life, we will feel more optimistic. In one study, scientist studied religions, cultures and traditions around the world dating back 3,000 years. The following six virtues were identified as being common to everyone:

  • wisdom and knowledge
  • courage
  • love and humanity
  • justice
  • temperance
  • spirituality and transcendence

See how the work you do is aligned with these virtues. Brainstorm how you might cultivate these virtues with your team.  Reframe how you think about your job to integrate these kindly principles.

Identify and Use Your Personal Strengths

Strengths are our path to accomplish these virtues. Each of us possess unique skills and strengths that can make living these virtues a reality. As you actively incorporate these strengths into your work, you will find more happiness. Take the time to identify your personal strengths. There is a free strengths test you can take at StrengthsFinder is another assessment that helps individuals identify their talents. Though not connected directly to the virtues, they claim identifying and using your strengths will lead to greater job satisfaction. As we continue to use and develop our strengths we feel more connected to the work we do. We will feel we are making a personal contribution. As we are more engaged and connected to our work, our satisfaction increases.

Find Flow to be Happy at Work

Flow is the state of mind where we become one with what we are doing. We merge with our work. We lose all track of time. Psychologists believe that it is through using our strengths to meet a challenge or solve a problem that we achieve this state. The formula for finding flow seems to be when your strengths are well matched to meet a specific challenge. We want to strive for finding flow several times a day for several minutes. Carve out time in your calendar where you won’t be interrupted. Put distractions aside so that you can focus on getting into this desired state.  Work provides so many great opportunities to find flow which is imperative for us to feel gratified.

Recraft Your Position to Incorporate Your Strengths

After identifying your strengths, see which parts of your job utilize your strengths. When you can do this, you increase the likelihood that you can get into flow. For tasks you perform regularly that do not align with your strengths, find ways to incorporate your strengths into that task. For example, if you are a Learner who dislikes your weekly board meetings, add an educational element to the meeting. Increasing your time on projects that utilize your strengths and reworking current tasks to incorporate your strengths are just two ways you can begin to put more of YOU into your job.

Turn Your Job into a Calling

A job is something we do to get something we want – that’s pretty much it. A career has deeper engagement, usually involving a path and applying our interests, strengths and talents.  A calling is where you are personally invested in the work and you feel passionate about what you are doing. You feel your work contributes to the greater good. You are involved in something bigger than yourself. To turn your job into a calling you need to step back and see how what you do serves others. How does what you do make people, groups or positive ideas flourish? You need to see how what you do everyday at work makes the world a better place. Take the time to think deeply about how your job contributes to society. Write it down and place that calling where you can see it everyday.

Incorporate Social and Personal Aspects 

We are social creatures and on a deep level we require connection to other human beings. If our jobs don’t involve much connection with others, finding other ways to socialize at work can suffice. Daily uplifting engagement with others adds the intimacy that we crave. Find your tribe at work- perhaps people who share your passions or values – and spend time with them. Happiness research reveals that social connection is key to lasting happiness.

If you would like to feel happier at work, contact Careerfulness for a free consultation.

Written by Pam Farone.