2nd March 2020

Love your work?

dare to be you

4 tips to career happiness and success

Research shows that happiness at work is a precursor to success. So how come we still set goals and objectives using traditional success factors in the belief that this will make us happy?

In my view, life is way too short not to enjoy the time we spend at work. Yes, there are likely to be great days and not so great days. That what makes life interesting.

But, if you don’t wake up in the morning and feel excited about the day ahead, at least once a week, then, honestly, that’s a sign that something is ready to change.

I have worked with many people to increase their success at work and so much comes down to personal happiness. To start you off, here are my top tips for creating happiness and success at work.

1. Be Yourself

Have you ever felt you have to be a “different person” at work? What do you hold back? What are you afraid might happen if people saw the real you?

Sometimes we tell ourselves that aspects of our personalities are not desirable at work. We try to fit in by adopting behaviours we see in our colleagues. Or perhaps we are told that to be “successful”, we must exhibit certain characteristics.

This is leadership-by-numbers. We are not all the same. Difference is a huge strength in teams and organisations. Others just don’t always see it that way.

It’s fine to adapt to different audiences and situations but just think what you, and your team, could be missing out on if you’re holding back certain elements of your personality!

2. Value Your Values

Your core values are like your core muscles. They are a source of strength and balance.

When you recognise your core values, for instance trust, curiosity or independence, you seek environments where you can use them regularly.

Conversely, if you ignore a value or feel that it is not respected by those around you, your happiness will be affected.

For a short time or with a particular person, this probably won’t have much of an impact (other than you not wanting to be around that individual). However, if your values are regularly ignored it is likely that your happiness and your performance are likely to decline.

3. Accept You Cannot Change Others

You can only take responsibility for your own behaviour. It would be great to think that everyone you work with will be as intelligent, motivated or compassionate as you are. Chances are though that you’ll come across a whole variety of personalities, value sets and behaviours.

Don’t let others’ insecurities make you question who you are. Be yourself and let them work out their own issues.

4. Be Your Own CEO

Choice underpins happiness. When you recognise that you are the only one (yes, really!) in charge of your life, you also recognise that you can impact your own happiness and success.

When we feel “stuck”, it is because we do not acknowledge our options or we feel that it is safer/better to stay where we are because the future is unknown. This usually means we are listening to the doubting voices, either real or imagined. You know the voices…

“You’re lucky to be working at all!” “How selfish to put your own happiness above security for your family!” or “What if you fail? How humiliating!”

Ignore the doubting voice and consider all your options without judgment. Only you can choose what is right for you and your life. Just remember that choosing to change nothing is still making a choice.