With the current unemployment rate of 4.3%, we can certainly assume that the great majority of American citizens are employed. Though it would be terribly difficult to quantify, I wonder how many of those folks are happy within their current positions. Are you happy with your current job?
1. delighted, pleased, or glad, as over a particular thing
2. characterized by or indicative of pleasure, contentment, or joy
3. favored by fortune; fortunate or lucky
We have all seen the blog posts pop up in our news feeds titled 10 … Ways to Be Incredibly Happy or 45 Ways To Happier Instantly. I have to admit the clickbait gets me sometimes. But more often than not, I will just roll my eyes and move on. Happiness, in employment or personal life, is not going to come by following anyone else’s steps. If we meditate every morning, will that make us thrilled about working in retail for a pinch over minimum wage at 4 a.m. on Thanksgiving? If we sleep more, will that make us content to work for a condescending boss who denies us vacation pay?
As we can tell from the definition, happiness is about mood, luck, and a feeling we have over a particular thing. So how can we ever be happy about work? I guess it could be the latter, being happy over a task or project we complete. But how can luck and mood be transferred into the way we feel about work? Those two attributes of happiness seem to be effected by chance or self.
I think when we judge happiness in our careers we can’t judge by our current feelings because of the many external forces that can affect our mood. Instead, we need to look at the cumulative time we have spent at our place of employment to truly judge our happiness overall. I like to go by the 80/20 rule. Approximately 80% of the time you should be happy and you should endure the 20% of unpleasantness that is bound to occur. If your ratio goes beyond the 80/20 rule it may be time to look for a new gig.