We spend so much time at our jobs. A good day at work means a good mood at home. A job can get boring, challenging and sometimes frustrating.
We often ask ourselves if we are really happy at our jobs. What is that happiness everyone talks about? Yes, it’s a feeling. But when it comes to happiness at workplace, we often realise we were happy at a job only when we have actually left it. It is thus a wise thing to check what we call the ‘happiness quotient’ of your job. It is necessary to put our job through a mental test of sorts.
You are doing well at your job. It is equally important to find out that your job is working well for you.
So, how to test your job?
Where Are you Going:
Do you see yourself undergoing professional and personal growth in your current job? List out all the soft skills and hard skills which you have learned or might learn soon. Recall the experiences which taught you lessons that left you wiser and smarter. See where your job stands on this test.
Feeling all the time that the job isn’t taking you anywhere is enough to sap one out of energy. Not only can it reduce efficiency but can also damage your self-esteem. The job could be considered to be taking you somewhere not only when there’s professional growth but also when there is personal growth and there occurs learning and development on regular basis.
Put it In Perspective:
It is necessary to draw a line between short term and long term. Knowing that you are there for the long haul and knowing you are there for a short period can give you a great sense of perspective. When we know the bigger picture, we can act more calmly and take up reasonable challenges.
A “short term” job will be about learning skills, a “long term” about learning skills and getting promoted. A short term job makes us happy in different ways than a long term job. This test is all about contextualising expectations.
Psychological and emotional well-being is important. Take a look around. What kind of rapport do you share with your co-workers? Cordial? Friendly? Competitive? And what about the boss and the management?
Setting a realistic standard is important here.
You may not be best friends with your colleagues. Your boss might not be like a “cool” uncle or aunt. But as long as everyone is cordial and warm relationship with each other, the workplace can said to have passed this part of the test.
Check Your Health:
How has your health been ever since you started? The usual ? Have you been feeling energised? Good about yourself?
A good job should challenge you enough to tire you out sometimes. But it shouldn’t leave you exhausted all the time. Be sure to know where the line lies!
It is also necessary to draw a line between occasional, explicable illnesses and frequent illness, often unexplained ones. The latter could be your body reacting to stress.
Your Feeling About Going to Work:
Does going to work fulfills a sense of responsibility? Does it give you a sense of purpose? Do you feel motivated enough?
Losing motivation to go to work sometimes is normal. The daunting feeling that may come when you just have too much to do is normal. The feeling should go once you start working and get in the flow. This is an important aspect of the test.
If the feelings persist, think about your options.
- Can you use a mini break?
- Can you ask for a department change?
- A fresh challenge that gives a break from your routine?
While “testing” your job this way , it is necessary to steer clear of some hasty jumps to conclusion which may lead to you to find short term and nonexistent problems with your job:
- Would things get better when a particular assignment is over?
- Would the storm-clouds clear once that difficult discussion is over?
- Is it just a phase that you are dreading, and how long would it take for it to pass?
- Are you threatening something long-term by getting bogged down by a short-term problem?
- Is quitting the assignment an option? Can you delegate it?
Strategic quitting is a concept worth mentioning here. Knowing when to quit is an art. Contrary to general opinion, giving up is not a sign of failure. It is a sign of wisdom. One should be smart enough to realise when one is trying to fit a square into a circular slot.
Stability, good health, doable challenges, learning and development, a sense of purpose and motivation, cordial colleagues and understanding bosses are often the bunch of keys needed to unlock a fulfilling professional life. As the disciplines of psychology and philosophy say, happiness is often more about a sustaining feeling of calm and stability than momentary euphoria.