Be Happy at Work by Joanne Gordon

A while ago, I read a book that changed my thinking about what makes for a good job. I had been checking out the “follow your bliss” type of advice. However interesting the books or lectures, though, that path didn’t lead to any actual employment changes or opportunities for me at that time.

Instead, I found Be Happy at Work, and the ideas in it were very useful to me for both my day job and my SI practice.

Joanne Gordon interviewed women who were happy and work. She analyzed their comments and found that happy workers shared 3 common elements.

  • They liked the people they worked with.
  • They enjoyed the daily processes or tasks that comprised their work.
  • They felt their work had a purpose (even if it was not their passion).

Notice, too, what is missing from that list – the conventional wisdom about success: power, prestige and pay. Those things did not contribute significantly to her subjects’ satisfaction with their work.

What about you – does your work meet all 3 elements for happiness: people, process and purpose? If not, what steps can you take to improve your situation?


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