The Psychology of Career Happiness

The Psychology of Career Happiness

Career Happiness

I read an interesting piece in Psychology Today by Dr. Ronald E. Riggio, Professor of Leadership and Organizational Psychology at Claremont McKenna College, about how to achieve happiness at work.

  • Dr. Riggio points out, for instance, that our work needs to be meaningful, but sometimes it is hard to know how to clearly measure that. He suggests reframing your job or career role in terms of customer service to discover whether it has meaning.
  • Ask yourself questions like “Do I provide what others need while giving them a good experience?” or “Are our products and services helpful and reliable?”
  • Engagement is another quality that Dr. Riggio suggests is vital to workplace happiness. To gauge it he suggests examining whether you become easily immersed and absorbed in your job.
  • When you are naturally engaged and able to utilize your skills and talents you no longer watch the clock, for example, but instead flow through the day’s tasks. That’s a sign that the process itself – not just the end result – is fulfilling.

In my experience you also need a distinct sense that your work is valued and that you have some autonomy or control over what you do.

  • When we have a sense of responsibility, for instance, work becomes more challenging, fulfilling, and personally relevant.
  • Meanwhile acknowledgement for a job well done is always a source of happiness, and careers that allow us to see a positive result from our endeavors deliver that kind of added value.
  • But this also directly relates to leadership development. If you ensure that your employees or team members are given engaging projects, responsibility, and appropriate praise then they’ll be happier.
  • Those who are happy are more productive – so if you help to assure healthy workplace morale then you’ll reap the reward of being known as a leader who inspires greater performance.

What do you believe are the pillars of workplace happiness, and how do you think those relate to leadership ability? I’d love to hear your thoughts and comments!

To read Dr. Riggio’s entire article just follow this link:

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Sarah Hathorn is a leadership development mentor, executive presence coach, image and branding consultant, public speaker & author. She is the founding CEO of her own successful company, Illustra Consulting, and the creator of the proprietary Predictable Promotion System™.

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