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Chase happiness or job perks? Research says little of both

By Nancy Nzalambi | Jan 19th 2020 | 3 min read

Most of the times, we attach happiness to delusions. “I will be happy when I live in this neighbourhood or that”, “I will be happier when I own this car not that”, or when something happens. Margaret Lee Renbeck once said, “Happiness is not a state to arrive at, but a manner of travelling.”

For most of us who seem not to have reached where we want to be in our careers despite our efforts and experience, it is not surprising that we are quite unhappy. So, should one hold on for their dream job or take anything they can get? Truth is that we should take a little bit of both. According to the Harvard Business Review, you can choose to be happy and benefit from the jobs that come by as you work your way to your goal. With any role that comes your way, you will have the advantage of gaining something new and be happy.

When settling for work that isn’t your ideal job, here are factors to consider;

1. Experience

Accept the offer of the new job if it will give you new and relevant experience that will contribute to your overall dream. To land on your ideal job, you will need to build the right skills and experience. You might even end up getting new insights and upgrade your current goals.

2. Credibility

If you land a not-so-ideal job in a reputable organisation, take it. Such reputable organisations do not have “irrelevant” experience. Having a high standing organisation captured in your resume increases your credibility and makes you stand out in the future when you will be looking for a way into your exact goal.

3.  Income

When things are thick, do all you can to secure income. As you work towards your goal, keep the money coming. The desire to get to where you want to be will keep you motivated, creative and resourceful as you continue to persist.

Increase your happiness factor at work

Being happy does in no way mean that you become complacent of the circumstances surrounding your lack of attaining your dream job. Being happy and content should not be used as an excuse to stop growing and aiming higher. As you accept things just the way they are, stay in control for the things you can change. Here are habits you need to practice;

1. Only make commitments you will surely keep

Manage your stress levels by creating a commitment tracking system as you manage your day-to-day schedule. Avoid volunteering for tasks that you may not have time for based on your workload. One of the major causes of work stress is the failure of keeping up with commitments. Just worrying about the consequences creates anxiety and unhappiness at the workplace.

2.  Keep off negativity

Toxic work environments have a profound impact on your psyche. Avoid unhealthy work relationships and gossip and be part of the company culture that values good work ethics, integrity and positivity. Keep competitions healthy and distance yourself from toxic co-workers.

3. Be more open-minded

Regular feedback from your superiors and even clients is something you should welcome or even seek when it doesn’t come as often as you would prefer. Positive criticism will make you feel valued and will also highlight gaps that may have been overlooked. This positive boost in morale will bring happiness as the workplace.

4. Be more social

Make friends at work. The type of friendship that goes beyond the workplace. We spend the better part of our days with our coworkers. Being able to build excellent working relationships is one of the hallmarks of a great company culture.

5. Do not be afraid of conflict

Workplace conflict can be scary, mainly because the repercussions can have a substantial impact on professional future and financial security. But conflicts are bound to happen at some point. For you to be happy at work, you should learn to engage in meaningful conflict. Conflicts need to be addressed openly, with clear communication and respect for all the people involved. Resolving conflict should be guided by principles that serve them well, providing meaningful change. You will get so much work done when you face problems without cowardice.

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