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How to be Happy at Work

By Sarah Ellis & Helen Tupper.

Forget climbing the ladder, 21st century work is all about navigating the career squiggle.

How much time do you spend thinking about yourself and what makes you happy at work? Does the task of thinking about your career and what’s important to you get put to the bottom of the to-do list? Everyone is busy and spending time on ourselves feels like a luxury we can’t afford, or something that can wait for another day.

But the world of work has changed and it’s never been more important to invest in yourself.

Careers today aren’t about climbing a ladder, instead everything feels much more squiggly. We’re all going to have more jobs, experience different types of careers and be working for longer. Career squiggles can be unsettling and daunting if you don’t know what you want but they can be full of opportunity when you do.

To succeed in a squiggly world we all need to adopt a different mind-set, one where we choose to be in a constant state of work in progress.This means discovering what makes you happy and what you’re great at. Finding people and jobs that help you use those things every day.

In short, make having a happy career a habit not an aspiration.

We started Amazing If with a clear mission: to help people have happy careers.This sounds like a lofty ambition but we focus on small steps that are achievable every day.

Here are three happy career habits that you could start today:

1. Record Your Successes

For seven days (include your weekend) write down one success you’ve had that day.This doesn’t have to be work related, it could be having the willpower to make it to the gym at the end of a busy day. Writing down your successes will kick-start the process of reflecting on what you’re doing well.After 7 days you’ll find you start thinking about your successes automatically, and this should help you feel more confident about the value you’re adding in all aspects of your life.

2. Ask for Simple Strengths Feedback

Ask five people who know you pretty well, ideally a mixture of work colleagues and friends/family, to describe you in three words.This is a really simple task that takes no time at all and gives you a quick insight into how other people see you. It’s always interesting to see whether people outside of work see different characteristics to your colleagues, as this could be an opportunity to add more value, in a different way, at work.

3. Get Curious

When was the last time you read, listened to, or watched something different? Don’t try to do too much at once pick one way you’re going to learn something new each week and stick to it for at least a month. A good way to stay committed is to find someone else to learn with.There are loads of free resources available –TED talks, coursera.org (which offers online courses from many of the world’s top universities) and podcasts are always a good place to start.

For practical career ideas and resources you can follow us on twitter @Amazing_If and listen to our free i-tunes podcast which focuses on confidence.


Recommended TED Talks

Susan Cain - The Power of Introverts

Brene Brown - Vulnerability

Dan Pink - The Surprising Power of Motivation

Carol Dweck - Growth Mindset


Recommended Podcasts

HBR Ideacast

The Debrief

The Accidental Creative

Amazing If

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