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Happiness At Work: It Is Also About People And Culture

happiness, work, culture, people

A few days ago I wrote a post called How To Be Truly Happy At Work.  That post had to with picking the right companies and roles so that you can use your natural skills (the ones you love to use) a larger percentage of the time.  And I had a few more thoughts about this topic over the weekend.


Happiness at work is not only about what you do.  It also is influenced heavily by the culture or environment of the workspace.  I’ll use an example from a good friend of mine.  He is very social.  Likes to bounce ideas off people throughout the day.  Feeds off the energy of others.  And likes to socialize a bit in between big periods of work.  During his last job search, we talked about this need of his and I asked him what he saw as he walked through the company’s offices during the interview day.  He said:  “office doors closed, no one mingling, no evidence of an internal social network”.  And then two days later he called me with the news that he accepted a job offer.  With the company that displayed the least fit with his style.  Of course there are times when you have no other options.  And you have to make a decision.  But be conscious of the position you accept.  And the environment it supports.


I’ve read articles before about finding friendships at work.  And I believe this is really important.  Especially for Gen Y and others who grew up with a requirement that works needs to be more than just work.  We want to have connections in life.  And as powerful as it is to have a strong Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter following, it’s not the same as having real people around you.  People you can friend within a few feet vs. a few states or countries.  So as you interview for jobs, try to meet as many people as you can during interview day.  Try to make eye contact and see whether people will smile back as you walk by.  That might tell you something.  So find companies that will support your need for real connections and interview them the same time they are asking questions of you.

Some of you are happy “just working” and are less concerned about finding a fit.  And in this economy, you might say you have to be just a little less picky.

At the same time companies are being “more picky”.  Because they can.

But, in reality, so can you.

Written by: Tim Tyrell-Smith
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Categories: Work and Life

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