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SkillsTalk

Finding meaning instead of happiness in your work

By Jana Angeles | 06 December 2019


What is it like coming into a job where you’re just there to “pay the bills”?

It doesn’t sound appealing and job satisfaction may not be the greatest.

While having a high salary seems like a great incentive - with more opportunities to blow money on travel or property, more people are turning to other perks such as flexible working arrangements or training opportunities

With millennials making up the majority of employees at the workplace, it makes sense how most are striving to find meaning instead of happiness at work. 

However, there are boundaries worth exploring and it helps to know your worth when it comes to your job and the additional responsibilities you’re willing to undertake. 

While being happy can be people’s primary concern to do well at work, it’s become more apparent that finding meaning in your work makes you more invested and engaged with your job. It’s not to say that happiness is the goal but it’s more about doing work that fulfils you as an individual and one that aligns with your current values.

SkillsTalk go over some of the reasons why we should aim to find meaning instead of happiness at work. 

Why you should find meaning instead of happiness at work

  1. Collaboration with the right people makes you work smarter.
  2. Putting your strengths to work can help you thrive.
  3. Happiness is fleeting.

1. Collaboration with the right people makes you work smarter.

happy team

Backed by Science research, it’s no surprise that there is a level of importance attached with teamwork. With open-plan offices being the common layouts amongst workplaces and the boom of team productivity tools (like Monday.com) being created in managing projects and deadlines, there are several benefits that come with working in a team, including a boost in:
  • Creativity 
  • Productivity
  • Engagement 
  • Communication 
  • Efficiency 
American Psychologist released an issue titled, “The Science of Teamwork” and it unpacked the psychology behind collaboration, which mentions that working in a team can make you smarter, more creative and successful

It’s rewarding to be able to work with like-minded people in the workplace. Not only does it provide an opportunity to be able to bounce off ideas with one another, but it also means everyone can pitch in together by working through challenges cohesively instead of working in silos

This also opens a space where communication is valued and provides a diversity of perspectives, which can help reduce the time spent finding solutions to ongoing problems and provides a safe space for healthy discussions between team mates. 

2. Putting your strengths to work can help you thrive.

Thomas Oppong’s article titled, “Forget Your Weaknesses. Play to Your Strengths” touches on Personal Growth and he writes a convincing piece that emphasises that most people worry about getting rid of their weaknesses and focus less on their current strengths to find success. 

He writes, “You can significantly increase your chances of success in life and business if you narrow your focus on what you are great at.” 

In saying this, putting your strengths to work is an investment, so it’s worth developing the skills you’re already great at instead of trying to eliminate your weaknesses in your career. By putting your attention towards the skills you’re already brilliant at can help you achieve greater things instead of spreading yourself thin.

Furthermore, it’s worthwhile putting your strengths to good use by undertaking training opportunities or further study to help you get ahead in your career. Not only is developing your skillset an investment, but it can also add value to your career trajectory

Upskilled offers courses in IT, business and community services that are designed to be completed within 12 months. You can work towards a nationally recognised qualification that can be a great study pathway for your chosen career specialisation. It’s also an opportunity that can help you improve your credentials should you wish to change jobs. 

By studying and working with your strengths, it can help you feel positive about your career growth and re-affirms that your skills are valued, especially if your employer allows you to upskill.

3. Happiness is fleeting.

emotions concept

As with all human emotions, happiness is fleeting. There’ll be moments at work where we’ll feel frustrated or we don’t have the power to change things because of office politics or dealing with difficult people. It’s important to recognise that being happy at work is not a permanent state, even if we do love our job. 

We are programmed to strive for happiness because it makes us feel good and provides us the perception that we can achieve anything. However, it’s important to remember like all emotions, including happiness, are temporary.

According to research, it’s been found that doing work that is more meaningful is one of the most powerful ways to help increase your productivity and engagement in your role

A survey that was conducted with 12,000 participants established that those who were engaged with their job had greater job satisfaction and three times as likely to stay with their current employer. In another study, it was also revealed that more people are willing to take a pay cut for more meaningful work. 

Imagine having an employer who believes in your skills and expertise. One that also provides a myriad of opportunities where you get to upskill and work towards gaining a relevant qualification that is specific to your field. It shows that they care about employee morale and want to keep the momentum of productivity. 

To find something meaningful is subject to a person’s goals and values but being part of an organisation where you feel valued about what you bring to the table can make all the difference. 

Find more meaningful work in 2020

If one of your goals is to find work that is more meaningful in the new year, improve your credentials to potential employers by studying an online course with Upskilled. 

With a range of nationally recognised qualifications in business, community services and IT, you can take the opportunity to pursue your studies in a relevant field that you can fit into your day-to-day schedule. 

Get in touch with one of Upskilled’s education consultants and find out more on what online study has to offer today. 
 
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