What Makes You Happy At Work?

Money was not the most important ingredient to job happiness, according to an article in Forbes by Elena Bajic.  This fact surprised the team at Ivy Exec (www.ivyexec.com) who conducted a survey on the question of job happiness by asking the opinions of senior executives in 25 different industries.

what makes you happy at work 3What they found was that the quality of the job and the range and depth of responsibilities that came with the job were the most important ingredients to job happiness. These two very important ingredients could mean different things to each of us. Perhaps that is why so many people are unhappy at work!

I am a high school teacher in Toronto with the Toronto District School Board and when it comes time to negotiate our contract, job quality and job responsibilities are key ingredients in our negotiating toolbox. Every several years we negotiate a new contract with the Provincial Government and the Toronto District School Board and job quality and responsibilities are an important part of our bargaining process. Our union fights on our behalf and I’m lucky to be part of this team. Many workers do not have this support, and as a result, suffer from a lack of these important ingredients to job happiness.

In this article, I’d like to focus on the importance of job quality. Here are some aspects of job quality that are important to me in my job as a high school teacher.

  1. Classroom size (We want students to succeed: this becomes challenging when classrooms have over 30 students with different levels of intelligence, special needs, & behavioral issues.)
  2. Courses we are trained to teach! (Every year teachers receive a new timetable of courses to teach.  While this can have its advantages, it can also be very stressful; especially if the teacher is not trained in the course.
  3. Text books for each student (Many students have to share and some courses do not have any texts.)
  4. Technology in the classroom (Most classrooms do not have a computer, projector, or internet access. Technology is crucial if students are to have a competitive advantage.)
  5. Computer labs in the school (Too many computers are broken and outdated.)
  6. Photocopiers that work properly
  7. Staff lounge (A comfortable space to socialize, relax, and recharge.)
  8. Staff office (A proper desk, chair, & computer to prepare lessons, mark assignments, & discuss topics & ideas with staff & students.)
  9. Benefits & salary (It’s expensive to live in Toronto and we need a salary that will allow us to meet our needs and plan for the future.)

When these areas are adequately met, I can do my job better. As a consequence, I feel good about my job which makes me happier at work. When you work for an organization, it’s very important to have a committee in place in order to negotiate on your behalf.

When working on your own, it’s just as important to be aware of job quality in order for you to be happier at your job. For instance, as a careers coach, I have more control over my job quality. I can choose how many hours I want to work each week and I can also choose the location of my office. I can also decide on the equipment and technology that I need to adequately do my job and when I want to go on vacation.

Now there are pros and cons with every job and being self-employed does not always guarantee I will be able to give myself all the items I need in the job quality department. If I’m not making enough money, I won’t be able to afford the location, technology or vacations I desire! The ultimate decision of course, lies with the person taking the job and sometimes not all of our needs will be met at the beginning.

It’s in the best interest of employers, however, to ensure that their employees have good job quality, for when people are happy at work, their absenteeism goes down and their productivity goes up and this accounts for higher company profits!

bakerIt’s a little like baking a cake. When you use the choicest quality ingredients, the cake will naturally be tastier and when you eat a delicious slice of cake, you feel good. When you feel good, you’re happier! It’s the same in the workplace. When you have great job quality, your job will be delicious and as a consequence, you will be happier at work.

In the comment box below, please let us know what qualities you need that will contribute to making you happier at your job. Thanks for reading and I look forward to your comments.

To view the Forbes article by Elena Bajic, follow this link: http://www.forbes.com/sites/elenabajic/2014/03/06/what-really-makes-you-happy-at-work/

David Langer is a high school teacher, careers coach, entrepreneur, and creator of the online video course, Discover Your Dream Job.  If you would like his FREE 80 minute video course called “Intuition & Your Dream Job”, please visit his website at www.discoveryourdreamjob.com and sign up for his FREE newsletter.  In addition, you will receive some great information on Discovering your Dream Job, the Job Market, and Business Tips.

Feel free to share this article with your friends or use this article in your website.  Just be sure to include all the information in its original form, including my brief bio, just above this paragraph.

Thank You and Good Luck in your search to Discover Your Dream Job.

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