“I'm just not happy at work.”
A friend shared this sentiment with me. She's talented and committed. She contributes. She's valued by her team, boss, and company.
Yet, for her, in her job, happiness is elusive.
Does happiness matter? The business costs of employee unhappiness are significant. Gallup's “State of the Global Workplace” report estimates that actively disengaged US employees cost their companies $450-550 billion each year. In Germany, the cost is €112-138 billion. In the UK, the cost is £52-70 billion.
Does happiness matter, personally? Absolutely. Employees who are happy, who have positive well-being, are 31% more productive, are 10 times more engaged, are three times more creative, and are three times more satisfied with their jobs.
How can you boost your personal well-being and happiness? How can you find your unique “voice”?
Start with getting clearer about who you are, about what makes you tick.
Ask yourself questions like these:
- Who are you? You are more than your skills, your accomplishments, and your roles. What is your life purpose? What is your reason for being, in life and work? Draft a purpose statement and refine it. As an example, my purpose statement is to inspire and encourage others – life leaders and participants – to clarify their personal values and to serve with authenticity.
- What do you stand for? What values and principles define what is “right” for you in this world? What principles do you aspire to demonstrate daily? Work through a proven process to map out your values, their definitions, and the specific valued behaviors that are required of you to consistently live your values.
- What inspires you? What causes a big smile on your face and makes your heart swell with satisfaction and maybe even pride? Identify activities that move your purpose forward, that align with your values. Those may be of a teaching or coaching nature – or maybe a service nature, in your community. Be specific. If volunteering at your local YMCA's Mommy and Me swim classes inspire you, note down those classes.
With a clearer understanding of you – your purpose, values, and inspirations – you can seek and find your niche, avenues that enable you to engage in those activities and leverage those strengths frequently.
Your niche may be in your current company with new projects that leverage your values and inspirations. And, your niche may be well served in avenues outside your current role, volunteering at non-profits, soup kitchens, or community gardens, for example.
Once you clarify your voice, take the next step – find your niche, where you can act upon your purpose, values, and inspirations regularly.
It'll do you GOOD.
What do you think? What avenues have you discovered that inspire you? How do you serve your family and community while being your full, delightful, unique self?
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