Monday, June 5, 2017

Work that makes you happy ...

I am trying to pen down the exact sentiment. What makes us happy at work?

The old saying goes: "If you love what you do, you will never have to work a day in your life."

So, exactly which variables determine why or why not we love what we do for a living?

Let's work backwards and ask a simple question.

What would give one a sense of reward and joy at work?

  • Money
  • Job profile
  • Level of accomplishment
  • Level of responsibility
  • Effort and Results
  • Nature of work
  • Amount of creativity involved
  • Lifestyle and Work-life Balance

It is not a simple answer. It is definitely a combination of factors, but some would weigh more in one's decision than others.

For me the last two factors are very important - the amount of creativity involved and work-life balance. I personally believe that these two are more important than the other variables when it comes to choosing any line of work.

Interesting thing though - and the focus of this post - is that both these factors are very closely interrelated. I believe you cannot be creative on demand and you need to feel inspired by your own work-life balance to be truly creative and in the right mood to churn out quality work.

There is a famous quotation:

I write when I’m inspired, and I see to it that I’m inspired at nine o’clock every morning.
— Peter DeVries

While this is intended to be humor, there is good reason to believe that a writer lives the sort of life that, in the first place, gives him that sense of reward and satisfaction, which allows him to be inspired and creative. It is a joy to make a living doing what one loves - and so being able to write for a living - and living the life - must naturally inspire creativity.

And these factors only get more important with time. Think of the CXO who likes to be at golf while still doing his work from the phone or over e-mail, or the senior executive who chooses not to miss his children's lives just so he can toil away at the office. We want to live a certain kind of lifestyle - and really all the other variables are immaterial in comparison. Once we achieve that lifestyle and work-life balance, perhaps we find the happiness and joy to be creative and inspired.

This balance to me is more important than any other in determining whether or not we are happy at work.

Me? Most days I just like to work in my shorts or hoodies and believe that I am at my most creative if I am comfortable enough to think and daydream. Yes, it can be that simple.

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Work that makes you happy ...

I am trying to pen down the exact sentiment. What makes us happy at work? The old saying goes: " If you love what you do, you will n...