Will 2020 be the year you find happiness in work?
As we close out the decade (the new decade doesn't begin until 2021), consider your happiness quotient and your work quotient and are they in relative balance. Notice that I am not saying work life balance, a term that I am convinced doesn't actually exist in practice. Your happiness quotient and your work quotient can be in balance.
I look at my father, a man who is 77 years old and works - literally - 7 days a week. He's happy. He lives to work. I can count on one hand the number actual extended vacations that he has been on in my lifetime - but he is happy. Work brings him pride, self worth and a sense of ownership. It is a privilege to work, and something that he believes in. He doesn't long for time off, rather, he is always looking to do things better.
As time changes, and customers and clients with it - he has, at times, stumbled. Knowing that he needs to catch up, or work life will pass him by. He always makes adjustments, and he always continues plugging along. His happiness quotient and work quotient are in balance.
Some of the happiest times of my own work life have been when I am doing something new. Something that challenges my muscle memory as well as my skill set. It is increasingly interesting to me that when we speak to others who are seeking a new job, we will usually default to what they will excel at, rather than what will be a challenge for them. I do it all the time, saying to someone about a new opportunity, 'Oh you will be great at that!' - rather than, 'Oh that will be a wonderful challenge for you!'
There are many individuals out there who don't have the luxury, privilege or wherewithal to be in a job that stokes happiness as much as it merely keeps them busy. If this is you, can you resolve to make 2020 end better than it started as far as work is concerned? Could December of 2020 be a time to celebrate risk taking? It can be, if you take steps toward that goal.
Do yourself a favor and write down not where you want to be at the end of 2020, or the position you want to hold - write down how you want to feel. What will happiness be for you in December 2020 and create a plan to get there. If it is staying in your current position and making some changes, then consider how that will manifest itself. If it is moving on and securing a position that brings you flexibility or challenge, then how do you navigate the search process to bring this to fruition?
How happiness shapes out is going to be different for each individual. But at the same time, we cannot expect happiness to just happen - we need to work at it.