Are You Happy at Work?

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Are You Happy at Work?

Our jobs play an integral role in our lives and they are becoming increasingly demanding. If you are unhappy at work, it is very likely to impact on your overall state of happiness and even your personal life.

Do you love what you do? This is the most straightforward question that you can ask yourself and it is also one of the most difficult to answer. Most of us will have a passion in life and if it is related to your job then it is very likely you love what you do. Loving your job provides a great source of self-motivation and energy which means working gives you happiness and a lot of enjoyment. If you love what you do, chances are you will not be unhappy at work.

A very reliable indicator of whether you are happy at work can be assessed by how you feel while you are actually working. If you constantly lose track of time when you are working, this is usually a good sign that you are submerged in your work and that you are enjoying it so much that you are oblivious to everything else around you.

In Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, money ranks very highly as it provides security and is important for survival. It is also an important enabler of all the other things in the pyramid as money can also provide the physiological (food) and social needs (disposable income) of happiness. If you work hard at your job but it does not give enough compensation for your effort then your likeliness to be motivated to carry out the daily tasks will be greatly reduced and every task will feel like a chore.

A good working relationship with colleagues can make a huge difference to job satisfaction. The work that you do may not be very enjoyable but when your friends are working alongside you, they can pick you up when you are having a bad day and make things a little more interesting.

Take the following quiz, courtesy of Eat Your Career, to find out how happy you are with your current job situation.


Respond to each statement by asking yourself if you feel this way:

Most of the Time = Give yourself 3 points

Sometimes = Give yourself 2 points

Never = Give yourself 1 point


1. I like the people I work with.

2. I feel respected by my boss.

3. I feel respected by my co-workers.

4. I feel like a valuable, contributing member of the team.

5. I enjoy the work I do.

6. I find my work challenging but not overwhelming.

7. I feel satisfied at the end of the day.

8. I may not be excited to go to work, but I don’t dread it.

9. I find my office environment pleasant.

10. I feel generally satisfied with my pay – I believe it is fair and adequate.

11. I believe I have growth opportunities that meet my professional desires.

12. I am supported and encouraged to learn new skills.

13. My work is stressful at times but manageable.


Calculate your points.

If you have 32 to 39 points:

Congratulations! It sounds like your job is a keeper. While things may not be rosy every day of the week, in general you experience all of the wonderful elements of a good job: challenge, respect, satisfaction and opportunity. When you’re feeling down or having a bad day, let it roll off your back – your job is most likely not to blame for long-term unhappiness. Continue to pursue professional and personal challenges that will provide further enjoyment of life.

If you have 26 to 31 points:

You’re not doing too badly, my friend. While there are definitely some areas you could improve, overall you answered “most of the time” or “sometimes” to the majority of these questions. Here’s the good news: You have a great opportunity to improve your work situation by going through this list and looking at the items you answered “sometimes” or “never” to. These are the areas to focus some serious attention on. Perhaps if you improve some of your work relationships, seek new challenges or inquire about growth opportunities you’ll find your job satisfaction increase dramatically. Remember that job happiness is dependent on four main elements: challenge, respect, satisfaction and opportunity. Overall, your job has the potential to be a truly satisfying experience. It might take some work but it’s possible.

If you have 20 to 25 points:

Things aren’t going so well, are they? You answered “sometimes” or “never” quite a bit in this test. That’s not a good sign. Take a look at the areas where you answered “never” and try to understand why the problem has occurred. Is there anything you can do to change it? Perhaps a minor adjustment in one area of the job would have a significant impact on your entire experience. Consider the four main elements of job happiness: challenge, respect, satisfaction and opportunity. Where is yours lacking the most? Take some time to really consider what is going on and why. Take an honest look at yourself as well. Make an effort to improve the situation as best you can but don’t be afraid to face the facts: This job may not be the right fit. And remember, a job that doesn’t work for you, works against you.

If you have 13 to 19 points:

You may be feeling down and it’s no surprise! You answered “never” and “sometimes” quite a bit in this test. Your job happiness level is low, but then, you probably already know that. Take a good hard look at what your job does offer you. Are you just going through the motions, collecting a paycheck and waiting for the weekend? If so, it’s time to realize that this is not the ONLY way. You can find a job you enjoy. Perhaps, you can even turn this one around. Give it a shot – you have nothing to lose at this point. Evaluate the four elements of job happiness: challenge, respect, satisfaction and opportunity. Ask yourself what you’re missing in each category. Are these things you can control? You might need to enlist the help of your boss or another superior or co-worker. Now is the time to make some improvements!

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