What did you want to be when you grew up? A firefighter, an astronaut, a ballet dancer, a space smuggler with a Wookiee as your best friend?
These were all very attainable goals when you were younger, and some still are. But a dream job can change and morph as we get older into something a little more “down to earth.”
If the opportunity to become what you dreamt of as a child presented itself, most of us would take it. But what if on your first day as a space smuggler you felt out of place? You didn’t have anything in common with your co-pilot and your values were completely different? Far from a dream, this might put a sour taste in your mouth for your so-called “dream job”.
That’s because who we work with and the company values aligning with our own are a much larger indicator of our happiness than we realize. Our happiness is not dependent on what we are doing or how much bacon we are bringing home, it’s all about the people we surround ourselves with.
Feels Like Home
Being excited to go to work is an unknown feeling for some in the workforce. When we are excited to go to work, it’s not only about the activity, it’s about the culture interwoven into the workplace. As engagement varies around 32%, it makes sense that 64% of all employees do not feel they have a strong work culture.
When a company does not have a strong culture, we, the employees, are disengaged. This can also be seen through turnover rates. Turnover at an organization with rich company culture is just 13.9%. On the other hand, turnover in poor company cultures is 48.4%. If we are not happy with our workplace, it makes sense that we would leave but when there is a great culture, it makes us want to stay. Even if the actual work being done is not the most entertaining or rewarding, we tend to stay.
Creating a great workplace culture is a two-way street. A give and take. Just like any relationship, if you are a leech, who you are with will get annoyed and toss you aside. So how do we give back to the workplace culture? Try this:
- Participate in employee events – Get to know your co-workers outside of the workplace or try going to the break room at the same time as others instead of by yourself
- Appreciate others – Simply saying “thank you” or smiling on the regular can change perspectives for all of those involved and build relationships
- Work hard – Strengthen your team by putting your best foot forward. Having passion for your work shows that you care about the bottom line and your co-workers’ well-being
Mo Money, Mo Problems
“Money has never made man happy, nor will it, there is nothing in its nature to produce happiness. The more of it one has the more one wants.” Benjamin Franklin
“If I only had more money” is something many, if not all, of us, have thought, but how much money do we actually need? For the state of Nebraska, the ceiling for your happiness seems to be $68,775 a year. Any more than that doesn’t directly make a difference in terms of our happiness.
Chances are your next raise won’t help either. In a Glassdoor study, a 10% increase in pay was associated with a mere 1% increase in overall employee satisfaction. Even if you did get up to $68,775 after a 10% raise, you probably wouldn’t feel much different the next day.
The foreknowledge of “money isn’t everything” is also reflected by the Millennial masses. 64% of Millennials said they would rather make $40,000 a year at a job they love than $100,000 a year at a job they think is boring. What would you do with an extra $60,000? Buy a car, a big boat, a nice down payment on a new home?
It’s Your Choice
“Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” – Abraham Lincoln
Even though that 60 grand would be nice to pay off student loans, would you rather be happy all day or miserable for a third of it? What’s the point of a new car when you would rather do ANYTHING else for 8 hours a day? Money is a commodity, time is your life.
10 out of 10 people die; money will never be enough.
It all comes down to the people around you. Even if you did end up doing what you had always dreamed of, if your Wookiee co-pilot grinds your gears, is it worth it?