[03.15.10]
22 great comments!

Happiness At Work: It Is Also About People And Culture

happiness, work, culture, people

A few days ago I wrote a post called How To Be Truly Happy At Work.  That post had to with picking the right companies and roles so that you can use your natural skills (the ones you love to use) a larger percentage of the time.  And I had a few more thoughts about this topic over the weekend.

First:

Happiness at work is not only about what you do.  It also is influenced heavily by the culture or environment of the workspace.  I’ll use an example from a good friend of mine.  He is very social.  Likes to bounce ideas off people throughout the day.  Feeds off the energy of others.  And likes to socialize a bit in between big periods of work.  During his last job search, we talked about this need of his and I asked him what he saw as he walked through the company’s offices during the interview day.  He said:  “office doors closed, no one mingling, no evidence of an internal social network”.  And then two days later he called me with the news that he accepted a job offer.  With the company that displayed the least fit with his style.  Of course there are times when you have no other options.  And you have to make a decision.  But be conscious of the position you accept.  And the environment it supports.

Second:

I’ve read articles before about finding friendships at work.  And I believe this is really important.  Especially for Gen Y and others who grew up with a requirement that works needs to be more than just work.  We want to have connections in life.  And as powerful as it is to have a strong Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter following, it’s not the same as having real people around you.  People you can friend within a few feet vs. a few states or countries.  So as you interview for jobs, try to meet as many people as you can during interview day.  Try to make eye contact and see whether people will smile back as you walk by.  That might tell you something.  So find companies that will support your need for real connections and interview them the same time they are asking questions of you.

Some of you are happy “just working” and are less concerned about finding a fit.  And in this economy, you might say you have to be just a little less picky.

At the same time companies are being “more picky”.  Because they can.

But, in reality, so can you.

Tim Tyrell-Smith is the creator of Tim’s Strategy. As a blogger, Tim has been a regular contributor to U.S. News and World Report, interviewed twice on NPR and is the author of two career books (“30 Ideas” and “HeadStrong”). Become a fan at http://facebook.com/TimsStrategy and follow on Twitter (@TimsStrategy). He lives with his wife and three kids in Mission Viejo, California.

Tim Tyrell-Smith – who has written posts on Tim's Strategy®.



Written by: Tim Tyrell-Smith
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  • http://surviveyourpromotion.com Katy

    Tim – nicely said! 8 (or 9, 10, or more) hours per day is too much time to spend being miserable in your work environment. The culture of your company has as much to do with your job satisfaction as your role. One of the best things about the work I do is that I get to see people grow and change and succeed. It took me a long time to figure out exactly what makes me motivated and happy but the result is well worth the soul searching!

    • http://www.timsstrategy.com Tim

      Thanks Katy – And appreciate the re-tweet as well! Sounds like you have found a happy place – congrats! It takes time and patience, but I am on my way as well . . .

  • http://surviveyourpromotion.com Katy

    Tim – nicely said! 8 (or 9, 10, or more) hours per day is too much time to spend being miserable in your work environment. The culture of your company has as much to do with your job satisfaction as your role. One of the best things about the work I do is that I get to see people grow and change and succeed. It took me a long time to figure out exactly what makes me motivated and happy but the result is well worth the soul searching!

    • http://www.timsstrategy.com Tim

      Thanks Katy – And appreciate the re-tweet as well! Sounds like you have found a happy place – congrats! It takes time and patience, but I am on my way as well . . .

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  • Erica

    Tim, I couldn’t agree more. I figured this out for myself the hard way. But, at least I figured it out. Now I am trying to find a company that does work I care about and respect. And, throw in that I also want to work at a place with nice people that I respect. Honestly, I don’t care much about what I am actually doing – working for a company I like with people I like are at the top of my list. Not an easy task at the moment, but I am trying! (Not much else I can do!)

    • http://www.timsstrategy.com Tim

      Hey Erica – Interesting to hear you say that. I think there is truth there for a lot of people. That a company doing the right things and driving a forward a mission that you support is just flat-out fun to work for, right? Not that you’d be happy scrubbing toilets, but just being around a hot company can keep you going! Once you have figured out the formula that works for you, don’t give up on finding it. Good luck!

  • Erica

    Tim, I couldn’t agree more. I figured this out for myself the hard way. But, at least I figured it out. Now I am trying to find a company that does work I care about and respect. And, throw in that I also want to work at a place with nice people that I respect. Honestly, I don’t care much about what I am actually doing – working for a company I like with people I like are at the top of my list. Not an easy task at the moment, but I am trying! (Not much else I can do!)

    • http://www.timsstrategy.com Tim

      Hey Erica – Interesting to hear you say that. I think there is truth there for a lot of people. That a company doing the right things and driving a forward a mission that you support is just flat-out fun to work for, right? Not that you’d be happy scrubbing toilets, but just being around a hot company can keep you going! Once you have figured out the formula that works for you, don’t give up on finding it. Good luck!

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