This article was originally published on the Hppy Blog.
We know for a fact that today’s workplace has fundamentally changed from what our parents believed it to be. The achievement of getting a job is no longer an end goal, but merely a stopping point, out of many others. And being happy at work is key to a fulfilling professional life.
I recently read this article about Millennials having an average of 25 different jobs over their lifetime. Yes, a job may not be forever, but planning ahead has not lost its value. Where you are today defines where you’ll be tomorrow. But more importantly, how you feel today determines how you’re going to feel in the future. Which brings us to the question at hand: Will you be happy at work 3 years from now?
Here are some hints that point towards a positive answer:
- You wake up every morning with an excitement feeling about going to work, finishing or starting a new project or meeting people.
- The last couple of years sum up a good number of achievements and moments you are fond of.
- Your family and friends know that you enjoy what you do and support your career.
- You can’t remember all the problems and obstacles you faced over the last few years, except for really important ones. And even those make you feel proud to have overcome them.
- There are so many things you still have to do and learn.
- Your team is more than the people you work with, they are your second family and you trust them.
- If you had the chance to go back and change something you wouldn’t take it. Because you know that all of your decisions led you to who you are today.
- You feel like giving back and teaching a new generation.
The truth is, happiness can be planned just like any business KPI. Like Lincoln said, most people are as happy as they make up their minds to be.
You can put those behaviors in a Gantt chart and monitor them but an even better way to handle this would be to be grateful and appreciate your success, be present and connect with your team and follow your purpose.
Rate the above checkpoints from 1-5, then sum up all the points and get a total between 8 and 40. If you scored a total of 30 to 40 points you’re on track to making your future self happy.
If you scored below 30 but over 20 points you should consider which of those behaviors don’t really speak out to you and why. Set an objective for the next month to work on at least one of them.
If you scored below 10, don’t worry, it doesn’t mean you’ll be unhappy. But it does require more introspection on your part and an action plan, to drive your professional evolution towards your happiness.