10 Ways to Be Happy at the Workplace

| 6 min read

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post asking you to share with me what you feel you need in a job or career to make you happy. This was inspired by an image that represents a simple formula for career happiness.

While this formula is a great reminder for all of us to find work that fulfills us, it’s not always so easy. So I wanted to get your thoughts on what you specifically want and need for careerhappiness.

The list below is a curation of your comments from my previous post, and I have to say, I think you all are brilliant and made excellent points — I wish I could have included every voice!

So in your words, here are some of the things you need in a job or career to make you happy:

1. I need to like what I do

“Do I like what I do, am I good at it, do others respect me for it? Do I find purpose in it, and can I have fun along the way?” – Donna Micklich

“I want to be doing something which I care about, which I have a passion for, which gets me out of bed in the morning because I feel good about what I am going to be doing to earn my living.” – Jenny Mullinder

“Do something that drives your interest and passion. Once you find it, continue to grow and learn from it that way you will be happy and have some sense of self-fulfillment.” – Maricris Braganza

2. I need to be in control of my schedule

“Prior to starting my first company, I worked at a job in a warehouse for 12 hours a day, 6 days a week. The only thing worse than the work was that I had zero control over my schedule. I’ll never allow anything close to that again. These days, I control 100% of my schedule.” – Joshua Jordison

“I’d like flexible scheduling. I’ve always been more productive later in the day. Mornings are not my thing. Also the ability to work from home 1-2 days a week.” – Jennifer Podvin

“For me one of the big things to my career happiness is being able to have a work-life balance.” – Cassidy Quinn Brettler

3. I need to respect the leadership team

“It is important to be working with a leadership team that you respect, trust and who inspires you. Settling for less puts limits on yourself and the organization.” – Jennifer Evans

“I think it is important that a company asks for feedback from its employees, and that the employees feel comfortable enough to give this feedback. If the company is willing to listen, I think many of the employees’ needs and wants will be granted, within reason.” – Maura Burns

4. I need to always be learning on the job

“Doing something that provides no challenge with people from whom I can learn nothing makes me unhappy.” – Tanarra Schneider

“Is there intellectual fulfillment in my day-to-day? Are both the left and right sides of my brain being exercised to my satisfaction?” – Emily Shanoff Andrews

“It is important to continue challenging ourselves. Sometimes our craving for something new and unknown is what keeps us from feeling happy with what we have.” – Shannon Houde

5. I need to find a job that aligns with my strengths

“Pay close attention to the elements of work you are drawn to over time; for example, managing others, writing, or process development. Watch for organizational changes (growth, structure, process) that throw you off course. These can lead to mismatches.” – Dr. Marla Gottschalk

“The formula I use includes matching what you are good at (strengths) to passions/motivations. This will help you identify the right type of work or job. Then, it’s important to match your values to the values and environment of the company. Matching only to strengths won’t work.” – Lisa McAbee

6. I need a company that supports employee growth

“The main things I look for in a company – that they believe in me and will support my growth and creative process. “ – Carmela Kate French

“It only takes a few people in an organization who are passionate about their work and the people they are entrusted to develop to make a difference.” – Michael Clancy

7. I need a workplace with “good culture.”

“I personally have never met anyone that wakes up excited EVERY-day for work. It’s work if it was supposed to be fun it would be called super happy fun time. Being in a quality environment really helps.” – Jason Taylor

“Great colleagues!!! They can turn a crappy job into a job that’s fun to go to.” – Ashleigh Elson

8. I need a job that compensates me fairly

“Having a healthy bank account provides more formulas of success than anyone could possibly imagine.” – Jeff Miller

“Salary is primary – it allows one to breathe a little easier outside of work. Further beneftis aresecondary, and they can be accommodated with the right monetary compensation.” – Zara Bartels

9. I need to feel valued

“I am not at work just to receive a pay check, I take pride in my work. Management’s efforts toacknowledge that, recognizing me as a valuable contributor, makes all the difference.” – Kristen Hudy

“Do those I work for acknowledge me as a human being, or am I just a cog? Does my boss realize I exist, or does he/she just thrown things at me to do without a word?” – Elizabeth Hamilton

“Part of what makes me happy is having people who are either in a superior position or in a different position of the company than myself who actually listen to and respect the contributions made by others. “ – Katie Uruhart

10. I need to feel like I’m making a difference in the world

“I want to do things that really matters and positively influence someones life (and I want to be able clearly identify this someone).” – Agnieszka Dadura

“What I do has to make a positive and substantial contribution to something bigger (could be as simple as seeing the connection between selling a product to improve people’s lives and improve the company’s bottom line).” – Jackie Cote

Now tell me: What’s most important to you on this list? Or is there another point you would add? Let’s continue this conversation in the comments!



Pete Cashmore – Founder of Mashable

Jide Otoki