Receiving a paycheck doesn’t necessarily equate to happiness.  Even if it is a hefty paycheck.  There are some people making millions of dollars a day and still are unhappy.

The money makes it a little more tolerable to live an unhappy life.  But why live “day in” and “day out” in unhappiness?

When you are choosing a job, what determines if you will choose one job over another?  All the research suggest that there are 4 key determining factors to a happy work life.

1.    Opportunity to Grow

No one likes the feeling of being “stuck.”  The fact of the matter is when we don’t grow, we are “stuck.”  In these situations, we need the opportunity to growth.

The reason why growth leads to happiness is because we feel more valuable when our skills are sharpened, when our knowledge has deepened, and when we are able to advance.

Someone that knows a little something about growth is one of the Founding Fathers of the United States Benjamin Franklin.  He was committed to growing his personal businesses, but more importantly he was determined to grow our country.  Franklin said, “Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.”

Do you have the opportunity to grow with your work?  If not, it’s time to look at your options?

2.    Company Culture

How is the culture with your organization?  We all have heard the old adage, “When bad apple spoils the whole bunch.”  From the top all the way down, anyone in any organization can influence the culture of a business.

Before joining a company, you should always seek to understand their culture.  I will go as far to say that you should research the culture of any business before you become a consumer.  The culture of an company can tell you a lot about the values and standards of an organization.

Indian American business executive Satya Nadella succeeded Steve Ballmer as the CEO of Microsoft.  One of his job responsibilities as a CEO was to set his company’s culture.  Nadella said, “Ultimately, what any company does when it is successful is merely a lagging indicator of its existing culture.”

3.    Compensation

It’s not shocking that most working Americans are unhappy with their paychecks.  Although money alone cannot bring about a happy work life, however it can with the combination of the other determining factors mentioned in this blog.

It is important to receive the appropriate compensation for your level of job responsibility.  If you are not receiving what you think is appropriate compensation, you have one of two options: 1) find a better paying job or 2) gear up to negotiate your compensation.

4.    Team-Oriented Managers and Coworkers

It’s never fun working with or for someone who doesn’t care.  Managers and coworkers dedicated to teamwork always will have better workplace productivity.  When people in any organization work together, they bounce ideas around and discover solutions to help business operations.  You never want to work with or for someone that thinks it is all about them.

The late American entrepreneur, businessman, inventor, and industrial designer Steve Jobs knew about the importance of teamwork.  He would not have been able to grow Apple without his focus on teamwork.  Jobs said, “Great things in business are never done by one person.  They’re done by a team of people.”

To enjoy a happy work life, let these 4 determining factors help with your decision-making.  Your career and overall well-being depends on your ability to have a happy work life.  My mother always told me, “If you do something you love, you will never work a day in your life.”  Don’t let work become just another downright miserable activity.

What areas need to be an area of focus for you?  Please leave a comment below, send me a tweet on Twitter, or leave a comment on Facebook.


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