Be Happy, Get Engaged With Your Work

smiling mechanic standing in garage workshop with professional equipmentWhy do we work? The no-brainer answer would be to earn a living. That is important. However, research points to money being far down on the list of reasons people are engaged with their work.

A Gallup poll of U.S. workers from Aug 2018 shows 34 percent are engaged in their job, happy and involved. That’s the highest percentage since 2000 when Gallup did the first poll. Thirteen percent are actively disengaged, or miserable, at their jobs. The remaining 53 percent are simply not engaged. So more than half of people are just “working for the weekend.”

What motivates someone who is engaged with their work?

“There comes a time when you ought to start doing what you want. Take a job that you love. You will jump out of bed in the morning. I think you are out of your mind if you keep taking jobs that you don’t like because you think it will look good on your resume. It’s a little like saving up sex for your old age.”Warren Buffett

According to Barry Schwartz, author of Why We Work, people who are engaged with their work are challenged by their work. They also feel in charge, see work as an opportunity for social engagement and find their work meaningful. Jobs can form part of our identity, present opportunities for personal growth and give us a sense of accomplishment.

That all sounds fantastic, but how do you find these jobs? I don’t think anyone has the simple answer to that. You can take all kinds of tests and quizzes to find out what kind of work you’re suited to. You can also volunteer and find an internships to give you a taste of what certain jobs are like.

Our Business and Career team is dedicated to helping you gather information to find the kind of work you want. We offer regular sessions to help with your resume, cover letters and interviews. TRIO is also at the library every Tuesday to help you explore career options.

Check out these resources on career happiness and motivation.

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Donna Casey

I work in Circulation as a senior library associate. I love mysteries, traveling, gardens and libraries. My favorite authors are Agatha Christie, Elizabeth Peters, Patricia Cornwell and Harlan Coben, but I enjoy any well-plotted mystery.