A guest blog by Sharon Walsh
Often, the process of looking for a job can be so stressful that the impulse becomes to take the first offer you get. Sometimes, that’s what needs to be done. However, it’s more prudent to shop around as much as you can. Find a place that cares about your happiness.
You’ll spend (and we’re not trying to depress you) over 2000 hours a year at work. Shouldn’t you enjoy at least some of them?
In this article, we take a look at how to find a career that focuses on your happiness.
Figure Out What Happiness at Work means to You
Do you like to keep your head down and push forward at work? Complete your tasks as quickly as possible, and try to focus on family, friends, and hobbies? You probably won’t enjoy a work environment that is constantly focused on team building and office socials.
And of course, the reverse is also true.
Jobs that are a complete personality match tend to be pretty rare. Still, you should go into your job hunt with a checklist in mind. Think about what workplace features are important to you, and then try to find a job that checks as many of your boxes as possible.
It’s worth pointing out that since the pandemic, many workers enjoy a little more flexibility than they did pre-Covid.
With the potential for remote work, many big companies actively encourage their staff to work from home. Though not for everyone, remote work has been shown to provide significantly more flexibility and better work-life balance.
If you are interested in finding work that will involve a flexible schedule, it’s easier to do now than ever before.
Pay Attention to Company Culture
Company culture as a concept has become somewhat watered down by public perception. Companies like Google take it to such extremes, providing their staff members with complimentary luxury services to improve their overall work experience.
The association has become so strong that many people now think free sushi, or drink cart Fridays as being synonymous with company culture.
That’s not quite right. Google’s company culture might involve lots of amenities (among other things) but Company X might have a much different approach. Their work environment may be deliberately competitive and fast-paced.
Company culture essentially describes what it feels like to work at a company. When the term is used in public discourse, it typically implies intention: the company has deliberately shaped its culture to provide a certain experience for its employees.
While this isn’t strictly true (every business has a culture, whether it’s aware of it or not) many companies do now make a deliberate effort to be purposeful in what sort of experience they provide their employees.
You can typically learn more about a business’s culture by looking at its website. They will probably speak directly about it somewhere on the website. The best way to learn more, however, is to speak with someone who works there. Speaking of which…
There are many reasons why this might not be possible. Perhaps you don’t know anyone that works at the company you are interested in, or you’re simply not comfortable asking probing questions. Nevertheless, the best way to find out how focused a business will be on your happiness is to find out more from an employee.
If you don’t know anyone who works at the company you are interested in, here are many online spaces that may be useful to you. For example, the job finding website Indeed features sections where interested parties can post a question and former or current employees will answer it.
Granted, it’s the internet so you’ll need to take the responses with a grain of salt, but the more information you can get, the better prepared you will ultimately be.
Most people don’t like interviews. They are scary. Stressful. But here’s the truth of it: the business isn’t just vetting you. You are also vetting them. True, they do have more leverage in this initial interaction, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t look out for your own interests.
Politely ask the person you are discussing what sort of employee wellness initiatives they have going on. And don’t worry. It won’t come across as rude. They will probably be glad you asked. Businesses are paying lots of money for employee health and wellness programs. They’ll be glad to discuss them.