PROFESSIONAL JOY?

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Happiness is not a station you arrive at, but a method of traveling. 

 Margaret Lee Runbeck

Quite some time ago, on my first job ever, I was a cashier at a neighborhood grocery. In addition to ringing through the various items, I was bright, happy and chatty with the customers – maybe too much so, but I was 16 after all. My parents came through one evening and my father told me that I was having too much fun, that work is not supposed to be fun. With the cheekiness of a teenager, I told him that life is about having fun and if I couldn’t have fun at one place, I would find another place to work. This comment irritated Dad for quite some time.

Basically, I believe this even today, although now I would say that it is more about experiencing  joy in what we do rather than having fun. How do you find joy in your work day? Is it about job satisfaction; or creativity and innovation or maybe it is just about receiving the check at the end of the week?

Rosabeth Moss Kanter, professor at Harvard’s Business School,  wrote about the top ten ways to find joy at work. It seems to me that it is about bringing the real you fully into the workplace. Know your purpose, bring your ideas, share them with others, own a part of the company you work for, even if it is just one project that is your own. Maybe above all it is in being fully present, communicating with others and staying positive. Encouraging joy in the workplace instills a greater commitment from the employees, greater motivation and  co-operation as well as reducing stress and lowering the frequency of work related illness

There is real power in the positive. In Dr. Christiane Northrup’s CD The Power of Joy, she talks about the benefits of chosing joy – to help optimize emotional and physical health, to increase life satisfaction and to just plain have fun.

When working with my coaching clients on both personal and professional issues, I encourage them to be aware of what brings them joy. This is also true when making a difficult decision. When thinking through your options, feel into them. The choice that brings the energizing feeling of joy, will often be the ONE. Chosing joy energizes our lives: the choice is yours.

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