Happiness: the state of well being characterized by emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy.
I’ve been thinking a lot about money lately. Bills and student loans are always lurking somewhere in the back of my mind, but at the moment I feel more pressure than ever. I now live with a roommate who unfortunately has the tendency to have some pretty unstable jobs. So I’m constantly wondering if she’ll be able to make rent next month and how bad an eviction would look on my credit. Voicing my concerns to a friend, she suggested, “find a job that pays more” so that my money problems would show up less frequently, but I looked at her like she was crazy. Sure, who doesn’t want to get paid more? No one thinks, ‘please don’t give me a raise’, but isn’t there more to life than money? Does job satisfaction and happiness trump a bigger paycheck? Does your state of happiness matter more than money?
Waking up every day with a smile on my face matters more than money.
Do I still hate my alarm clock? Yes. But do I roll over and play ‘Magic 8 ball, should I call in sick today or not?’ No, I don’t. Walking into my office puts a smile on my face. My boss, my co-workers, my messy desk and my ability to walk to the kitchen and grab my complimentary breakfast soda if I wish, puts a big smile on my face. I’m happy at my office because I have responsibilities and people count on me. When I’m gone, my absence is noticed. Plus, I’m happy being in an environment that feeds my creativity. My desk looks like a teenager’s bedroom and my office is tiny but we have decorated the walls with our favorite movie posters and quotes.
Experiences matter more than money.
I’m blessed with exciting experiences on a daily basis – such as traveling to Las Vegas for a trade show, or San Diego for a corporate golf tournament. From errands (driving a Porsche to the car wash) to writing blogs that get read by thousands of people, these experiences entice new feelings of joy, responsibility, pride and accountability that other positions simply haven’t given me. I once read an article about how couples who spend money on creating experiences together instead of buying materialistic items tend to be happier and last longer than those who choose to shower each other with extravagant presents. This makes sense to me. Sure, my job isn’t my boyfriend but it’s the closest thing at the moment and I’d say I’m pretty happy with my experiences so far.
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Working WITH your manager, not FOR your manager matters more than money.
When I started at TheBestIRS, my position was a temporary one and my boss wasn’t sure she’d be able to sell my job as a necessity to the big guys. Luckily, we proved my worth and over time my boss and I developed a great working relationship. I never feel like I’m working FOR her but rather WITH her. It makes me smile when we work as a team on marketing campaigns to better our company. I know I wouldn’t find another boss like her and my happiness makes me realize what I truly have here. Everyone seems to envy the fact that I enjoy working with my boss. Am I the exception to the rule?
When my friend suggested I job search for a higher paying job, my immediate reaction was “absolutely not!” but now I realize she doesn’t understand my reasons. Sometimes it’s hard to explain to your family and friends when you’re truly happy in your career. Trust me, I never thought I’d wake up smiling to go to work or describe my job as one that makes me happy. Yes, we all hope to one day find a career that we excel in rather than one we dread, but when it happens to you, making others realize it’s not a just a myth seems to be the bigger challenge.
What about you? Do you think I’m crazy and that happiness doesn’t have anything to do with your career?