I am currently reading a book by Tom Rath and Jim Harter of Gallup (organization that brought you StrengthsQuest) called Well Being: The Five Essential Elements. I’m only through the first element right now (career well-being, hence the topic of today’s post) and I am just fascinated by this research! So as my inboxes are growing bigger and bigger by the second, I figured I would share with YOU their research and findings that quite frankly shocked me!
The topic/idea of career wellbeing can be started off by asking yourself, “Do you like what you do each day?” Seeing as this is the company that brought you StrengthsQuest, they are obviously giving research and findings that when you do something you love every day (whether it is work, volunteering, running a blog…), you are more likely to be happy, in general, with your life because you are playing to your strengths and using your strengths. “You don’t need to earn a paycheck to have thriving Career Wellbeing. But you do need to find something that you enjoy doing-and have an opportunity to do it every day.” (pg. 18)
Ok, cool. Thanks for sharing Vanessa. But wait there’s more (is this an infomercial? Is Billy Mays going to sell all of this to you for the low, low price of $19.99?).
Career wellbeing (wellness) is one of the most important factors in your life. Did you know that you are more likely to have a heart attack on a Monday (according to them, I haven’t done more medical research to determine if that is fact). But according to these guys, workers that are disengaged in their work, work for the weekend. And the transition from Sunday (weekend) to Monday (weekday) can be so rough and stressful for these disengaged employees, that they are more susceptible to having a heart attack.
If the heart attack wasn’t scary enough, employees who are miserable in their jobs have higher rates of being diagnosed with anxiety and depression (any body else just flashback to that episode of The Office…no just me? Ok, continuing on). Being disengaged in your work has also shown to produce changes in cholesterol and triglyceride levels suggesting that not only does being disengaged lead to a higher risk of heart attackes, affect your mental wellbeing but it also can affect your physical wellbeing.
Jeeze! So what’s a person to DO?
First off, we have lived in a society that kind of encourages a negative stigma about work. So, if you (drumroll please) reframe your thinking about work and make it positive as opposed to negative, you are taking a big step forward (a hard step, but a step!). Another thing you can do is make sure you are using your strengths not just a few times here and there, but every single day. Every day, make sure you are doing something that you are strong in. It is going to greatly increase your engagement in your work. And if you are more engaged in your work all of that nasty stuff is less likely to happen. And lastly, have fun at work.
This is a picture of a dress up day we had at work this year. We dressed up as what we wanted to be as little kids when we grew up.
What are a few things YOU can do next week to be more engaged in your work?