Last week I wrote the post “The 5 elements of Well-being” about the importance of having a happy life and how it depends on the satisfaction level of 5 elements: career well-being, social well-being, financial well-being, physical well-being and community well-being. Today I’ll focus on career well-being, as one of my favorite topics.
Do you like what you do each day? Are you happy in your professional life? Gallup research show that only 20% of people can give a strong “yes” to than question. Most people spend most of their waking hours doing a professional activity: some people call it career, occupation, vocation or job. Whatever you do each day shapes your identity and influence the level of your well-being. But unfortunately, people underestimate the influence of their professional life on their overall well-being. Research has showed that career well-being is arguably the most important of the five elements. According to Gallup research “if you don’t have the opportunity to regularly do something you enjoy, the odds of your having high well-being in other areas diminish rapidly”. People with high levels of satisfaction in their professional life are more than twice as likely to be thriving in their lives overall.
More than two-thirds of workers around the world are not satisfied at work. They do a job they don’t love, and they are disengaged at work. On the other side, engaged workers (around 15% of professionals in the world) enjoy their professional activity and have similar happiness on working and nonworking days while disengaged workers have totally different levels of happiness when working days or not. People who thrive in their professional arena love their work so much that it is closely aligned with their personal lives.
Having a low level of career well-being is also very negative for the health. Increasing the career well-being can reduce the risk of anxiety and depression and can also reduce the levels of cholesterol and triglycerides. Boosting your professional well-being by doing something you like and finding a job where you are engaged can lead you to great improvements in your health.
And having the right boss is also crucial in determining the level of satisfaction in the professional activity. Disengaged workers say that the worst time of the day is the time they spend with their boss. Having a good boss, a good manager can improve significantly your career well-being and in consequence your physical well-being. The most disengaged workers are those who have a manager who doesn’t pay attention to them (if the manager ignores you there is 40% chance that you will be disengaged at work). If the manager is at least paying attention the chance of being disengages at works reduces to 22%. But if your manager is focusing on your strengths the chance of your being actively disengaged is just 1%. Unfortunately, most professionals cannot choose their boss. It is said that when an employee leaves the company, he/she doesn’t leave the company but the boss. Having the right boss is essential, not only for career well-being but also for health and overall happiness.
For having satisfaction at work, one of the best recommendations is getting the opportunity to use your strengths every day. People who have this opportunity are 6 times as likely to be engaged in their jobs and more than 3 times as likely to report having an excellent quality of life.
Summarizing, having a good level of career well-being will be very important for your happiness and for your health. Professional well-being depends basically on doing something you love and having a good boss. If you can meet these 2 criteria you will be happier and healthier.
Remember Confucius quote “Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life”.
The book Well-being – the five essential elements.
Gallup Studies on Employee Engagement