The following is a report on research about the factors in play for people in their pursuit of happiness in their careers. The study is based on Joseph Campbell’s conceptualization, ‘Follow your Bliss’, and involved direct interviews of people already in successful careers. Some theorists have argued that work satisfaction depends on an ability to recognize and follow one's interests among other factors.
To achieve optimal performance in any career, one has to draw enjoyment from it. The factors causing this enjoyment differ depending on personality, bringing up and dreams. Many people are often misplaced and are in some careers for lack of better ones. Luck is also a force in play as far as satisfaction in a certain career is concerned. Everybody is usually seeking satisfaction in whichever careers they decide to pursue, but whether they achieve it or not is beyond them.
Satisfaction at work depends on among other things one’s interests and passion. If, for instance, one got psyched up when you were young that being a doctor is the only way out career wise and they internalized that, you develop a passion for a career in the medical world. Failure to achieve such a goal can lead to disillusionment because of the difficult of embracing anything outside that and lack of happiness in any other career. Passion for certain careers play a crucial role as far as happiness in one’s career is concerned.
The study conducted on eight individuals showed that those people who were happy in their careers demonstrated a dogged commitment to follow their interest, what they succeeded in and enjoyed. They also exhibited a breadth of personal competencies and strengths and worked in environments characterized by freedom, challenge, and meaning and positive work atmosphere. Six participants specifically appreciated the opportunity to learn new skills and techniques continually and acquire new information that allowed them to flourish professionally.
In this study, participants seemed to have followed their inherent talents and what they enjoyed doing and, therefore, meandered in their careers, rather than having chosen and stuck to a single career path. In addition, the participants spoke of a measure of luck in the progression of their careers.
Every individual expressed pride in the products or services with which he is associated. Seven out of the eight specifically expressed a commitment to a purpose larger than themselves, whether it was helping an individual achieve a personal goal, assisting customers in reaching their objectives, making the environment a safer one, or being part of a meaningful larger mission. For instance, a teacher might enjoy his job when he feels he is delivering and assisting students to achieve their dreams.
In addition, the participants unanimously spoke of the high level of challenge that their work offered. This challenge offered them a context in which to fully exercise their minds, their skills, and their creative potential in designing new solutions, in presenting new ideas, and implementing new approaches. All eight participants mentioned the stimulation afforded by the variety in their work, as well as the work environment itself. For example, the math professor described the context of her job. Other people, from the study, work squarely for the money. They do not enjoy the work they do at all. These are the people who will move from one career to the other within short periods just because they pay better.
Theorists have developed the notion that satisfaction at work depends on a congruency among one's personality, values and interests, and the characteristics of one's circumstances (Oleski & Subich, 1996). This refers to the ability to adjust according depending on the current situation. For instance, one can take up a lesser job as one awaits one of your dreams.
However, other research has demonstrated that concepts of interests and congruence were relevant but incomplete in their explanatory power. For example, Krumboltz, through the social learning theory of career decision making, encouraged an examination behind and beyond the veil of one's immediate interests and pursuits. He offered that the recognition and re-evaluation of the assumptions and beliefs we hold about ourselves and our perceived capabilities could facilitate more fulfilling career choices.
The results of this study suggest a mosaic of expressed determinants that influence happiness at work: A combination of personality strengths, work circumstances, and patterns of career development. These results are entirely consistent with currently postulated theories of happiness. However, the results also suggest more. Joseph Campbell's conceptualization of "follow your bliss" may offer a broader framework that embraces many existing theories of happiness but also leaves room for more discovery.
It is apparent from the study that happiness in a certain career is dependent on many factors ranging from personal interests to luck. The results of this study suggest a mosaic of expressed determinants that influence happiness at work: A combination of personality strengths, work circumstances, and patterns of career development. These results are entirely consistent with currently postulated theories of happiness. However, the results also suggest more. Joseph Campbell's conceptualization of "follow your bliss" offers a broader framework that embraces many existing theories of happiness but also leaves room for more discoveries.