On happiness and loving your job in 2015

I thoroughly enjoyed watching Guardians of the Galaxy over the holidays. As I watched the opening sequence with Peter Quill stealing the orb (we may have to devote a separate post to fun opening sequences in movies), I remember saying to myself “now that’s a job anyone would love!”

While Hollywood may showcase cool, fun jobs, American work culture famously celebrates the ability to divorce feelings from work – it’s one of the biggest dichotomies of our time. Remember Michael in The Godfather saying –

It’s not personal, Sonny. It’s strictly business.

And how well has this served us? According to Gallup, 70% of American workers are not engaged at work, costing the country $450-550 billion each year in lost productivity.

In fact, work is personal. Happiness and meaningful relationships at work are important for innovation and productivity at work and long term career growth. Engaged and happy employees are also healthier and less vulnerable to heart attack, stress and burnout. There is substantial research that links being happier in a job to doing better in the job.

See where I’m going with this? If you’re not “engaged” in your current job, it’s time to get a new one.

Are you happy at work?

It’s been established here that I’m a BIG proponent of happiness at work. My co-founder, Max wrote this really great post about what makes us happy at work. Hygiene Factors are basics that every employee must have – if Maslow had a Hierarchy of Needs for work, these factors would be it and include compensation, quality of management, working conditions and work/life balance. While these don’t necessarily act as motivators at work, not having them can be a major demotivator. Most jobs have these but if your current job doesn’t, the writing is on the wall. Start looking. 

Then there are the real Motivating Factors that actively promote happiness at work.  These include the juicy stuff – sense of personal achievement, recognition, stimulating work, promotion and growth. If you’re not happy at work, give some thought to what motivates you, then start looking for very specific jobs that meet your criteria.

In 2015, find a job that does make you happy. Deliriously so.  

Here at untapt, we’re preoccupied with this idea of being happy at work. We actively seek to determine how happy you are in your current job and the factors that contribute to your happiness, so that we can match you to the right jobs for you.

what do you love the most

In fact, we believe in the Happiness Quotient (at work) so much that we have designed the entire platform with it in mind:

  • We actively seek to partner with only the top banks, hedge funds and FinTech startups – the idea being that these will yield stimulating work and lots of opportunity for growth.
  • We identify what factors contribute to your happiness at work, and notify you of jobs that match that criteria.
  • We also do everything we can to minimize friction during the job search – candidates who sign up on untapt (we call you ‘members’) don’t have to work through recruiters, you interact directly with the hiring managers at these companies. Plus many of these jobs are posted exclusively on untapt, so members get a headstart on untapt.

As we kick off 2015, let’s take some time to think about what fires us up professionally. As engineers, our creativity is fired by a stimulating environment and yes, we are often very invested in projects. Work is deeply personal to many of us and often bleeds into personal time. And so, just like in our personal lives, we deserve to be happy at work. Everyone deserves to be happy at work. Let’s make it happen this year.

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Ed is co-founder and CEO of untapt. A FinTech veteran and an Oxford alum, Ed was previously MD at JPMorgan and has held technology positions at IBM and various startups. Coder by day, Ed leads a double life as DJ after work. And if you happen to run into him, ask him how much he loves Seamless (hint: a lot).