Happiness at Work, Maximizing your Psychological Capital for Success
Jessica Pryce Jones
Are you happy at work? If that sounds like a strange question, it was to me, too. In 25 years in the workplace, no one ever asked me if was happy at work. Did you meet deadline? Is your job fulfilling? Are you satisfied with your salary/professional development/resources? These were all common questions, but no, happiness was not an “issue.” In Happiness at Work, Maximizing your Psychological Capital for Success, author Jessica Pryce Jones tells us that happiness matters.
Being happy at work enables us—and our companies—to achieve more, earn more, interact better, be more creative, and be healthier. As Jones explains, these achievements are not what make us happy—the causal effect goes the other way. On some level we must know this; think back to the job you hated and the negative results of that hate.
The author brings together recent findings in such fields as organizational and economic behavior, psychology, linguistics, and anthropology to inform her research. She also presents case studies, often via sidebar anecdotes. This makes for easy reading and prompts an “I-know-that-guy” familiarity that helps bring her points to life. Her presentation also allows the reader to scan sections or read pieces at a time and still come away with something useful. She even offers web links so readers can take a quiz to assess their happiness, and offers to continue the relationship.
The Five Cs
According to Pryce-Jones, the keys to happiness at work are the 5Cs: contribution, conviction, culture, commitment, and confidence. She gives these terms a depth we may not previously acknowledge. Their interplay seems to reflect a journalistic who-what-when-where-why-how, yet how we and others move among these factors influences our happiness.
Linking Happiness and Productivity
What if I’m not happy at work, or not happy all the time? Jones acknowledges that life (work) has ups and downs, and we should not expect to be happy every single minute. Our happiness ebbs and flows and we appear along those ranges at different times. In fact, as your parents taught you to learn from your mistakes, this book helps you move from struggles to success. We can take responsibility for our happiness levels and learn to maneuver much more at work than we may have thought. We can become happy at work. She repeatedly makes clear the link between happiness and productivity.
Workers at any point in their career will find this a good read, and one that can provide cross-generational understanding. If, like me, happiness was never part of the equation at work for you, this book can help you achieve some balance. You have enough work history to have the “A-ha moments” while reading that can motivate you to make the adjustments that can give you the edge you’ve been seeking. Those new to the workforce can use the concepts to set goals and inform a career path. “Happiness” may broaden your understanding of the world of work and your older co-workers who come to those 5Cs from a different place. For managers, research pointing to the effects of happiness on productivity alone will prompt you to create a happy workplace. That, and the fountain of youthful energy that happiness promises.