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The intersection between career development and happiness

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On July 12, 2012, the United Nations made March 20 the International Day of Happiness to recognize the importance of happiness and well-being as universal goals and aspirations. Here are several resources that explore the intersection between happiness and career development.

Adaptability and Workplace Subjective Well-Being: The Effects of Meaning and Purpose on Young Workers in the Workplace (Canadian Journal of Career Development) [Paper]

This paper investigates the relationship between adaptability and meaning and purpose, and the role of adaptability in predicting workplace well-being for young workers (engagement, job satisfaction and work stress). Adaptability is shown as an important factor in well-being, and the results provide executives and career practitioners considerations to help young workers better adjust and be engaged in the workplace.

Authentic Happiness at Work: Self- and Peer-Rated Orientations to Happiness, Work Satisfaction, and Stress Coping (Frontiers in Psychology) [Research]

The authentic happiness theory covers three orientations to happiness. In the context of work, these are: pleasure or enjoyment with tasks, engagement with the work and striving toward doing something meaningful even if it is difficult. This research suggests having pleasure or finding enjoyment with the work is helpful for coping with work stress, while engagement and, to a lesser extent, pursuing something meaningful beyond oneself contribute to work satisfaction.

Does happiness promote career success (Journal of Career Assessment) [Research]

Psychology professors Julia K. Boehm and Sonja Lyubomirsky re-examine their 2008 paper where they argue that that happiness causes success. Along with researcher Lisa C. Walsh, they conclude that the evidence continues to suggest that happiness is correlated with and often precedes career success and that experimentally enhancing positive emotions leads to improved outcomes in the workplace.

Happiness at Work: A Psychological Perspective (Happiness and Wellness – Biopsychosocial and Anthropological Perspectives) [Book chapter]

This peer-reviewed chapter from a book series from open-access book publisher IntechOpen suggests that the definition of happiness is vague and deeply personal. However, it suggests that happiness at the workplace involves the concept of well-being. Finances, relationships and health also play an important part in workplace well-being.

Happiness at work and the Work-life balance: Theory and Benefits (Toolshero) [Article]

Along with exploring a definition or happiness at work, this piece also highlights organizational culture as an indicator, the aspect of salary, the importance of job security and career development, work life balance, and the benefits of happiness at work.

Happy Employees in the Evolving Workplace (Staples) [Webinar]

Dr. Gillian Mandich, a happiness researcher and the founder of The International Happiness Institute of Health Science Research, dives into the science behind happiness. For example, the way autonomy affects people’s outlook (at 04:56) and how small changes, such as practising gratitude (at 22:58), can make a big impact in one’s day-to-day life.

The Science of Career Happiness (Wholebeing Institute) [Blog]

Career development specialist Denise Riebman discusses the way positive psychology could be better integrated into career development to move clients away from a “should” mindset to imagining a career in which they flourish.

The Great Realization: Is Happiness at Work Possible? (Indeed) [Article]

In a 2021 Workplace Happiness Study, commissioned by Indeed and conducted by Forrester Consulting, nearly 44% of people believe expectations around work happiness have increased over the past five years. Furthermore, 97% of people felt that happiness at work is possible. This article explores the study’s results and discusses why happiness at work is possible, why you deserve it and what actually makes us happy at work.

Katrina Rozal Author
Katrina Rozal is a Communication Specialist. She has 10 years of combined experience in producing content for Canadian news media and the British non-profit sector.
Katrina Rozal Author
Katrina Rozal is a Communication Specialist. She has 10 years of combined experience in producing content for Canadian news media and the British non-profit sector.
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