Working Your Way to Happiness
Marty kills rats... but if you asked him what his job is he’d say it was "solving problems" and “helping people.” How we view our work can contribute greatly to our daily levels of happiness — far more than money or status.
Dr. Laurie Santos examines how we all came to ignore the importance of job satisfaction and hears from Professor Amy Wrzesniewski about "job crafting" - the reframing skill that happy people like Marty use to see their careers as more than just a way to make money.
To learn more. . .
Links to references from this episode:
“According to a recent Gallup poll from 2018, only about a third of American workers report feeling really engaged with their jobs.”
“Take one Linkedin Survey from 2014.”
“Consider the results of one study, which has surveyed the values of incoming college freshman for the last half century.”
Stolzenberg, E. B., Eagan, M. K., Romo, E., Tamargo, E. J., Aragon, M. C., Luedke, M., & Kang, N. (2019). The American Freshman: National Norms Fall 2018. Los Angeles: Higher Education Research Institute, UCLA.
“But if you earn $100,000 a year, doubling or even tripling that won’t have any effect on your emotions or stress-levels.”
“But they soon end up experiencing what’s come to be known as the golden handcuffs”
“ The people who have these presitgious jobs have suicide rates that are one and a half times those of the average population”
“Back in the 1700s, a famous Scottish philosopher visited an innovative manufacturing operation: a pin factory”
“BF Skinner, who at the time was probably the most famous and most influential living psychologist.”
“Workers prefer jobs that allow for meaning and independence and creativity. And employers should prefer those jobs too, since that ultimately helps their bottom line.”
“Research back in the 1980s had shown that people tend to take one of three orientations towards their work: they either think of it as a job, a career, or a calling.”
“But Amy did something different - she studied how positive work orientations develop in seemingly not-so-great jobs.”
“Amy calls this technique job crafting — the act of redesigning the specific work you do to match your personal strengths and values and thus amplify the sense of meaning you get from your job.”