appiness and productivity play well together. It's like peanut butter and jelly, Keenan and Kel, Bonnie and Clyde, Ying and Yang....you understand my drift. You can't have one without the other. I remember coming into work 2 hours early because of the pure excitement of the opportunity. I also remember when the honeymoon phase wore off and I started to dread the idea of going to work. Everything went from putting in extra hours to being the first to say no to overtime. I remember counting down the clock being sure to put in 8 hours and nothing more. How did I go from having that go-getter mentality to just being a "regular" employee?
Happiness is more than just excitement, contentment, or fun. You can think your job is exciting or fun, but you may not be happy. My meaning of happiness is having fulfillment. You find fulfillment through the experiences you engage in. According to the human lifespan, we have approximately 28,000 days (75 years) on this earth and 11,000 (30 years) of those days are spent working. Each of those days come with its share of experiences, and we must experience wisely.
While on the job, I felt as though my experiences were not meaningful. My level of happiness outweighed that drive I once had. I felt like my experiences were more harmful than good. My current position failed to push me toward the path of success I've envisioned (We all have our definition of success). It is your experiences that matter most to your happiness at work and in life. Feeling as though you're just another stop on an assembly line isn't a great feeling to have at a company you once loved. Life is too short to spend at a job that doesn't make you smile, challenge your intellect, or offer opportunities for both personal or professional growth.
Experiences are not the only piece to this happiness formula. Having meaningful relationships play a huge role in shaping that environment I mentioned early. Disengaged unhappy leaders or employees aren't any fun to work with. Their emotions and mindset impact everyone else's mood and performance tremendously. Science shows clear neurological links between feelings, thoughts, and actions. When we are in the grips of strong negative emotions, it's like having blinders on. We focus mostly--sometimes only--on the source of the pain. We don't consider the racist or discriminating comments we let "slip" out of our mouths or the negativity we spread. We don't think about the gossip we spend hours talking about that may or may not get back to the person we're mentioning. We don't think about anything but ourselves in those moments. These are ingredients of a toxic environment. As someone new to the tech field, I believe that I needed more from the work experiences I'm involved in. It was time to create an exit plan. I needed more, and I will find more!
One can never consent to creep when one feels the impulse to soar. - Helen Keller
If you're not happy at work, there are a few things you can do. You can evaluate what you don't like. Speak to your boss or leader about the issues and give them ways you think it can be resolved. For me, I am a lot more productive when I'm working on projects or task that highlight my strengths. Another solution is to find areas outside of work that makes you happy. I focus on building my brand, my Facebook groups and hosting local meetups. The last solution is to find a new job where you can be happy. Your happiness is the main priority. It is your life and you are the captain of that ship.
To diversify my learning, I usually find games to play to stimulate my mind. I am lucky that there are web design games that I can play to help me train my design eye.