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Rate Your Job on the "Happiness Scale"

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"Positive psychology" looks at the aspects of life that contribute to our well-being and happiness. Since most of us spend a large percentage of our waking hours at work, your job has a large impact on the way you feel about your life. To see if your job measures up, rate it on the "happiness scale" below, which includes the factors that positive psychologists cite as important.

4 = Usually        3 = Sometimes         2 = Seldom        1 = Never

Does your job . . .

  •   Create Positive Emotions?
    Think about the way you feel when you are at work. Do you usually experience positive feelings (satisfaction, contentment, pleasure, etc.) rather than negative ones (anger, frustration, irritation, etc.)?

  •   Use Your Strengths?
    People generally prefer work that allows them to be their "best self". Does your job take advantage of your natural skills and abilities, whatever they may be?

  • ♦  Fully Engage Your Attention?
    When we are fully engrossed in what we're doing, time seems to fly. But when we're bored, it slows to a crawl. When you're at work, do you get so involved in your tasks that the hours pass quickly?

  •   Provide Rewarding Relationships?
    We often spend more time with our coworkers than with our friends. Do you enjoy working with your colleagues and look forward to seeing them?

  • ♦  Offer Interesting Challenges?
    People vary in the amount of novelty they prefer, but no one wants to be bored. Does your work provide you with creative opportunities, complex problems, or challenging tasks?

  •   Give You a Sense of Purpose?
    Even though most of us are not saving lives or inventing new technologies, we need to feel that we are making a positive contribution. Do you believe that your work produces positive results that are valued by others?

21-24     =     Keep that job!
18-21     =     Appreciate the positives
13-18     =     Assess your options
6-12       =     Start looking elsewhere

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