If the Stones couldn’t find any satisfaction, is there any hope for the rest of us?

“I can’t get no … SATISFACTION!”

“I’ve tried, and I’ve tried.” Sound about right? Hold on. If you can bypass the initial sneer and ask yourself, “What makes me feel good and satisfied at work? What gives me a sense of accomplishment?” you might just find it isn’t so impossible.

Pleasure, enjoyment, fulfillment, gratification, happiness — call it what you want, but understand that it’s not promised to you or written in your contract. It’s a result of something YOU create. For instance:

I may not find any excitement in hauling wheel barrels of mulch, but I might be filled with a great sense of accomplishment when seeing the job complete.

I may not be happy entering data all day, but I might find it satisfying when I’m able to help out my cube partner.

I may not feel inclined to work on a specific project, but I might feel pretty good when someone recognizes me for the work I’ve done.

Pleasure, enjoyment, fulfillment, gratification, happiness — call it what you want, but understand that it’s not promised to you or written in your contract. It’s a result of somethingYOU create.

Feeling any sense of gratification at work was never guaranteed to us, so in order to get it we have to do something, and we have to make the first move. We can find it in the outcome of appreciation when receiving compliments, accolades, rewards, promotions and/or pay raises. We can create it through producing a healthy work environment by designing a well-oiled machine. We can feel it through achievement when realizing we met our quota or finding out we just hit record sales. Check out what Guy Kawasaki had to say in the Huffington Post piece, “Warning: Your Workplace Can Improve by Adding Joy. Yes, I said Joy.” Surely he’s as credible a source as the Stones, right?

Although the word joy might not be your word of choice, it shares the same genre. Joy is a soulful, satisfying pleasure — but how can joy, or any other emotion, be expressed and do we dare express it at work?

Joy has an internal magnetic pull and it’s infectious when revealed. The emotion can be overwhelming; tearfully for women and painfully awkward for most men. When it is expressed, however, it demonstrates to others that happiness and contentment exists. Is this a weakness? Not if we want to create a thriving workplace, not if we want to ensure employee engagement and future growth of the organization, not if we want to experience an increase in motivation and momentum.

Shawn Murphy, on Switch & Shift; The Human Side of Business, put it remarkably well:

If there is, however, a lesson folded into these ambiguous times, it’s that conventional management and leadership wisdom is on a wobbly foundation. What got us here will not be enough to get us to the next level….Joy is an outcome of doing something that makes you happy. Joy is contagious. It has a force of energy that moves people forward with optimism.

What brings you satisfaction, enjoyment, and/or a sense of fulfillment may be something completely different from what someone else needs in order to feel the say way. No one is trying to tell you what to feel, just that it’s okay and even beneficial to express what makes you enjoy your job. Not only will you be happier, your team will, too.

Satisfaction can be found at work–and more importantly, satisfaction isn’t something given to you, it is something that has to be found, by you.

Three quick suggestions:

Take the time to appreciate those little things that make you happy. Usually, we’re all too quick to notice the bad things that happen and we ignore those that are good and praiseworthy.

Make friends with co-workers and/or go out to lunch with one of them. Make the day enjoyable because you have the power to do so.

You joined the company for a reason; chances are you liked the culture or it gave you an opportunity you wanted, so don’t let your “why” escape you as you continue to grow with the organization.

Photo: Flickr/ankakay

Originally published at The Good Men Project.


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