Are/were you happy at your job?

StrongCoffee Member Posts: 122
I mean literally happy, as in smiling while you work. Not as in work makes you feel happy because it's rewarding/fulfilling etc.

I'm looking at a career change and trying to look outside the box for ideas where I can feel positive and happy at work.


  • Afraser
    Afraser Member Posts: 4,107
    A pleasant and sociable workplace is certainly enjoyable but as someone who retired relatively recently (at 75) work that I felt had some meaning and significance was important. As a manager, I learned quite early that happiness depends to a very large degree on the individual rather than the job. When you know what makes you happy, you’ll find the job or even bring your happiness to a job that needs it. Best wishes. 
  • Cath62
    Cath62 Member Posts: 1,016
    edited May 2022
    Hi @StrongCoffee, I am not convinced that it's the job that makes people happy. For me happiness is an inside job. I am not of the view that things, jobs, other people etc make me happy. I had to find my own happiness from within myself. For me happiness is peace, happiness is my morning coffee, being with people I love and doing things I love to do. Maybe think about what you enjoy and the type of environment you would like to work in, one that supports what you want our of life. I think most people want supportive managers and teams to work in and we all have to work in jobs where we have the skills to do the job. What skill set do you have? I saw a post on here the other day with a qualified coach wanting to help people get back to work. Maybe this coach is something you could try. I did work with a coach years ago and it was fabulous. I don't know how to tag it but this was the title

    ' wanting to give back to BCNA community- helping with return to work/interviewing tips/resumes'
  • StrongCoffee
    StrongCoffee Member Posts: 122
    @Afraser and @Cath62 for your replies.

    I have worked a variety of careers and workplaces, and agree that the team you work with makes a HUGE difference. I also agree that happiness comes from within.

    I guess my thinking is because I've found with feeling happy (day to day) I can "fake it 'til you make it" by setting about my day with a smile for anyone I see and in no time I'm feeling happy.

    I've been a teacher for over a decade and find this works here as well. On my days where my energy is lowest, I pep myself up telling myself that I AM going to have a good day, face the world with a smile and I usually feel pretty good all day.

    It's just this year I have a grade that has a cluster of students who are not responding to my usual style of behaviour management (positive reinforcement, authoritative, personal responsibility) and appear to only respond to an authoritarian style - strict with constant reprimands for every little thing, otherwise they run amok. So I'm spending WAY too much of my work day with a scowl on my face and I think it's having a really negative impact on my mood overall.

    I'm sure the impact is worse right now because I've been a bit "over" teaching for a few years already and just hanging in there. (By making it fun, enjoying my days with the kids, etc) Plus my cancer diagnosis last year really has me analysing how I spend my time.

    I have a very broad skillset and am a particularly fast learner. I enjoy a lot of things. All of which has always meant I find it hard to narrow down. Hence looking outside the box!
  • Cath62
    Cath62 Member Posts: 1,016
    Hi again @[email protected], sounds like you have great skills but really sick of teaching  and faking it for awhile.

    I can relate. I had a great career but the last few years I really was pushing uphill. I was not happy in my work and the stress was intense. I had an executive job. I also had a very sick father and son. Everything collided at the same time and I crashed and within months I had breast cancer. 

    I stayed in my job way too long  hanging in there and faking it! I did it because of trying to get my superannuation at a point where I could retire. I pushed myself way too hard at work and in my life generally. 

    On reflection I probably didn't need to do that. I am very happy in my retirement now and glad I have my superannuation to fund my life.

     I think it takes courage to change. I guess if you know that the teaching is not for you anymore and are open to other jobs you will have to start looking at what's around and focus on skills employers need. If you teach in public schools maybe you could work somewhere in public service as you may be able to transfer all your entitlements.

     There are those that teach English to migrants who find that rewarding. There are trainer jobs too in public service, take etc so that could be an option. Talking it through with a coach like the BCNA member is offering may help to find what you are really wanting. I guess it is about finding your passion and working in that area. Going in a new direction takes risk  courage and determination. Good luck. Hope you find what you are looking for. 
  • Afraser
    Afraser Member Posts: 4,107
    It’s not at all unusual for a cancer diagnosis to result in some ‘is this all there is?’ thinking. And if you have been challenged by the behaviour of others, even more so. I found a few weeks with a really good professional career counsellor invaluable at one point in my working life - having a disinterested other to tease out what mattered, and what didn’t helped immensely. I then made a big change which I never regretted and led to many opportunities. Best wishes. 
  • FLClover
    FLClover Member Posts: 1,485
    Hello. I was a teacher for ESL for 13 years. I loved my job, but just didn’t have the energy towards the end to keep faking it. As a teacher, you’re always in the spotlight and have to smile no matter what’s happening in your life. I’m so thankful I’d already quit teaching when I was diagnosed. Would not have been able to easily fake that happiness, and don’t believe I should’ve had to. It literally zaps all your energy and leaves you empty. I’m happy to do a bit of tutoring now, but wouldn’t go back to full time, or even part time teaching under any circumstances. I’m looking for a career change from hopefully next year, as I’m still under a medial certificate currently. 
    Good luck, I hope you find the right workplace 🤞🍀💜. 
  • Zoffiel
    Zoffiel Member Posts: 3,364
    I've got what the younger generation call 'Resting bitch face'.  It's gotten worse over the years -- deep concentration makes my whole dial twist into a totally unapproachable gurn.
    The people who get me, love me. The others  have been overheard making jokes about witches.
    . I made a career change to my current happy space, away from the Stepford wives, during COVID. You can do it if you really want to
  • StrongCoffee
    StrongCoffee Member Posts: 122
    @FLClover yes, as rewarding as it is, it really zaps your energy. I was so lucky with the grade I had last year as they are just a joyous bunch. I never had to fake a smile for them as they just cheered me up and took my mind off all the cancer stuff. Work was still as stressful as ever (well, worse, thanks to extended lockdowns/remote learning). I had good chat with a colleague today and am feeling a bit better - more positive about at least seeing the year out. I definitely feel like once I leave teaching I will not go back.

    @Zoffiel I have RBF too, especially when focusing. When I worked in customer service I had to train myself to keep my face tensed in a way that my mouth wasn't doing it's natural downturn. It's such a bad habit to have picked up (tense face) and I get bad TMJ pain! I love to smile, but hate that I trained myself out of being able to relax my face.

    I've changed careers a couple of times already, so not really concerned. Just feeling no clear pull in any direction.
  • Keeping_positive1
    Keeping_positive1 Member Posts: 513
    For me I decided to get out of the rat race, and never been happier.  It isn't what everyone can do, and I truly understand that, but most of us women are juggling so much these days, something has to give, and often it is our health that suffers.  I hope everybody finds their peace in what they choose to do.