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Happy work, happy play

Job Satisfaction CUT

You spend a good chunk of your life working, travelling to work and thinking about work, so it goes without saying that finding a job that fits you is absolutely crucial to your overall life satisfaction.

All too easily, work can become a place of unhappiness, stress and mental health problems. One in four Americans cite work as a cause of serious anxiety, making it the second most common cause of mental health concerns after personal relationship issues. These people are less likely to function properly at work – something called presenteeism, when you’re physically present, but unable to work properly – reducing any sense of achievement that could alleviate feelings of depression. It’s a vicious cycle that exemplifies why it’s so important to find a job that makes you happy.

From an employer’s perspective, it also helps to have contented employees; mental health problems cost the global economy around $1 trillion a year in lost productivity. Employees who are unhappy are also more likely to take days off work, resulting in an average of 27 missed days per year across the US. It comes as no surprise then, that studies have shown that companies with good wellbeing provisions have an increase in productivity of around 12%. Companies who encourage employees to stay healthy and active have also been shown to have workforces with increased job satisfaction and, subsequently, increased productivity.

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Optimizing your working life shouldn’t just be restricted to the time you spend in the office. Keeping your time away from work engaging and fun is also important to create a balance; there are still 15 hours in a day when you’re not at work and making the most of them can help alleviate the stresses of the working day. Find hobbies that you genuinely enjoy, that you don’t have to force yourself to do and that use a different part of your brain to your day job.

The ideal scenario would, of course, be making your hobby into your profession, but this is easier said than done. But think, imagine how much happier you could be, if your job was to do something you would choose to do anyway, imagine how much better your life could be and how much happier you would feel. Pursuing your passion full time is a sure-fire way to increase personal well-being, happiness and all-round quality of life.


However, encouraging you to pursue your passion is easier said than done; these things often take considerable financial or temporal investment and may seem all but impossible from the outset. But this is why it’s labelled pursuing your passion. Put simply, you’re unlikely to fall straight into your dream job. You’re unlikely to become a Hollywood A-Lister in a month, for instance, but you could join an acting class or amateur dramatics society. Just getting the ball rolling can be the scariest and most difficult part, but it’s undoubtedly the most important as it’s setting you on the road to achieving your goal. If you don’t make that first step, no matter how small, you’ll never get there. Not to mention, half of the fun is in the journey, those stages where the impossible feels like it could just be possible.

As Free Athletes, we see impossible challenges on the training ground or in the gym and shrug them aside. Why should this be any different in your working life? Challenge yourself and make the change you’ve always wanted to.