What does it mean to truly enjoy your job? We’ve received conflicting opinions over the years: from influencers, pop culture, and online articles. The answer, however, is thankfully not complicated: it’s about the standards you set.

Here are three common myths on workplace happiness that we’ve internalised, and a list of what we should actually work for:

Myth: We should tick off items on a “workplace success” checklist

We believe that we should have a certain salary before we hit our thirties, or that we should be promoted to a certain job title. There is nothing wrong with these goals. When we add the word “should” to these goals, we create unnecessary pressure for ourselves.

It’s worth stepping back and asking ourselves: What do I believe makes me successful at work? When we’re clear about the goals we truly want to pursue for ourselves, we start enjoying the journey that much more.

Myth: We should chase roles that look great on social media

Of course, social media image matters. Your online profile will be more impressive with a great job title, but it is not all we should be working towards. One helpful tip: ask yourself if the role aligns with your personal values. Will you be proud of the work you’re doing? Your work is about the day-to-day journey, not just the big milestones we share online.

Myth: Everyday should be a breakthrough success

It is simply not possible to create huge career milestones every day. A more realistic intention to set is this: accept that success and failure are both an important part of your working life. This helps us flow with the ups and downs of working instead of feeling like a failure for not meeting impossible standards.

What are some other myths about workplace happiness that hold you back from enjoying your job? Let us know in the comments!

To dive deeper into the subject, sign up for Crafting Realities: Work, Happiness, and Meaning by IIM Bangalore professor Ramya.


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