Are You Leaking Happy… Or Something Else?

By on October 15, 2014 in Current Events, Leadership with 4 Comments

Everyone has those times in their life where they’re just not happy. And when this happiness is caused by being in the wrong job, with the wrong people, doing the wrong thing, it can cause you to dump “yuck” onto everyone in your life.

It’s easy to say, “My life is bigger than my job!” But the truth is: when work ISN’T working it creates stress that leaks out into every other area of your life. I’ve experienced this myself in my 25-year career in government. When I was in a position that didn’t match my lifestyle, the things that matter most in my life, and my gifts I was absolutely miserable. And everybody knew about it!

When your work doesn’t line up with what’s important in your life, honor your gifts, and include your tribe, you end up leaking unhappy…YUCK… all over your co-workers, subordinates, friends, and family. It’s not pretty!

There’s that moment where you realize your “great job” is a bad fit… Things don’t go well. You get a bad review or fail meet your goals in spite of a lot of HARD WORK, and you start to worry that your whole career is on a downhill slide.

But when the job FITS who you are as a person: work works! It’s completely possible to find – and land – a job that leverages your gifts, talents and experience AND sets you up for success without burning you out, WHILE restoring your enthusiasm and clarity.

When all of that is in alignment, you stop leaking the YUCK all over everyone in your life and you start leaking happy. The GOOD news is that the government and other bureaucracies want happy, prosperous employees in every position – and when you’re happy at work that happy bubbles up and leaks happy into all areas of your life!

So just what does leaking happy look like?

Leaking happy is getting up in on a Monday morning excited about what you get to do today and looking forward to going into work. Leaking happy is coming home at the end of day feeling satisfied and content. And with energy left over to spend time with your spouse, your friends, your cat… or anyone else that matters to you! Leaking happy is not needing to veg out in front of the TV to “recover” from your day and worry about the alarm going off in the morning.

Leaking happy is having the people you most need to complete your next big project (at work or at home) just seem to randomly show up. People LOVE working with you and you become known as the “expert” in whatever the “thing” is that you do. (And in the workplace, that’s ALWAYS a good thing.)

When work works, it’s easy to start leaking happy everywhere. You don’t have to leave your happiness at the job (and outside of it) up to chance! You can identify – and land – a position that allows you to leak happy. Let’s make sure that work works, check out this free training series: Nail the Interview, Land the Job. I’m going to talk about the most important thing to do before any job interview that will make the biggest difference over the long term of your career, show you what NOT to do (saving you time, energy and even your reputation) and give you the 3 toughest questions on any government job interview…and how to answer them, of course.

© 2016 Martha Austin. All rights reserved. This article may not be reproduced without express written consent from Martha Austin.

About the Author

With more than 24 years as a federal employee, first as an active duty Army officer and later a Foreign Service officer, staff leadership instructor and professional coach, Martha understands what it means to simultaneously feel inspired by the desire to serve and stifled by the “needs of the service.” Martha is on a mission to create public institutions that ignite success, prosperity and joy for EVERYONE they touch – especially those in them.

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