How much are you the victim of SAD? The time shift in late October obviously means more darkness sooner. Shortly the time will arrive when you may leave for work in the darkness, return home in the darkness, and if you’re in meetings all day or there’s gloomy weather, you won’t see the sun for weeks, across the UK and most of northern Europe at least. Should you find your mood to be irrationally gloomy too, you might have a dose of Seasonal Affective Disorder. Then you may find it helpful to acquire an artificial way of topping up the sun via a lamp, or a swift holiday somewhere where they still see the sun.
There are other ways to ensure you are smiling at work. Earlier this month Style magazine published a new point of view of happiness at work and found that being an activist increases job satisfaction. Solitaire Townsend, author of The Happy Hero, tells Style that those who start campaigns for good at work find their lives "improve in unimaginable ways. You will discover a self-confidence you never thought possible. Heroic actions will improve your health, resilience and relationships, and will even help you to live longer….it will even boost your sex life".
Increasingly more and more people would consider that happiness at work is a key factor in success at work. Given that we spend more time at work than we do doing anything else except sleeping, then the answer to a question about what everyday success is surely must include a good day at work. However fulfilling your day job is, having a mission to make not just the job better but also the world better can enhance your working life.
Since the publication of The Glass Wall: Success strategies for women at work and businesses that mean business, I have felt a small part of a campaign for better diversity that extends across our industry, across every institution within the UK and indeed across the planet. My co-author Kathryn Jacob and I have been speaking at over 70 gigs since publication. We’ve been trying to help to smash that glass wall: the invisible barrier between women and the promotion to senior management that they often deserve but don’t get. We haven’t yet succeeded. Sometimes it feels as though our industry has been going backwards instead of improving.
On the other hand we know we’re helping some people. One woman recently wrote that we’d significantly helped her settle into a new job. We’ve contributed to a campaign that has only strengthened over the last 12 months. This does feel good; this does feel like success.
You’ll need to find your own area of activism of course, and you’ll need to work for an employer that puts people first and encourages you to follow that cause.
There are many ways to challenge for change at work. It may be that your interests lie in making your team the most cohesive that it can be. You might want to make sure every bit of paper and every coffee cup is recycled. It might be that you can introduce your management to the idea that the business should not only be good for its shareholders but also be for good in the world.
Whatever success looks like for you, you should go for it, without delay. It will make you happy. Have a good day today.
Sue Unerman is the chief transformation officer of MediaCom