The Key to Job Seeker Happiness…Think It’s Money??
We all want happiness and, unfortunately, during my job searches (there were more than one) happiness escaped me. Fear, anxiety and worry took its place. It was so overwhelming.
I attended a South Florida Interactive Media Association seminar last week and the lead speaker was Julian Smith co-author of New York Times best seller “Trust Agents: Using the Web to Build Influence, Improve Reputation, and Earn Trust.” He shared with us an interesting fact. He said for people making over $50K a year, happiness is unrelated to income. You can make $75K or $450K it doesn’t matter.
I had never thought about it that way. The book does say there’s a strong correlation between happiness and the strength of a person’s relationships. People who are tightly connected to other people and have a strong network of contacts tend to be happier than others. (Read my Keith Ferrazzi “Who’s Got Your Back” book review. Ferrazzi takes a deep dive into the topic.)
Julian went on to ask us, “Are you building church?” and up pops this image of a cathedral on the projection screen behind him. I was little puzzled at first. Then he says,
“I’m not referring to building a religious church, but a place where people can gather around a specific interest.”
That got me thinking, “What’s led to my happiness?” It especially rang home because last week I launched Career Jockey’s Currently Lookin’ column. You may not know this, but I launched Career Jockey in support of my work with Back on Track Network (BOT). BOT is a faith-based organization in my hometown of Miami, FL that supports job hunters and career changers. I started it so I could share the job hunting information I had accumulated over the years working with these folks.
Initially I was hoping to publish the info for them, but very quickly it spread much farther.
When I concocted Currently Lookin’, I was hoping to simulate the dynamic I found a BOT’s face-to-face networking meetings for job hunters. I know when I was job hunting what helped me most was relating to fellow job seekers. That interaction helped me hang on to the fact that:
- I was NOT alone.
- Others had gone before me and had gotten past their struggle.
- I would likely get through my struggle too.
This more than anything is what kept me coming to meetings and did wonders to help me from going crazy.
My first inkling the new column was on track was when I announced I was looking for job seekers writers. I posted an article calling for writers and it unexpectedly became nearly the most commented article on the blog. Within a week, it led to my getting more stories than I could handle. The network I built supported my vision.
The true confirmation came when I posted the first two articles last week. (You can find those articles at “You’re Fired!” and “What Do You Mean I Need a College Degree?”) In four days, both articles made it to the 10 most popular articles list.
I can honestly say that before I started networking during my job hunt, I had no network. I barely stayed in touch with family and friends, much less with acquaintances and professional contacts.
So hearing Julian’s presentation and connecting it with what I’d experienced this past week was a real confirmation. It was not so much that I surpassed my goal, but that my network supported me and enabled me to reach so many people.
On top of that, the interaction with my first two authors, who I didn’t even know a few weeks back, has been enjoyable. I see the positive effect writing those articles and getting them published has had on them. I’ve also seen the impact their writing has had on readers. Their articles got more comments than I typically see in a month and the interaction is vibrant.
It’s because I invested time these past several years meeting people both face-to-face and online and nourished those relationships that I now have this circle of contacts. And one of the benefits is that I can launch a Career Jockey and reach people in ways not possible with physical face-to-face meetings.
This adds purpose to my life and quite honestly – it brings me happiness.
Make a point of fostering relationships and a network of contacts. Make it habit during your job hunt, but more importantly incorporate it into your work life after your search is over. I can personally attest that this web of people supports me in so many ways and is now helping me with my personal and professional goals. That will for sure lead to greater happiness as I work to make a real impact in the world.
Hope this helps.