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Careers Month: How do YOU find happiness at work?

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We often talk about workplace happiness, but what does it actually involve? Freddie Bell of Mattinson Partnership argues that, when it comes to wellbeing, a change can be as good as a rest...

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I think we can universally agree everyone wants to be happy in the workplace. The Planner’s Careers Survey results suggest that, across a range of indicators, the majority of planners are.

But it doesn’t end there. ‘Happiness’, of course, is subjective, and it’s hard to define. It’s also an ongoing challenge for employers to ensure that all their staff feel happy in the workplace.

This is where I come in as a recruitment consultant. I can’t claim to be a happiness guru, but I help identify what it is that planners think will make them feel happier, and look for opportunities that will provide that.

"My advice is not to settle for what doesn’t make you happy. We all spend a third of our lives at work so it’s critical for healthy mind and soul to change that if you’re not"

But how does moving to a new job improve people’s chances of feeling happier, and why? In my experience, typically there are five things that a move can offer:

Salary bump. It’s actually very rarely the reason why people move jobs, but it’s also pretty rare to move positions without getting one – and at the end of the day who doesn’t want to earn a little bit more? With 49 per cent of planners, according to the survey, unhappy with how their salary is developing in relation to their work, perhaps this will become more prevalent?

A fresh start. Again, it’s not a common motivator for moving but it is something regularly looked for. A new challenge with fresh faces and personalities around you can sometimes make all the difference in how you feel valued.

New projects. Planning is an incredibly varied job and planners always highlight to me when they feel projects are becoming stale. With massive differences between public sector, consultancy or client side work, moving jobs can really help provide a different perspective.

Different work style. Broadly speaking, a move might allow for flexible working, a faster-paced work environment, or a different commute. It’s not exclusive to the planning profession, but don’t neglect the impact it can make.

Career progression. The lack of this is regularly cited as a motivator to move on, so seeing that 35 per cent of planners aren’t happy with development provided by their employers isn’t surprising. That 12 per cent can’t see a long-term future in the profession is unexpectedly high though. Perhaps all that’s needed – for some at least – is a new start?

Of course, it’s not all doom and gloom – after all, more than half of planners DO find their career rewarding and worthwhile, and The Planner’s survey include comments from a number explaining why.

But in my profession, I tend to deal with the planners who are feeling restless, discontented or undervalued. What do I hear on the phone when speaking to them?
Those who aren’t happy tend to be searching for one or more of the five benefits above.

I also speak to employers who are offering a fresh start with different opportunities. If you’re not happy, and you’ve tried to address it but you’re not sensing a change, there are alternatives out there which may be better tailored to your particular expectations.

My advice is not to settle for what doesn’t make you happy. We all spend a third of our lives at work so it’s critical for healthy mind and soul to change that if you’re not. If you can’t change your things at your current work, then I’m here to help.

Get in touch

So, are you happy at work?

Get in touch and I might be able to help you find some clarity with that. Perhaps I should take on that happiness guru mantra after all…

Email: [email protected]

Tel: 02079602583

Freddie Bell is Senior Consultant leading on planning recruitment at Mattinson Partnership – get in touch with him to find out how he can help find workplace happiness! 

Careers Month with The Planner

February 2019 is Careers Month with the Planner during which we'll be publishing a range of articles, commentaries,case studies and advice relating to careres in planning, in the form of a weekly eail newsletter each Wednesday until 27 February.

Mattinson Partnership has kindly sponsored the first in the series, on the theme of happiness at work. If you’d like to receive the newsletters, please sign up here.

Visit the Careers Month hub.

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