I’ve been happy in my career and I’ve been unhappy. Happy is better.

We spend the majority of our waking day at work – be it in the office, or tethered to the devices that allow work to bleed into our not-office hours. Study after study shows that the majority of workers are not happy. There is some debate as to how this unhappiness affects productivity, but there is no debate about unhappiness eroding one’s quality of life. There are remedies, some of which can and should be implemented by the employer. But, to paraphrase Tolstoy: all happy workers are the same; each unhappy worker is unhappy in his or her own way. So it falls to the individual worker to do something. On this website, I’m going to explore the pathways that one can take towards being happier in one’s career.

I’m a geneticist, a patent litigatrix, and a writer. I’ve observed work in academia, big organizations, small organizations, and out on my own. I’ve seen happy workers in miserable places and miserable workers in happy places. I also read everything I could get my hands on about happiness and productivity; happiness and stress; happiness and poor money management; happiness and … (you get the idea).

Originally, I put together this website to promote my first novel, because that is what a writer is supposed to do. A writer is also supposed to maintain a blog. But after a while, I couldn’t maintain my blog, because it wasn’t addressing the stuff that fascinated me most – how to have a happy career. Now, I’m pivoting this website and my blog to explore this topic. I hope you join me.

Why do you work [at a job you don’t like]?

I talked to many people about how they became happier at work – even if they stayed at the same job. They all had a similar inflection point. They decided that both taking the job, and staying in it were deliberate choices. After that inflection point, even though the job did not suddenly become any less awful objectively speaking, the … Continue reading

Why are lawyers the go-to example for an unhappy career choice?

I came across this New York Times article by chance.  It talks about forced decisions and unhappy choices. In the middle, there’s this: We’re tempted to use that same brute force when we’re pursuing financial success. We all probably know at least a few people (maybe it’s you) who forced themselves into a particular career. Parents, … Continue reading

How to zero in on the pain points in your career

So here you are. Making good money, muddling along. Or maybe you’re making good money but hating every moment of your existence. Or … maybe you’re not making good money at all, and that is part of the simmering discontent. What are you going to do about this? That depends. It depends on what makes work sad, … Continue reading

Seeking career happiness; coming up against fear

I’ve been thinking about pivoting this blog to concentrate on career happiness for about a year now, but fear would bubble up every time I tried to do it. I’d be writing about something very important to me, and what if I couldn’t do the subject justice, or if people thought my advice was trite and I was stupid? Also, … Continue reading

Doing nothing: try it

Are you up for a little experiment? For ten minutes, do nothing. Sit down with a cup of coffee (or tea, or water, or no liquids). No electronics to distract you. No reading materials for entertainment. I’ll wait… So what happened? What did you think about? Did emotions you didn’t want to feel creep up? … Continue reading

The great declutter of 2014

As the new year approached, we all made resolutions – perhaps we were brave enough to call them “resolutions” or perhaps we demurred and called them “goals” or “guidelines” or “intentions” or mere “thoughts.”  As I tweeted on December 31, 2013, mine are simple: Play more; Argue less; Drink good wine; Make new friends.   … Continue reading