Work Life

How can I have a higher level of happiness at work?

What’s more important than happiness? Believe it or not – nothing! The catechism declares that God has embedded the longing for happiness in every human heart. St. Augustine, an expert on happiness, wrote: “We all want to live happily; in the whole human race there is no one who does not assent to this proposition, even before it is fully articulated.” Thomas Aquinas adds: “Man cannot live without joy.” So your question is right on target. Here are three of 12 principles. More to come later.

How can I keep God in my workday?

 I really want to be more mindful of God 
 throughout my workday, but it’s a challenge. 
 Any recommendations? 

It is a challenge, indeed. Work, like prayer, demands concentration. It’s filled with deadlines, tasks to be completed, frequent distractions and no short supply of aggravations.

The people I know who maintain presence of God at work seem to have developed these habits to sanctify their work days:

My procrastination is affecting my job performance

My habit of procrastination is really hurting my job performance. How can I break out of it?

Let me think about it and get back to you later …

Procrastination is a habit of mind, lodged in our subconscious. It seeks to delay and avoid the unpleasant, the difficult and the painful. We don't delay on things that delight us. We delay on things that repel us.

It's also a failure in fortitude. Fortitude is the habit of mind that conquers adversity. It specializes in attack and endurance.

Our new hire expects a promotion right away

Our new hire has been with us for just a month and is already expecting to be promoted. How do I manage these unrealistic expectations? 

Option No. 1 – Fire him. That would deliver a bracing dose of reality, but pretty harsh.

Option No. 2 – Promote him. But then you would be joining his fantasy world.

Option No. 3 – Enlighten him. Teach him a better way to harness his ambition.

If he wants to succeed, he should add the south pole of humility to the north pole of magnanimity.

Can I find true happiness in my career?

Q: How do I find true happiness in my career? I'm unhappy in my job.

A: A happy occupation is a worthy preoccupation. We’re wired for happiness. And let’s face it – work makes up the lion’s share of our waking hours. No wonder the writer of Ecclesiastes cites enjoyment in one’s toil as one of life’s greatest blessings. (2:24)

First, love God. Ground your happiness in Jesus Christ. If you direct your affections toward his infinite lovability, you’ll possess a happiness that is foundational, delightful and unshakeable.

Do I have a loyalty problem if I'm always job-hopping?

How can I balance wanting to continually change jobs to advance my career with appearing to be disloyal and permanently dissatisfied?

If you can’t be with the job you love...love the job you’re with.*

You might be posing a false dilemma. The desire to advance career and achieve your potential is good. That normally requires moving up, taking on new challenges, and new jobs.

How can I negotiate more time off for the holidays?

How do I negotiate more time off for the holidays to be with my family? What words do I use?

Please? Pretty please? With sugar on top? I’m beggin ya! The words are secondary. What counts is your reasoning.

Since everyone wants more time off at the holidays, first consider why you should be given special consideration. What makes you or your circumstance deserving of preferential treatment?

I don’t have the tools and materials I need to get my work done

I don’t have the tools I need to get my work done. Nor can I meet my deadlines. My computer is extremely slow, and I don’t get the materials I need in a timely fashion to produce results.

Tools and time. Reminds me of tool-time and the old sitcom Home Improvement. These are two simple problems. I presume you’ve posed them to the main problem-solver – your boss? Here are three possible responses to you telling your boss exactly what you’ve written above:

How do I manage my classmates as their supervisor?

I am a senior in high school, and I’ve just been promoted to supervisor at my job at a store in the mall. How do I manage people who are in my classes at school without making them hate me?

Address the issue in a frank and upfront manner. Let them know that you’re aware that it’s kind of an awkward dynamic. You’ve been given some authority, but you’re not going to lord it over anybody. You’re co-workers first. And your goal as supervisor is to help them enjoy their work and enjoy success. You want to be a servant leader.

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