Book Review - Happiness at Work: Maximizing Your Psychological Capital for Success by Jessica Pryce-Jones
On occasion, I'll be offered a book for reading/reviewing that seems to come at a very opportune time. This ended up being one of those books... Happiness at Work: Maximizing Your Psychological Capital for Success by Jessica Pryce-Jones. There's no argument that the typical workplace has changed dramatically in the last few years, and I know my reactions have changed along with it. I've been having problems trying to wrap my thoughts around the "why" and "what now" aspects, and this book has given me some new perspectives and insights on things.
Prologue; Why Happiness at Work? Why Now?; The Research Journey; Contribution from the Inside-Out; Contribution from the Outside-In; Conviction; Culture; Commitment; Confidence; Pride, Trust, and Recognition; Achieving Your Potential; Happiness at Work: A Conclusion; What Next; References Dramatis Personae; Index
Pryce-Jones bases her work on 5 Cs that form the basis for your level of happiness at work:
- Contribution - your effort and achievement (inside-out) as well as respect and appreciation (outside-in)
- Conviction - your motivation and feeling that you make a difference
- Culture - your work environment and how well you fit into that culture in terms of behavior and interactions
- Commitment - feeling that what you're doing is worthwhile, as well as having a positive feeling towards the work and organization
- Confidence - belief that you can handle the jobs, tasks, and interactions expected of you
Wrapped around these 5Cs are the concepts of Pride, Trust, and Recognition. Pride is having the feelings of value based on what you do and where you're headed. Trust is having faith in the organization, that they will deliver on what is promised and that they can be believed. And finally, Recognition is the acknowledgement from others based on what you do and how you do it. When all of these are considered as a whole and are present for you, you end up with a high level of happiness in your workplace which translates into a much higher level of productivity and satisfaction.
Depending on where you're at and what you're experiencing, you'll likely find that different parts of the book resonate at different levels. For me, the chapter on Confidence hit me hard, due to a number of technology changes we're going through. When you go from being "the expert" to not having all the answers any more, it *definitely* causes your confidence (and by extension your happiness) to take a hit. Fortunately, Pryce-Jones doesn't just leave me stranded in the no-confidence zone. There are solid and concrete ways to address that problem, and I need to take a serious look at changes there. I also reacted strongly to the Trust aspect of the Happiness equation, mostly due to the ever-increasing precarious balance between workload, resources, and budget. It's dangerously easy to become cynical over words and actions, and again that doesn't do much for one's happiness and satisfaction at work.
Another aspect of the book that makes it valuable is the sidebar entries from real people in real situations. A majority of the pages have sidebar margin stories that relate to the happiness aspect being discussed, and those stories move this book from "just another framework" to something that actually matches up with how things work in the real world. Without these stories, I probably would have found myself considering many of the concepts in an academic and theoretical fashion, not applying them to my own reality. With the stories to flesh out the ideas, that wasn't a problem.
Happiness at Work is a very good book for understanding aspects of work that traditionally aren't considered "important." And if you're struggling with a job (either new or long-term) that doesn't seem to have that "spark", you may find out why (as well as how to change yourself and get re-centered),
Obtained From: Publicist