Want to Achieve Happiness at Work? Don’t Make it Your Primary Goal

Happiness at Work - Spring Arbor University Online Blog

Happiness is one of the most basic human pursuits. It’s our true north – something we aspire to be both in life and at work. But for many of us, being happy is a fleeting experience. Maybe that’s because happiness was never supposed to be our primary goal. It is, after all, a fickle friend when pursued alone.

If not happiness, then what?

During our time on earth, our goal should be to pursue God and make the most of the spiritual gifts He has given us. By doing so, happiness will follow as a byproduct of our faithful service. Here are four things you can do right now to achieve happiness at work without making it your primary goal.

Work heartily.


Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men. – Colossians 3:23. Happiness at Work - Spring Arbor University Online

Working heartily does not mean working yourself to the bone. It has more to do with the attitude, perseverance and persistence you bring to your job. Work smart, manage you time; and be open to failing, learning and growing in the face of your failures. Give the best you’ve got, and invest your time in people and tasks that will glorify God.

Balance work with life.

By the seventh day God completed His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. – Genesis 2:2 Work - Life Balance - Spring Arbor University Online 

You need time to renew and jump-start your body, mind and soul. After all, even God took a day to rest. This means finding time for family time, hobbies, vacations and sabbaticals. You need to devote weekends and time after-hours to relaxation, recharging and pursuing your own interests. By doing so, you will be more content and productive at work and in life.

Find friends at work.

Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! – Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 Find Friends at Work - Spring Arbor University Online

Harvard Business Review reports that employees who have strong, compassionate relationships in the workplace are happier and more productive.

This point is confirmed by the cast and crew of ABC’s Good Morning America team, who said that the secret to their success is mutual trust and admiration. Robin Roberts, co-anchor of Good Morning America said, “This can be a cutthroat industry. But there’s no stepping on, or over each other, here. I can look at George (her co-host George Stephanopoulos) and know what he’s thinking. We have a cadence, and I know when to stop talking because he wants to chime in or vice versa. We all truly trust each other and know everyone has each other’s back.”

Invest in your career.

An intelligent heart acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge. – Proverbs 18:15 Invest in Your Career - Spring Arbor University Online

If you find yourself uninspired at work, maybe it’s time to reinvest in knowledge. This is especially true for those struggling with how to use their spiritual gifts.

In Malcolm Gladwell’s book, Outliers, Gladwell defined an expert as someone who’s done something for 10,000 hours. If you’re a novice at many things, and an expert at none, it’s time to shape your skills into something you can use to contribute significantly to your chosen profession.

Spring Arbor University’s online programs in education, business, communication, and nursing can help you do just that. Our online master’s degree programs are specifically designed for working adults who want to shape their skills to make meaningful impacts at their jobs and in their communities.

Since our beginning in 1873, Spring Arbor University has taken a unique approach to education. Even though we are an academic institution, SAU is not solely focused on knowledge acquisition. Rather, we are deeply invested in transforming our students into becoming people of wisdom. We not only want you to graduate from Spring Arbor University with knowledge; we want you to have the tools and experience you need to pursue a meaningful life and career that honors your spiritual gifts.