New and Transitioning Professionals | Business Teachers | Career Counselors/Human Resource Professionals


Water Cooler

Information and insight about your career and the workplace at large
July 2007

News and Views

Today, being happy at work is no longer a luxury—it's a necessity! So writes Alexander Kjerulf, the author of Happy Hour Is 9 to 5: Learn How to Love Your Job, Love Your Life, and Kick Butt at Work. Kjerulf, who’s received endorsements from the likes of Steve Jobs (Apple), Soichiro Honda (Honda), and Richard Branson (Virgin) has taken an interesting approach to disseminating his passion: you can purchase the book in paper or PDF, but you can also read the entire text online.

Employee recognition is one way companies try to keep employees happy at work. But which kinds of recognition programs are the most effective? Management consultant and author Cindy Ventrice offers her perspectives, borne of 20 years’ experience in a wide range of industries. Her book Make Their Day! Employee Recognition That Works offers company owners and leaders (this means you, dear reader!) guidance for assessing the quality of their current recognition programs and advice for creating programs that are more effective. Details

Job satisfaction soars when companies make training a priority, And in the United Kingdom at least, hairdressers are the happiest group of workers. Other happy workers include beauty therapists, child care workers, medical doctors (including dentists), and plumbers, according to a survey known as the “Happiness Index.” The survey was conducted by City & Guilds, a vocational training and education group that says its research indicates a “clear link between workplace happiness and training” opportunities being made available to employees. (Incidentally, human resource managers are the least happy; only two percent like the training opportunities available to them.) More


Could you be happier? Abraham Lincoln once said that most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be. Greg Hicks and Rick Foster became fascinated by this idea, and set out to study exactly how happy people get that way.

Here’s what they learned. Happy people:

    1. Intend to be happy.
    2. Assume full personal responsibility for their actions, thoughts, and feelings, and refuse to blame others for their unhappiness.
    3. Identify what makes them deeply, fully happy.
    4. Choose to make activities that create happiness central in their lives.
    5. Turn problems into opportunities and challenges, and convert trauma into something meaningful.
    6. Stay open to any new possibilities, and take a flexible approach to life's journey.
    7. Appreciate their lives and express gratitude and thanks to the people around them.
    8. Share themselves with friends, community, and the world at large without the expectation of a "return on investment."
    9. “Speak their truth" in an accountable manner, enforce personal boundaries, and do not conform to the demands of society, the corporation, or the family if it violates their personal belief systems.

How happy are you? Take this quiz, which is based on the nine principles listed above, and find out.

Blog Entry

Keeping a happiness journal Share your thoughts about this often-elusive quality.

On Stage

Writers in the Sky Podcast

Writer and public speaker Yvonne Perry will interview me about Mentor Me in September 2007. Details about date and time forthcoming.