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Is Your Job Making You Happy—Or Is It Time for a Change?


Busy season is slowing down or over for a lot of accountants. Even those who still have April 18th marked on their calendars will start thinking about life and career post-busy season. Regardless of your situation, it’s the perfect time to do a happiness assessment of your job.

It’s easy—and therapeutic—to identify what you dislike about your job and whether it’s time to make a move. What are the things you actually do like? What about your job makes you feel fulfilled and happy? Identifying both the bad and the good will help lay the framework for your next job search.

Sounds like the answer should be easy, but it might not be. After all, we all are used to living according to the old it’s-the-devil-you-know theory of life.

When you break it down, though, and really think it through, how happy are you about going to work every day? Not that playing hooky once in a while isn’t appealing, but going to a workplace where people are friendly and not particularly stressed (except maybe for busy season) goes a long way toward liking your job. So take a step back and really think about it.

Six Areas to Assess Your Happiness Level:

1. Are you learning? Learning is a big deal when it comes to job satisfaction. Have you asked yourself lately whether you feel like you are growing or stagnant? Are you responsible for tasks that are a little outside of your comfort zone? When you feel like you can phone it in, your job can become a means to a paycheck rather than something you look forward to.

2. Does your personal life matter? We all have lives outside of work. This question concerns whether your firm recognizes that. Are you able to telecommute or take time off when you need to without worrying how you’ll be viewed?

3. Do you have a voice? Is the workplace collaborative or hierarchical? Are your ideas respected, even if they aren’t implemented? Feeling like you have an important role in your firm’s or team’s success is a key to being happy at work. It makes you feel like part of something bigger that’s working toward success.

4. Do you have friends? Having a confidante at work makes the day go better. A friend’s support can help you get through a bad day. It makes you feel like you have a work family you can rely on.

5. Do you feel valued and appreciated? Are you given increasingly complex work or are you stuck doing the same thing day after day? Do your managers thank you for doing something extra or pointing out a possible problem? Is there opportunity for growth and promotion?

6. What is the overall feeling at the firm? This isn’t a tangible. It’s much more intuitive than that, for example:

  • If someone makes a mistake, are they berated or made to feel terrible?
  • Do you have easy access to managers and partners?
  • If you have an idea, say for a process improvement, do you feel comfortable making the recommendation?
  • Do you get depressed on Sunday about going to work on Monday?

Take the time to assess your happiness level. The results may make you rethink your post-busy season plans.