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How to Be Happy at Work: The Power of Purpose, Hope, and Friendship

3.44  ·  Rating details ·  64 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
“I’m working harder than I ever have, and I don’t know if it’s worth it anymore.” If you’re a manager or leader in today’s high-speed, high-stress economy, these words have probably run through your mind, maybe more than once. Many people in management positions are feeling fed up, burned out, and unhappy at work: the constant pressure and stress, the unending changes, the ...more
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published September 5th 2017 by Harvard Business Review Press
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Charles Franklin
The power of this book, to me, comes from its focus on resilience and recovery. Unlike other books on work-life balance, this book makes the point that we cannot separate work from life, that whatever we experience at work spills into our home life and vice versa. The book also makes the point that when we experience things that threaten our values or our financial/mental/physical safety, we get what the book calls an "amygdala hijack" (aka our emotions take over) and we're in a totally differen ...more
Wendy Wong Schirmer
Jan 26, 2018 rated it liked it
This is basically a book about how to approach work in a way that is holistic and integrated into our lives. The underlying questions that drive the book are "what does fulfilling work look like?" and "what are the reasons that we do anything at all?" So there's good food for thought regarding the question of work for human flourishing, and also even the formulation of a theology of work. One concrete area where there are possible applications is the classroom. Teaching and learning, after all, ...more
Mar 30, 2018 rated it liked it
This had a lot of practical advice and questions to think about in our work lives.
Feb 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Happy at work? Pigs on the runway? Actually, it's a challenging subject. We spend enough of our days working and this is a serious research-based look at the ingredients that make us feel good about going to work each morning. Basically broken down into three areas. Does our work have a purpose that we can value? Do we feel hopeful that our actions can make a difference? Do we connect with people in a positive way? (This area has tended be overlooked - the traditional view is that we go to our w ...more
Sanford Chee
Oct 13, 2017 rated it liked it

Life is too short to be unhappy at work.

The best leaders in our organizations, at the very top and all the way down to the shop floor, understand that people matter, feelings matter, and it’s job number one to create a climate where people feel good about what they’re doing where they’re happy, engaged and ready to share their talents.

If we want our employees to be at their best, we need to care about their emotional well-being as well as their physical we
May 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I was asked recently by one of my colleagues at work, what would make me quit my job. I tried to think for a few seconds and then I said that I would file my resignation if I am no longer happy at work.

I've seen several studies that indicate that too many of us around the world are expressing dissatisfaction at work one way or the other. Some studies say that 8 out of 10 people are not fully engage at work. This is somehow appalling given that most of are spending almost one-third of our lives i
Mike Gunderloy
Jan 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
I ran across this one thanks to the How To Be Awesome At Your Job podcast, and picked up a copy. It's a lot more academic than I had expected: even though this is aimed at a popular audience, McKee has plenty of research background and she pulls in a lot of work she's been involved with in the past, notably on emotional intelligence. There's no magic spell to be happy, of course, but there are techniques that can help in many circumstances, and she makes a nice organized presentation of them. I ...more
Eric Sbar
Oct 14, 2017 rated it it was ok
Like other books in this genre, it relies on platitudes about finding your calling and making a job into a lifestyle. Modern work is full of pointing fingers at those not in control and going to the same consultants to convince employees that they know better how work should be done. You cannot take a soul sucking experience and add smiley stickers onto it and state happiness is within. The basic premise is, if you are not happy at work, make work fun and find some friends at the job. In the mod ...more
Heather Lavigne
Apr 12, 2018 rated it did not like it
Yeahhhhhhhh...I’m gonna go ahead and not finish this one. I gave it 100 pages but I can’t swallow one more sentence of idealistic hooey. This was written by one of those “looks like somebody’s got a case of the Monday’s” people. I just know it in my soul.

If you’re really unhappy at work, go ahead and use the time you’d have spent reading this book some other way to make you happy. Apply for jobs. Write a Jerry McGuire style manifesto. Destroy a printer with a baseball bat. Anything. I’m sure it
Apr 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
McKee's work, while not necessarily earthshaking, is informing and an affirmation of my current organization/position. Much of what is written here is about emotional intelligence, something that I have read quite a lot about; self-awareness and awareness of others. The work also affirms creating learning plans, something that I am also passionate about.
Mar 10, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Overall, a well-written self-help book of strategies to use to cope with the pressure put on their employees by organizations. Very helpful...the idea of resonant microcultures really struck home. Enjoyable and educational.
Esequiel Contreras Jr
Nov 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I was a little hesitant when I started this book because I thought it was one of those feel good, be happy no matter the situation, but it actually turned out to be better than I imagined.
Jan 21, 2018 rated it did not like it
I thought it was going to be a good Harvardy type book, but it was not.
Tina Panik
Nov 29, 2017 rated it liked it
Full of practical advice for both sides of the workplace coin: happy and unhappy.
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“To be happy, I’ve discovered, you’ve got to run toward something: meaningful work; a hopeful, inspiring vision of your future; and good relationships with the people you work with every day.” 0 likes
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