Friday, February 28, 2014

I Love Having a Decorated Cubical

It was my birthday this week. Yay! I know a lot of people shy away from celebrations, especially after a certain age, but I say, the older we get, the more we should celebrate! (After all, we will have fewer birthdays left in our life, so I'm all for milking each one for all it's worth!)

Because my colleagues know I have this attitude, they surprised me on Wednesday by decorating my cube with balloons, confetti, a birthday banner, and a painted wine-glass full of chocolates. I remember reading in 1000 Awesome Things a post about how cool it is to have a decorated cube.  It's a great thing to know the people you work with care enough about you to remember your birthday. It was especially nice, too, that my co-workers included chocolates covered in purple foil and a purple wine glass, knowing that purple was my favorite color. A friend also left a bag full of little toys (silly putty, bouncy ball, Slinky, bubbles) knowing that I love that kind of stuff. And I even got a delicious cake from a colleague who's cooking is to die for. I felt so special!

I know this is the 3rd "celebration" in two months that I've mentioned on my Friday "what-I-love-about-my-job" posts, but I can't help it! I guess these celebrations are a big part of what I love about my job! They make me know that I'm among friends...  that I'm working with people who care about me as a person, and not just as a co-worker. When you're around people you enjoy then work doesn't feel like "work"...  it can feel like a party!

Friday, February 21, 2014

I Love What I Do

It's probably obvious that a factor in being happy with your job would be enjoying the type of work you do. A lot of people think of work as "drudgery" because they would prefer to be doing something else...  often a creative hobby, like photography, music, art, or writing.

Personally, I've always been more of a left-brained geek, so being in an IT job is right up my alley.  Even when I'm not "working," I love to learn new technologies and "play" on the computer, so having a job that let's me do that all day is wonderful.

But, my creative "hobby" is writing. Luckily, there are a lot of opportunities to incorporate writing into my job so I still get a little bit of a writing fix! (Not to mention writing these blog posts!)

What do you love? What hobbies do you have and can you find ways to bring that to the work place? One of my co-workers who enjoys photography often brings his camera in and shares the photos of team events.  Another who is an awesome cook makes goodies that she shares with the team. Even though these things aren't part of the job requirements, bringing some of your hobbies and skills into the work-place let's people see more than just the "business" side of you.  And, of course, everyone appreciates someone who shares their talents with the team.

But even more important than non-business "hobbies," is discovering what parts of your job excite you. Do you love working with people? How can you do that more? Become aware of the tasks and responsibilities that you enjoy and find out if you can do more.  Maybe you can mentor others or take classes to grow that skill.

Hopefully, you're in a job that involves doing what you love to do.  If so, it's pretty easy to love your job. If not, see if you can discover what you DO love and make use of that skill in your job. It will make you a lot happier in your work!

Friday, February 14, 2014

I Love Surprises, Secret Valentines, and Desserts!

Remember those days of elementary-school Valentine's Day parties? Well, this week, we got to experience a bit of that again, but in the work place!

There were so many things I loved this week that I had a hard time deciding which one to blog about today, but since Valentine's Day only comes once a year, and a lot of the other stuff that made me happy will happen on other weeks, I decided to focus my blog post today on the Valentine's Day fun.  (By the way, I'm learning from my "Happiness at Work research" that focus is a key to productivity...  Many of us have gotten in the habit of "multi-tasking" which may be detracting from our productivity and workplace happiness." But... now I am losing my focus! Back to Valentine's Day!)

This week we had a couple of fun events at work in honor of Valentine's Day: Secret Valentines and a Dessert Competition.

The Secret Valentine's event was a little like Secret Santas (I experienced Secret Santas in the dorms in college). Everyone that wants to participate puts their name in a hat, then you draw a name and you leave little surprise gifts throughout the week for your "Secret Valentine."  Even though I didn't get a whole lot of people to sign up for this, those of us who did participate had fun with it.  I got a little thrill when I'd come back to my desk and find a candy bar or card or even a Valentine sock monkey!  And I had fun being sneaky and leaving things on my secret Valentine's desk! Of course, the first day I goofed and left my little surprises on the wrong person's desk! I bet he was a bit confused, since he wasn't even participating!

It's amazing how just a fun little surprise or note can really brighten up the day. This is something we can do all the time, of course! It's even more fun when it's totally unexpected! Give it a try!

The Dessert Competition was a lot of fun, too.  I think there were 17 people who brought in desserts. The four categories we had were:
  • The dessert Cupid would most approve of (valentine themed / beautiful)
  • Best dessert when you’re not a cook; (simple / easy)
  • Most sinful (decadent, rich)
  • Best dessert when you’re on a diet (healthy / gluten-free / lo-cal)
I brought in easy chocolate-dipped strawberries and got votes both in the simple and healthy categories! And WOW, there were a lot of decadent and beautiful desserts.


Friday, February 7, 2014

I Love Books24x7: Great Days at Work

One of the benefits available at McKesson is that we have a subscription to Skillsoft's Books24x7.

From their site:
What is Books24x7?
Skillsoft’s Books24x7® provides leading on demand business, technical and engineering content containing thousands of digitized "best in class" books, book summaries, research reports and best practices.

The Books24x7 On Demand Platform enables users to search, browse, read
and collaborate with other users of these vast professional libraries.

Every week I get an email with a whole bunch of books and other resources that are available to me that I can read online or on a mobile device for free! There are so many books that look really interesting and I'm keeping this ongoing list of all the books I want to read. I decided one of my New Year's Resolutions would be to read at least a book a month and the one I started with ties in very nicely with my Happiness at Work project:

Great Days at Work: How Positive Psychology Can Transform Your Working Life by Suzanne Hazelton

I've been keeping a "Happiness File" and taking notes from different resources, including this book. There's a lot of really interesting stuff here, so I'm planning on hosting a Brown Bag discussion at work about what I've learned.

Here's a quote from the introduction, explaining that, though not always taken seriously, "positive psychology" is becoming increasingly recognized as important in the business world!

Positive psychology has earned the reputation as the study of happiness, and as such has sometimes been a little removed from the serious professional. Although the interventions from positive psychology are well researched, with terminology such as 'counting one's blessings' and keeping a 'gratitude diary', business can be forgiven for thinking that it's 'nice', although a bit 'fluffy' with no place in the business world. My intention in writing this book is to highlight the application of relevant science to business professionals. Having trained and coached others, I personally think there's a huge relevance for business professionals.

Stay tuned and I'll pass along some more tidbits in this blog.
Happy Friday!