How to find your first graduate job at an emotion-friendly workplace – Part 1

An emotion-friendly workplace is one where you feel happy at work. Wouldn’t you like to find your first graduate level job at a company just like that? Sure you would, so here’s how to go about it.

You want a job that makes you happy, one that will inspire you to spring out of bed each morning and leave you feeling satisfied at the close of the day. Trouble is, you have no idea how or where to find a job like that because as a recent graduate looking for your first graduate level job, you’re not even sure what that means.

What does it mean to be happy at work? Have you considered what sort of job would make your working life blissful? Or how to avoid ending up in a work environment that makes you pull the pillow over your head rather than get up for work each morning?

Or perhaps you’re taking a much more rational approach by looking at jobs that will pay you lots of money, offer great benefits and fast-track you to the top?

Nothing rational about happiness at work 

You may be surprised to know that the route to job happiness is not rational at all. It’s all about how we feel at work. To find a job that makes you happy you need to find work in an emotion-friendly environment. You may not have considered this as a valid factor in helping you to look for your first graduate job but if you want one that makes you happy, then that’s where you’ll find it.

As futurist Dr Patrick Dixon has said:

The future is not driven by economics, innovation or politics. It is emotional reactions to events that drive them, it is an emotional reaction that determines whether Nokia survives or iPhone, what brands you buy and don’t, and what government ideas are elected and not.

Dr Patrick Dixon

So, we’re not such rational beings after all. We’re driven by emotions. They matter, literally. Emotions don’t turn off when you leave home for work. They subconsciously guide your choices, including your career direction. Your emotions played a large part in how you came to be reading this blog: you’re here because you pine for a better future.

Happy workers make happy companies (and vice versa)

The more in tune you are with your feelings about what will make you happy at work the better decisions you will be able to make about your career. Not only will this help you decide on the sort of job you want to do, or the sort of company you want to work for, but (importantly) also how to recognise both when you come across them.

And here’s some really good news: employers, at least the top graduate employers, want to make you happy at work too. Happy people make better workers and better workers make better companies and organisations. So, whether you are happy at work or not has a much greater influence over the future of an organisation than they might let on.

The power of public wrath 

Companies, like Iceland, which became the first UK supermarket to remove artificial matter from its own-brand products, know the danger of choosing success factors like financial results and profit, or even performance management, above how people feel.

As a society, we hold businesses accountable and expect them to behave responsibly – or else we’ll let loose our wrath upon them via social media. Companies must therefore behave responsibly if they want to avoid muddying the public pool from which they must also attract, not just paying customers, but also the best talent.

This is good news for you because, realising that it is a sensible thing to do, the best organisations will take your happiness into consideration. So, what are the things that contribute to helping you to feel good at work? How would you recognise an emotion-friendly workplace if it stared you in the face?

Find out how in part 2 of this article.

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