6,000 Miles in the Pursuit of Happiness

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follow your feetIn January of this year, I made a life-changing decision. After 6 years spent living in the U.S., I realised that that chapter had come to a close: I no longer saw a future for myself there. The signs had been there for quite some time, signs that I’d chosen to distract myself from rather than confront and act upon, simply because it was easier. Besides, I wasn’t unhappy in America. I just wasn’t as happy as I imagined it was possible to be.

I gave my notice at the publishing company where I’d been working as a copywriter and packed up my belongings. I said my goodbyes to the amazing friends I’d made over the years, and headed across the Golden Gate bridge one last time. I boarded a flight and all of a sudden, I was bound for Ireland, for home.

The Write Move

When I left California, I hadn’t really thought ahead as to what kind of job I would like once I settled back into life in Ireland. Writing has always been my passion, and indeed, it was writing that helped me through much of that period of transition. At the time, however, I wasn’t banking on it becoming the method by which I’d make my living.

As it turned out, it took less than one month from when I landed back in Ireland to when I was hired to write for a fantastic tech startup in Dublin, called Clinch.

It was during the course of this work, and more specifically, while doing some research for a blog post on company culture, that I came across Delivering Happiness.

I made contact with Lindsay Brunner, Creativity Curator at Delivering Happiness, who, in one of our earliest chats, shared with me her own personal mantra: “follow your feet.” Taking inspiration from Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos and author of Delivering Happiness, Lindsay believes that “if you follow your passion+purpose, the thing you're meant to do and are happiest doing, then your best universe will create itself in front of you.”

It struck me that that’s exactly what I was experiencing. I’d finally listened to what my heart and gut were telling me, and by making the move, I’d kickstarted my own personal happiness revolution; one that included finding a job in an industry that prior to this, I would never have imagined would have a place for someone with my professional background.

For the Love of Job

envision quoteI’ve been working for Clinch for four months now, and I can honestly say that I love my job. For the first time in my life, I’m finding genuine happiness not only in doing the work that I do, but also in doing it for the company that I do it for.

So, what’s made all the difference this time around?

  • For me, it’s working for a company in whose mission I genuinely believe. In Clinch’s case, we’re working to make a better hiring experience for both employer and job seeker alike.
  • It’s working as part of a team in which each person knows their role, takes ownership of that role and performs it to the best of their ability. It’s holding each other to the same high standard because each person cares enough about the company and each other to want it to succeed.
  • It’s employer trust. It’s not having anyone looking over my shoulder, second guessing or questioning my decisions. It’s knowing that success in a role is there for the taking, as long as I’m prepared to step up to the plate and swing.
  • It’s having a laugh at work: genuine, irrepressible, good-for-the-soul belly laughs, laughs that are shared with my teammates and co-founders.
  • As a writer, it’s my higher-ups understanding that the office isn’t always the ideal working environment. It’s them realising and being totally ok with the fact that on those days when I’m creating rather than curating, editing rather than engaging, sometimes it’s the quiet and solitude of home, or the change of scenery of a coffee shop that’s what’s needed in order for me to deliver my best work.

And isn’t that what it’s all about, ultimately? Employers doing everything within their means to enable each one of us to live up to our fullest potential, delivering results that not only benefit the company, but instil a sense of accomplishment, achievement, and pride in the employee, also?

Pursue Your Happiness

I consider myself to be amongst the lucky few who genuinely find happiness in their work. And yet, it doesn’t need to be a claim that only a very few can make. It’s something that every employee should strive for, because it’s something that every employee deserves. The onus is on you. If today, you cannot answer “yes!” when you ask yourself the question, “am I happy, doing what I do, with and for these people?” it’s time to make a change.

Perhaps you yourself are in a position to affect a greater sense of happiness in your current workplace. If that’s the case, brilliant! If you’re not, then perhaps it’s time to “follow your feet.” Whether that means a new company, a new city, or a whole new life, it’s taking that first step that matters. You might be surprised where you end up.

About Maura

maura hsMaura is a Dublin-based writer with Clinch.io. She helps companies communicate their culture and brand to job seekers in an authentic and engaging way. Writing is her passion. Maura also has a serious fondness for tea, country music, and her 17-year old Bichon Frise, Dustin. Irish born and raised, she is now finding happiness and re-discovering the delights of home after several years spent living abroad.

About the Author

Maura McElhone


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