I sometimes get asked if I am a Psychologist since I have studied Positive Psychology. The answer is no, while Positive Psychology is an area of Psychology, it does not mean that all practitioners would be Psychologists, or that therapy would be the only area where Positive Psychology could be applied. Positive Psychology has successfully been applied in various contexts such as schools and workplaces. Every practitioner applies the tools and research in their own field to support the well-being of their students, employees, patients, clients, community members, and so on.
Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to give a talk on strengths to an amazing group of people. I spoke at the Job Seekers' Garden Club of St. Louis career event. The Job Seekers' Garden Club started as a networking group last year when many people lost their jobs. Now they are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and they bring together job seekers, recruiters, and connectors in the St. Louis metro area. Their mission is to get people back to the careers they love. It was an honor to be part of this mission and to share my thoughts as well as some well-known research on the importance of identifying and developing our strengths.
Can you recall your last performance review at work? If you do, did your supervisor focus on how you could work on your areas of improvement or did they try to find new ways use your strengths for the organization's goals?
The working population's mental health has recently been in the headlines in Finland. Big national media outlets such as Yle News and Helsingin Sanomat have reported on increased burnouts among the Finns and the most recent statistics by Kela (the Finnish Social Insurance Institution) show that mental health issues have become the most common reason for sick leaves.
Happiness at work is trendy right now. It is trendy to post images from an office with bean bag chairs and a pool table. It is trendy to share the pictures from a company holiday party or a lunch with the team. It is trendy to tell everyone on LinkedIn how much you care about your employees, their happiness, growth, and work-life balance.
The first few months of employment are crucial to a new employee's future at a company. Previous research has shown that employee turnover in the first 45 days could reach 20%. That means that 1 out of 5 employees quit within their first month and a half in the new job.
Since we spend most of our waking hours at work, how we feel during that time really has an impact on our overall well-being. Our professional and personal lives are not separate from each other and we cannot switch our mood like a light switch. If we are miserable for 8+ hours every day, chances are we feel drained and down in our free time, as well.