In this current recession, one would think that anyone who has a job at this point would be happy to be gainfully employed. Research tells us that this in not the case. In fact, in a recent article in The Wall Street Journal, author Sue Shellenbarger speaks of a growing need and trend for “happiness coaching” in the workplace.

Shellenbarger says, “Employee satisfaction has hit the lowest level in the 22 year history of the Conference Board’s annual survey on the topic. Only 45% of U.S. workers are satisfied with their jobs, down from 52% in 2005 and 61% in 1987, says this 5,000 household study.”

The recent emphasis on “happiness coaching” at work is supported with business cases that show employees’ positive attitudes are good for business. Companies with more satisfied employees earn higher profit and better customer satisfaction ratings and their employees miss less work.

According to Shellenbarger, “A 2001 study at the University of Michigan says people who are experiencing joy or contentment are able to think more broadly and creatively, accepting a wider variety of possible actions…..”

Let’s face it. We all experience some degree of dissatisfaction with our employment at one time or another; that’s reality. The focus of this current trend of “happiness coaching” is to create your own contentment and joy from within. The premise is that if you are happy with yourself, you are less likely to be affected dramatically by negative influences. Your inner peace creates a shield in a way from any external negative forces.

Any activity or practice that helps you achieve this inner contentment and joy is recommended; exercise, yoga, meditation, daily success or gratitude journals. All of these contribute to a positive state of mind.

For women, it is especially important to learn to “let go” of the negative influences at work whether they be conflict with a co-worker or your boss. “Letting go” of negative emotions and conflict  is often a challenge for women. This affects their job satisfaction.

Focus on what is meaningful about your work. Look for ways to infuse your life with positivity. If there is too much dissatisfaction with your current position that it is impossible to find anything positive, it’s time to move on. Life is too short.

Just make sure that you don’t bring your negative frame of mind with you to your next job!