Job Happiness: How Smiles Can Get You Miles

It’s no secret that an enthusiastic attitude, a positive outlook and a likeable disposition can bolster a career. Particularly for leadership positions, employers seek not only professionalism but an authentic passion for the job at hand.

What’s harder to divine from the advice of career coaches and business books is where all those positive feelings actually come from. Even people in a line of work they love face the same career risks, periodic setbacks and daily frustrations as everyone else. A positive outlook at work takes more than the right job title, a good salary or even a generally upbeat personality. What I’ve learned from the leaders I’ve placed at some of the country’s top real estate companies is that their success comes, in part, from a perspective that allows them to thrive within whatever environment they find themselves in.

I saw this spirit expressed in an unlikely place the other day. I love music, and when I watched the video for the song “Happy” by Pharrell Williams, I was struck by the sincerity of its underlying message. The soulful lyrics expound on the artist’s sense of joy despite any of the bad news or challenges around him. Meanwhile, a cast of diverse characters dances to the catchy hook: “Because I’m happy, Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof, because I’m happy, Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth …” There are good dancers and terrible dancers. Old faces and young. Business leaders and famous athletes. Mothers and kids. But they all seem to get what he’s talking about. Despite their differences and whatever unique circumstances they face in their lives, they acknowledge and celebrate the things that make them thankful in life.

That’s also the type of outlook that can have a meaningful effect on work satisfaction. Instead of dwelling on the stresses of every day, it helps to be reminded of the satisfactions and rewards that drew you to a position in the first place. Whether that’s the rush of a high-stakes deal or simply the satisfaction of earning a living for your family, allowing yourself to be happy for what you have now and what might lie ahead can help give you the positive outlook employers and coworkers value so much.

For more than two decades, Christopher Frederick has helped recruit tomorrow’s leaders in real estate. Visit our website at where you can find exclusive job listings for real estate executives and read more about our one-of-a-kind approach to executive recruitment.