The Big Happiness Interview: John Williams on the best way to work happier

It’s being referred to as ‘The Great Resignation’.

Workers everywhere in the world have been quitting their jobs at historic charges. Data is exhibiting that just about 2 million UK adults left their job for the reason that first wave of the pandemic and in line with one survey 46% of UK staff plan to give up their jobs within the subsequent 12 months.

Why? ‘The pandemic, this big traumatic event, has made everyone reassess life,’ says John Williams, best-selling creator of F**ok Work, Let’s Play: Do What You Love and Get Paid For It. ‘It’s been a scary time and individuals are much less tolerant of staying in jobs they hate.

‘People are realising that there’s extra to work than the 4 partitions of an workplace and mix this with the post-pandemic seek for extra which means and connection and other people need to reinvent their work life.’

This is sweet information for John. With three best-selling cult books on profession reinvention, John helps individuals uncover a satisfying work path, make the leap, and create companies and work lives that they love.

His firm The Ideas Lab has helped 1000’s of individuals to start out companies and his first e-book Screw Work Let’s Play was chosen by The Sunday Times as one of many high six hottest new self-help tomes and has now been translated into 10 languages.

‘The truth is the world has changed,’ he tells ‘It is feasible for anybody to make a dwelling doing what they love.

‘Life is fleeting; why waste it on work that has no meaning for you?’

For this weekend’s Big Happiness Interview, we speak to John about the best way to discover the work that makes you cheerful.

What is the connection between work and happiness?

It’s actually troublesome to be blissful in case you’re in a job, that doesn’t swimsuit you, if it doesn’t match your values and also you don’t take pleasure in it.

Plus it’s arduous to achieve success in a job you hate. It’s troublesome to be ok with your self, in case you’re not doing nicely, your work isn’t valued, and also you’re getting criticised.

So in case you’re sad in your work, what do you have to do?

Don’t give up your job! Well, not right away. Explore what you wish to do whilst you’re nonetheless in a job.

It’s not smart to attempt to do blue sky considering whereas watching your checking account tick down. The exploratory phrase of: what do I like, who am I, and what do I wish to do? – can take six months or 12 months or extra and it’s actually troublesome to try this if you’re blowing 1000’s of kilos a month on lease or a mortgage.

So I’d say keep in your job for now and begin a ‘play project.’

Life is just too brief to be this bored at work (Picture: Getty/

A play mission?

A play mission is a brief mission, the place you’re experiencing doing the work that appears like play and producing a product or a factor of worth for others in 30 days.

It’s brief sufficient so that you can experiment and never procrastinate – you may attempt to write a e-book or create a weblog or dominate twitter or create a TikTok video every single day.

You’re not spending 30 days writing a marketing strategy or designing a web site or emblem. You’re merely stepping into motion and discovering in case your thought has legs, whether or not individuals need what you need to supply and whether or not you take pleasure in it.

If you spend three to 6 months, prevaricating and speaking about what you may do, you’ll have performed nothing and discovered nothing.

If you set your thought into the world, you then instantly begin studying about what works and extra crucially what individuals need from you.

I’ve seen outstanding issues develop out of a 30-day mission – new merchandise, new careers, new enterprise, new lives, new attitudes even nationwide actions.

But will that make you cheerful?

Psychological analysis exhibits that which means and happiness comes out of your relationships with individuals. And so, your play mission ought to contain delivering worth for individuals – be it entertaining, informing or educating them – so long as you might be impacting others in a constructive manner.

Life is fleeting; why waste it on work that has no which means for you?’

How do you establish what you wish to do?

Experiment. I’m a giant fan of psychologist Carl Rogers, and he says that experiential studying is a factor that actually counts if you’re making massive life choices.

We’ve been taught at college that it’s best to sit and suppose and never put your hand up till you’ve provide you with the fitting reply. But the remainder of life truly doesn’t work like that. You must expertise it for actual and preserve taking part in and tweaking till it feels proper.

How do you begin?

Brainstorm. Write down each thought you’ve for a enterprise or a facet mission. Give it a day, then study your notes and select your high 5 concepts. Write down what you may battle with and establish what property you’ve that would assist every thought by way of sensible expertise, work expertise and life expertise. Ask your self: what might provide you with a aggressive benefit on this enterprise or line of labor?

Say you’ve an thought to develop an app to ship espresso to workplace employees – ask your self: are you technically minded? Do you recognize about catering companies? Sourcing espresso beans? Are you good at coding?

Choose one thought and decide to ‘playing’ with it for 30 days. If after 30 days you realise the thought isn’t going to work, both tweak it or transfer on to your subsequent thought. Each 30-day play mission will educate you one thing and take you nearer to work you’re keen on.

What in case you might do what you’re keen on – and receives a commission for it? (Picture: Getty/

How are you aware in case you’re heading in the right direction?

Do the millionaire check. Ask your self in case you had one million within the financial institution proper now and didn’t must work for fairly some time what would you select to do? If you may align your profession or enterprise, to the purpose the place, even in case you didn’t want the cash, you do it anyway, you then’re heading in the right direction.

What will get in the way in which of you discovering work that you just love?

Many individuals discover they’ll’t be blissful in a traditional job as a result of they’re a ‘scanner’- that is time period that was initially coined by creator and coach Barbara Sher.

A scanner is any person that has plenty of pursuits, plenty of concepts, loves studying for the sake of studying. But as quickly as they’ve obtained the gist of it, they get bored and transfer on. They’re good at beginning issues and dangerous at ending issues.

When I’m operating workshops, I ask who identifies with that and half the room put their hand up. It’s vital to recognise that there’s nothing mistaken with being a scanner. And it may be our biggest energy regardless of the world telling us that we have to concentrate on one factor to achieve success.

If we glance all over the world right now on the individuals who we worth, who’ve actually modified the world – these individuals have many pursuits, be it Elon Musk, Oprah or Steve Jobs. Steve Jobs introduced in his ardour for typography, design and know-how, blended it collectively and created Apple, now the world’s Most worthy firm.

If you may align your profession or enterprise, to the purpose the place, even in case you didn’t want the cash, you do it anyway, you then’re heading in the right direction.

What’s the key of happiness at work?

I imagine to be really blissful at work you want the three Ps – the intersection of play, follow, and revenue. When you create this candy spot, you then’ll find yourself with a very good profession and life.

First establish what you’re keen on doing, even in case you didn’t receives a commission for it – one thing that feels extra like play than work.

Secondly, purpose for one thing you might be practiced at so to rapidly begin to produce worth for different individuals (or make investments the time to get good at it).

And suppose the best way to use this stuff in a manner that solves an issue for individuals. That means you’ll have the ability to earn money from it.

When you set these three issues collectively – play, follow and revenue – you could be blissful at work. The sooner you begin that journey and stick at it and create stuff that individuals actually worth on the planet, superb issues will come to you.

How to turn out to be a ‘participant’ at work:

  1. Players put creativity, enjoyable and fulfilment first. The employee expects work to be a chore. As gamers, you place what actually issues to you on the centre of your world and fill your life with no matter you discover most enjoyable, fulfilling, difficult, rewarding and fulfilling.
  2. Workers take a restricted model of themselves to the workplace, placing on a masks for the company atmosphere. Players deliver all of themselves. Players are musicians who’re additionally start-up founders, travellers who’re additionally bloggers, consultants who’re additionally songwriters, comedians who’re additionally psychotherapists, finance directors who’re additionally campaigners. Now we could be all of who we’re.
  3. Workers keep on with the conventions of their trade or specialism. As gamers you indulge all of your pursuits regardless of how whimsical or disparate, they could appear – typically leading to misunderstanding and mock from others. And later you emerge with style smashing inventive works and rule-breaking companies. Players change the sport for everybody else
  4. Players should not new-age dreamers. You play with capitalism; you discover what your market wants and see offering worth and making a living as a part of the sport. Players perceive that cash makes play sustainable. And gamers typically earn more money than employees since you love what we do (and that zeal is engaging), you might be thought leaders creating authentic options, you concentrate on creating real worth (not simply making a fast buck), and also you resolve real-world issues

F**ok Work, Let’s Play : Do What You Love and Get Paid for It (Pearson, £12.99) is out now.

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