Do you ever fantasize about leaving a ho-hum job to land your dream career? Follow your heart and protect your dreams because you deserve happiness at work. Just make sure you’ve mined all of the diamonds available in your current job before you accidentally sign up to scrounge for rhinestones in another location.

Most of us have overlooked an exciting, lucrative career opportunity more than once. We’ve been like the diamond miners who threw away a fortune when they hurriedly tossed aside dirty lumps of coal.


Anything is possible in today’s dynamic work world. The pecking order is never static. Your boss can become a janitor. A coworker can become your boss. The policies that sour your stomach today may be banished tomorrow.

Grow where you are by peeking beneath a lackluster surface to identify hidden jewels in your job. You’ll still have total freedom to leave -- with confidence that you’ve gained benefit from every gem available.


Enjoy searching for bold new possibilities to attain more joy on the job. Imagine being a curious alien entering your work arena for the first time. When you observe your environment without preconceptions or judgments, you’ll be amazed at what you discover.

Snoop around until you discover what your organization and clients really need. When you detect a product or service gap, imagine how your unique talents can plug the hole. Then design a simple, compelling proposal.


Consider a variety of strategies before concluding that your strengths are not a match for your organization. You may have to propose a new idea several times or to a number of different people. In the meantime, believe in your proposal and regard each “No” as a steppingstone you tread on the path toward “Yes.”

Use the challenge as an excuse to learn new negotiation skills. Harlan Sanders heard hundreds of “No’s” before anyone financed his idea to create Kentucky Fried Chicken.

Instead of assuming someone will invite you to submit a creative idea, tell management, team members, and other coworkers how your strengths and talents can benefit the organization. Take advantage of informal grapevines. Network with people you haven’t worked with before.


If your talents are rare, such as those of many artists, approach special projects departments that need photography, layout, special effects lighting, electronics, recording, and other technical work that requires creative abilities and imagination. Large corporations often financially reward people who can entertain at special events for employees or clients. Although it may not become a full-time job, it can enliven your work and relationships to the degree that a routine job becomes exciting.

You may eventually conclude that you’re a star and can’t contribute to an organization that only has square and round holes to fill. If that’s true, decide to either express your unique gifts outside of work or design a career transition plan. A career coach trained in career counseling can help you overcome anxiety about traveling a new path toward greater happiness at work.

An objective third party will cheer you toward your goal. Friends and family members often have an unconscious agenda to enjoy you just as you are, even if you’re unhappy. When we change, those around us alter their behavior. This often triggers unconscious resistance, and you deserve to be supported toward more joy on the job.


Take action, whether you decide to use your special talents in your current position or elsewhere. Your special gifts are not accidental. They’re essential ingredients for the joy that occurs when you meet your full potential. For every talent, there are related needs in the world, and you can help fill them. When you’re doing a job where you use your strengths, you so enjoy what you’re doing that you literally lose track of time. A blissful state of flow unfolds, and a wealth of unexpected resources and opportunities support your efforts.

Author's Bio: 

Happiness at work is one of the greatest contributors to wealth, health, and positive relationships. Since you owe it to yourself to claim your fair share of joy on the job, reach out for help. Sign up for your complimentary career consultation today with "The Joy on the Job Coach" at

Visit and claim your free ebooks & podcasts, including, "Secrets of Happiness at Work" and "Get the Respect & Appreciation You Deserve Now." Doris Helge, Ph.D., is author of the bestsellers, "Joy on the Job," "Transforming Pain Into Power" and "Conquer Your Inner Critic." Discover more at

© 2011. Permission to reprint this article is granted if the article is in tact, with proper credit given. All reprints must state, "Reprinted with permission by Doris Helge, Ph.D. Originally published in "Joy on the Job" © 2011.