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What is Occupational Wellbeing?

Occupational (or career) wellbeing refers to feeling good about the work you do. It is answering “yes” to the question “Do you like what you do each day?” It has many facets, including achieving a balance between work and leisure, maintaining positive relationships with colleagues, managing workplace related stress, the safety of the workplace environment and the climate of the worksite. It also includes how you feel about work and whether your career option suits, stimulates and inspires you.

If your occupational wellbeing is strong, you will present as happier, healthier and more successful.
It is important to note that “career” or “occupation” is defined as how you occupy your time or what you do each day. It does not only mean paid occupations but also includes life roles such as domestic duties, volunteer work, community participation, school, or other activities.

Why is Occupational Well-being important?

Because day-to-day work (in whatever form) takes up so much of our time, it is important for our overall wellbeing that we like what we do. People who enjoy their employment have a greater sense of meaning and purpose.

From an employer’s perspective, workers’ wellbeing is a key factor in determining the effectiveness of an organisation. In fact, many studies show a link between the wellbeing of the workforce and levels of productivity.

Assessing your Occupational Well-being?

Ask yourself the following questions:
• Do I look forward to and enjoy going to work most days?
• Do I have a manageable workload? Am I happy with my work/life balance?
• Are my duties consistent with my values?
• Do I feel that I can talk to my boss and co-workers if problems arise?
• Am I happy with my career choice?
• Is my work stimulating and does it give me personal satisfaction?

If you answered “No” to any of the questions, this may be an area where you need to improve your occupational wellbeing.

Occupational Wellbeing and your Identity.

It is fundamental that we have something to look forward to when we wake up each day. When we meet people, one of the first questions we ask is “What do you do?” Your occupational wellbeing is more likely to be high if the answer to that question is a career you find fulfilling or meaningful. We spend the majority of our waking hours working and whatever activity you spend so much time doing inevitably shapes your identity.

We often underestimate how much our occupational fulfilment influences our overall wellbeing. If your occupational wellbeing is low, it can detrimentally affect all other areas of your life

Your Journey to Occupational Wellbeing

Occupational wellbeing is closely related to your attitude about your work (or vice versa) – it encompasses the personal satisfaction and enrichment you get from your career. Since you career is such a big part of your life and you spend such a large amount of time doing it, it is important that you find a job that offers some enjoyment. Occupational wellbeing is about finding a career that challenges you yet gives you work/ leisure balance.
One way to improve your occupational wellbeing is to find something you like about your career. We all have aspects of our work that we don’t like, but focussing on even one small positive thing can help us handle the stressful aspects more effectively.

If you would like to discuss strategies to improve your occupational wellbeing drop us a line –

Author: Claire Mansveld of Hey Zeus! Creative