It is apparent that finding happiness at work is a mirage for many people. Many people work not because they enjoy or are happy with the work they are doing but because there are bills that have to be paid. However, Joanne Gordon’s introduction to “Be happy at work” focuses on how people can enjoy their work and be happy. She centers her issues on women and work happiness as the major topic of her text. According to Joan, women are happy at work when they like these aspects about their work; purpose, people and processes. She supports her assertions by quoting interviews with 100 women as well as statistics from other theorists. Gordon’s assertions are true in that the women are at the core of much family functionality and as such, family shapes the decisions that many women make about work.
Gordon asserts that when women love the process, the people, and the purpose of their work, they are bound to become happy in their work. She states that such as the woman obtains great pleasure from the day-to-day activities that her job requires. The woman is also happy when her work leads to a worthwhile outcome or purpose. Moreover, a woman is happy at her work when she likes and respects the individuals with whom she works.
Gordon’s ideas about women happiness about work have obtained support from other books. Other texts and theories have misled people on assumptions about work and happiness. The assumption that some people are innately happy leads the list of such assumptions. In addition, happy, working women do not have to work because they are wealthy, or their husband works. Others include the assumption that happy workers do not require help in their careers. In this regard, Gordon observes, “most of the Happy 100 women can trace the origin of their current job back to childhood” (Bowe & Bowe 15). Gordon seeks to show readers the significance of each of the decisions that people make as they seek for careers that make them happy and fulfilled. This observation holds true for the workers we have read about in the book.
There are several instances in the book where several people are seen to trace the origin of their current job back to childhood. The 18-years old escort, Simone had been an escort for about a month. Her childhood contributed immensely to her current job since her mother did drugs. Simone’s mother also got into several marriages and Simone lacked proper parental upbringing. Apparently, Simone never wanted to become an escort or a hooker in this case, but the lifestyle she was accustomed to as she grew up predisposed her to that kind of job.
Concerning the three Ps (purpose, people and process) and how people trace their current jobs to their childhood, several characters in the book “gig” exemplify Gordon’s point. At the tender age of 18 years, Simone seems to have been accustomed to her work fast. She describes of how her typical day is like with relative ease and a carefree attitude. She also describes how she makes her money with ease. Probably Simone can relate the kind of men who used to visit her mother to the kind of clients she now gets. These issues could help her translate the abuses and the dissatisfaction she felt or experienced as a child into a moneymaking venture. It helps him/her appreciates her feel loved and to appear lovable thereby fulfilling a childhood desire or inadequacy. As such, it shows that a person’s childhood had a hand in enhancing a person’s later interests in life. The quest to achieve innate childhood dreams brings about happiness by giving meaning and purpose to processes and things.
According to Gordon, the 3 Ps “do not always exist in equilibrium” (Bowe & Bowe 10). Some of the jobs could involve someone working with people that s/he likes. In addition, many people do jobs that are beneficial and thus are purposeful in many ways. However, the process involved in many jobs may not be pleasant. For instance, Simone the escort could like the purpose for which she works-which is to make money, she may also like the process, but she seems to hate the people with whom she works as she describes the men as unattractive and old.
I believe that childhood is a good pace for one to look for and identify one’s innate interests and motivations. When one is a child, there are very few inhibitions and worries. One can imagine, create, and express their aides in any way they feel comfortable (Batcho et al. 534). There are few worries that some dreams and ambitions are too big or too unrealistic. As such, one can set their sights to achieve great things later on in life. People who follow their childhood dreams and ambitions may also tend to achieve their dreams when they are younger.
Joanne Gordon’s piece observes that many women she spoke to “trace the origins of their current job back to childhood." She also adds that people find happiness in their work because it serves the purpose, one enjoys the company of workmates, and they enjoy the process of working. Although these three Ps do not always exist in equilibrium, the innate motivations, creativity and interest that one has a child stand to increase chances of one enjoying and being happy with their work.
Bowe, John, Marisa Bowe, and Sabin C. Streeter. Gig: Americans Talk About Their Jobs. New York: Three Rivers Press, 2009. Print
Batcho, Krystine Irene, Andrea M. Nave, and Meghan L. Darin. "A Retrospective Survey of Childhood Experiences.” Journal of Happiness Studies 12.4 (2011): 531-545. Print.