Wisdom From a Citizen of The Crown: 

The importance of love in the workplace.

A well-known and high profile figure, Paul has spent over 40 years within the recruitment industry. He is the former Managing Director of Office Angels, Board Director of Adecco UK & Ireland and Chief Talent Officer of Hudson UK, Ireland, and the Middle East. Watch this insightful video as Paul speaks to career aspirations and success. 

The Pursuit of Happiness

“We hold these truths to be self-evident…endowed with unalienable Rights…among these are…the pursuit of Happiness…” with the word ‘Happiness’ capitalized according to the authors. Brave souls who penned the Declaration of Independence in the Americas over two centuries ago in what was then a New World remain an inspiration for leaders of our time.

Today, many leaders of the world’s companies and organizations, whether large or start-up innovators, are modern pioneers in the new world of technology and science. They are the latter-day disrupters that are carving paths through a wilderness that is in some ways as daunting and unexplored as those in the early days of the sixteenth century.

Yet, even a cursory view of organizations seeking such brave talent to explore these new worlds, are void of the words that tap into the hearts of most people on the planet – the desire to be happy. Masked in the business jargon of “employee satisfaction” there hints a deeper need for human beings within the workplace: the need for happiness.

Business professionals seldom mention this goal when discussing their career aspirations. Their common stated desire is for higher compensation, equity ownership, or the next rung on the corporate ladder…these are seemingly rational reasons for the business professional’s next career.

Many years ago, the first executive placement I ever made was that of a Chief Financial Officer.  The placement was unintentional, as I was then a very young and green recruitment representative in a temporary employment agency. My first interview was with a mature gentleman who had been with an oil company that had recently shed many thousands of employees. This gentleman (and he was exactly that – a gentleman) had a quality rarely seen in many executives –humility.  He sat attentively through an indoctrination for new employees, as the benefits associated with becoming an hourly temporary employee were very thoroughly explained. Admittedly, I did not immediately grasp his salary requirements ($225k annually), but boldly pressed on and offered him a temporary accounting assignment for a company at a nominal hourly rate. He accepted. He was assigned to a company outside his sector of experience and was soon hired as that company’s new CFO shortly after starting his hourly temporary job. When I called him to check on how he was enjoying his new job, he said he was “not just happy, but very happy.”

What he taught me so many years ago, was a lesson in humility.

That is the first step in seeking what so many of us desire but are hesitant to articulate in our search for a meaningful profession or career. The pursuit of Happiness is the foundation of what makes a successful executive. It takes humility to articulate this desire – even if only to ourselves. We are trained and educated in sophisticated ways that teach us to speak the language of business that is full of intelligent-sounding phrases that demonstrate our expertise in our respective fields. This expertise and knowledge are of course necessary, as is the ability to explain our experience.

However; wanting to be happy in what takes up a good portion of our lives – the world of work — is to be human. Do not be hesitant to articulate this desire to yourself as an essential ingredient in your next career.

Be brave and be happy.

Catherine King, Founder & Executive Consultant, Crown Talent Assets