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March 31 2015 is International Quit Your Crappy Job Day

Too many people stay for too long in jobs they hate. An estimated 20-25% of employees hate their jobs and wish they could quit tomorrow.

This is bad for you. Being unhappy at work can destroy your career, your health, your family and your private life.

Quitting is an option and often it’s the best option. That’s why we’re declaring March 31 to be International Quit Your Crappy Job Day.

We’ve created a web site for it, where you can test yourself to see if it’s time to quit and get knowledge and inspiration to actually do it.

Visit InternationalQuitYourCrappyJobDay.com.

Know someone who’s miserable at work? Share the site with them and maybe that can inspire them to move on to something better.

Quityourcrappyjob

My top 10 most popular articles ever

I started this blog on October 14 2002, almost exactly 10 years ago, and it may have been one of my smartest decisions ever. Not only has blogging taught me to enjoy writing (and led to me writing 3 books) but it’s also been a great way to spread the message of happiness at work to the world.

Since 2002 the blog has had more than 10,000,000 page views from about 7,000,000 unique visitors. My most popular blog post alone, has over 1,000,000 page views. Not bad :o)

It’s been quite a ride and it’s still going strong, but here’s a short stroll down memory lane with my top 10 most popular articles from the last 10 years.

10: Top 5 reasons why “The Customer is Always Right” is wrong
The phrase “The customer is always right” was originally coined by Harry Gordon Selfridge, the founder of Selfridge’s department store in London in 1909. Ironically it often leads to unhappy employees and bad customer service. Here are the top five reasons why “The customer is always right” is wrong.

9: Ten seeeeeeriously cool workplaces
Physical space matters. It’s easier to be productive, creative and happy at work in a colourful, organic, playful environment than in a grey, linear, boring one. Take a tour of 10 really cool, beautiful workplaces.

8: How NOT to lead geeks
The main reason IT people are unhappy at work is bad relations with management, often because geeks and managers have fundamentally different personalities, professional backgrounds and ambitions. See the top 10 mistakes IT managers make.

7: Secret salaries are a baaaaaad idea
It’s a golden rule in most businesses that salaries must be kept secret. Except for a few heretics, it is almost universally accepted that mayhem would ensue in the workplace if people knew what their co-workers, their managers or – gasp – the CEO was making. Making salaries open inside a company instead seems like a wild idea sure, but it makes a lot of sense and brings advantages for both the workplace and for its people.

6: Top five business maxims that need to go
Much well-known business advice is sadly obsolete but can still be found in articles, business books and, not least, in daily use in the workplace. The worst of these old maxims are not only wrong, they’re bad for people and bad for business. Here’s my pick of the top 5 business maxims in serious need of an update – with a replacement for each.

5: Rewards don’t motivate. No, really, they don’t.
Many people don’t feel motivated at work, and there’s a very simple explanation for this: The motivational techniques used by most managers don’t work.

4: Top ten bad excuses for staying in a job you hate
If you’re unhappy at work, I’m sure that the thought “Man, I really should quit!” crosses your mind occasionally. So why don’t you? Here are 10 of the most common bad excuses for staying in a crappy job.

3: 12 ways to pimp your office
I’m not going to claim that a fancy desk or a weird chair is going to magically improve your creativity and productivity – but I am damn sure, that all that sameness and eternal corporate grayness, does nothing good for your ability to come up with great new ideas. Here are some ways to spruce up a workplace that may actually inject some color and fun into your work environment.

2: Top ten signs you’re unhappy at work
How do you know that you’re unhappy at work? In my work, I talk to a lot of people who are not happy with their jobs. Here are the top ten symptoms of unhappiness at work that I’ve observed. How many apply to you?

1: Don’t let The Cult of Overwork ruin your life
I know it’s normal to view people working constant overtime as heroes of the organization. But still I think they would be more efficient and enjoy life more if they cut down their time at work. They may find that they become more open, less stressed, have more fun AND are better role models for their employees. This cult of overwork has got to stop.

You can find more popular posts from the blog here.

Name us!

Help us find a new name

We want a new name. ‘Cause the name we have right now sucks :o)

Currently our company is called “Projekt Arbejdsglæde” (The Happy at Work Project) which doesn’t work for two reasons:

  1. It’s in Danish – and we’re increasingly working outside of Denmark
  2. It doesn’t even sound that good in Danish :o)

You know how we even got that name? Back when I founded the company, I couldn’t come up with a name for it. So I said “Until I come up with a name, we’ll just call it The Happy at Work Project.” Biiiiiig mistake :o)

So – we want a new name. And we’d love your help.

Here are some parameters:

  • The name has to signify energy, joy, happiness, zest.
  • We’re keeping our logo (the little jumping dude you can see above), so something that connects to jumping would be great!
  • We want something different, provocative, interesting, untraditional and fun. Something that’ll grab people’s attention.
  • It should work in as many languages as possible.
  • The .com domain name should be free.

Just to give you a sense of what we want – we’d actually decided to go with the name SPOING inc. Then it turned out that there is already another company in Demark called Spoing. Darn!

So… do you have an idea for a name for our company? Write a comment.

Everyone who suggests a name will receive a free pdf e-book copy of my first book Happy Hour is 9 to 5. So have at it  - I can’t wait to see what you guys come up with :o)

Back from Austria

Skiing Sölden Austria

I’m back from snowboarding in Sölden Austria and it absolutely rocked. I was very curious how my new Ride Snowboard + Burton boots would work out and they were excellent. I have never ridden so fast. In fact, I managed to seriously scare myself a couple of times :o)

Steve RoeslerWhile I was gone Steve Roesler of the All Things Workplace blog did some excellent posts on change and happiness which I really enjoyed reading. My favorite has got to be the one on the backlash against happiness. Good grief!

That post also inspired some great comments, especially Kevin Carson’s on the unethical use of Fish and similar tools in the hospital where he works and Scott Nutter’s notion that it’s not about being happy but happier.

It’s interesting to notice that Steve’s style is more open and inquiring, where my blog posts tend to be more argumentative and “here’s what I think!”-like.

So thank you Steve for giving the blog a great peek into a very important topic and for introducing some great conversations.

To thank Steve for his help, I sent him a small present: a copy of my very favorite book on change. This is one book that changed me.

And if you want another look at what I was up to in Austria, here’s a POV video of me snowboarding some fresh powder, ending with a major crash :o) Man, I love falling in powder!

The video was taken with my new helmet-mounted video camera. Yes, I looove gadgets :o)

It’s true – I’ve been a bad boy

Sorry

I must apologize – I haven’t been responding to comments on my blog at all for the last month or so and I’ve been seriously lax about it for about three months before that.

Two readers called me on it in the comments – thank you!! I needed the wake-up call.

I feel bad about it, because I used to pride myself on responding to almost every single comment on the blog and I want to get back to that. I have been reading all comments that come in, but that’s not enough to create a good conversation, so here’s my promise: From now on, I’ll devote time to reply to comments on the blog.

I make this promise for one simple reason: the comments here are a continual source of inspiration for me. I have learned so much from your input, ideas, arguments and stories – and the least I can do is reply.

So even though business is craaaaazy busy these days (wooo-hooooo!) I will not compromise on this and I will make sure to leave time in my calendar to make sure that this blog remains an interesting read and a good place to discuss happiness at work.

You guys just have to promise to keep the great comments coming.

Deal?

Happy birthday to…

GiftThis blog is now five years old! I can’t believe it!! If you can’t either, I can prove it: here’s my very first post.

It’s been quite a ride. For the first three and a half years it was pretty quiet around here with wildly irregular posting and just a few faithful readers. And then, last year, it took off like crazy. The day before my own birthday, incidentally.

Some stats:

  • This is post number 1,203
  • There are 5,325 comments on the site
  • Akismet, the spam blogging software I use, has blocked 167,674 spam comments. Sheeesh!
  • In the last year, this blog has been read by 1.5 million(!) people.

I feel truly grateful and proud to work on something this… big. And it makes me really happy because it tells me that people all over the world have a deep, lasting interest in happiness at work.

Some of my proudest moments with the blog have been:

  • Writing posts that get read by tens of thousands of people
  • Getting feedback, ideas, tips and criticism from so many nice people
  • Getting email from a lady in Hong Kong who quit her crappy job because of something she read here
  • Being invited to speak in India, because of the blog
  • Asking for help and getting it

Now: if you’d like to give this blog a birthday present, I ask for the gift of feedback! I’d love to ask you:

  1. What do you like about this blog?
  2. What could I do to make the blog more useful to you and even more popular?
  3. What has been the most inspiring or useful thing you’ve learned here, that has helped you become happier at work?

If you’d like to answer one or more of these questions, please write a comment.

And most of all: Thank you for reading this blog!

My favorite award yet: Adultitis Antidote

Adultitis Antidote Award

Kim & Jason Kotecki are on a mission: They’re fighting Adultitis. Their blog Escaping Adulthood offers up strategies from childhood to help you treat Adultitis and create a life with less stress and more fun.

And now they’re passing out awards to blogs that embody this spirit:

When it comes to the blogosphere, an Adultitis Antidote is a blog exhibiting a childlike spirit that helps counteract the effects of Adultitis by using honesty, curiosity, passion and playfulness to encourage its readers to delight in the little things, dream big, and stress less.

And they’re including my blog among the winners! Wooo-hooooo :o)

Kim wrote to me to tell me about the award, saying:

You are putting out content that needs to be heard. So many people drag themselves through their 9-5, only to spend their 5-9 recouping for another day. We see too many people living for the weekends. Your blog challenges people to step back and look at their jobs in a new light.

So often, as adults, we don’t ask “why” anymore. Yet, children are always looking for answers. The content you are providing answers many of the questions people should be asking about their 9-5, but don’t. Happiness is the key!

This is my favorite blog award so far :o)

And I have to agree that most of us are waaaaay too adult about work, taking it much too seriously and creating way too much stress in the process, even though meeting serious challenges with a playful attitude sometimes gets you much better results. In fact, one CEO of a large Danish company always told her employees:

Remember, work is just something we play at.

A great big thank you to Kim & Jason for this award which made me very happy!