Growing up, I used to think that having a high station in life was the ultimate pursuit. Fast forward to the present, where I am married with 2 awesome kids, my priorities certainly have changed.
Now don't get me wrong, having all the resources to help you obtain a great quality of life is wonderful, but the variable of happiness is never really discussed when you are growing up. Like most, the assumption is that once you have reached a point where you can afford all of life's little luxuries, the intangibles, such as your health, emotional stability, and social needs would automatically be taken care of; but this couldn't be further from the truth.
"I realized how unhappy I was in my industry"
After graduating college with an accounting and finance degree, I hoped of becoming an investment banker one day (to be a part of the wall street crowd, drinking martini's and earning substantial bonus checks). But then reality hit and I took a respectable position as an accountant. I thought that everything would be great until I realized how unhappy I was in my industry. The hours were long, the work was mundane, and there was no opportunity for creative expression.
Luckily I was headhunted by a wonderful person over at 1800flowers who offered me a position to manage an in-house startup called Florists.com. Although the industry I was heading into definitely gave me my doubts, something in my gut told me I'd be much better off working there than working as an accountant. With a deep breath and fingers crossed, I decided "what the hell? Let's Do It."
For the first few weeks, I was unsure of my decision... not exactly knowing what I got myself into. Flowers? WTH, I don't know anything about flowers! Why in the world did I leave my job?
"87% of florists and gardeners are considered to be happy," happier than "the more lucrative and prestigious careers"
Then I came upon a book titled Happiness by Design by Dr. Paul Dolan. One of the main tenets of his book is that in order to be happy, one should choose their career path carefully. WOW! Now I'm wondering whether my decision was logical, but after reading the book, it showed me that I made one of the best impulsive decisions of my life. According to Dr. Dolan, a resounding 87% of florists and gardeners are considered to be happy: and on this happiness scale, they are ranked much higher than the more lucrative and prestigious careers that we know about.
Learning that florists are considered one of the happiest professions, I began to look at my career choice from a different perspective. As a marketer for our florists, my daily conversations with many of them makes me believe how happy they really are. One of our florist's even says that the creativity expressed in their floral designs gives them a feeling of freedom and complete control. The icing on the cake is when an arrangement is presented to a recipient on behalf of the customer.
"the creativity expressed in their floral designs gives them a feeling of freedom and complete control"
It turns out that I am actually in the business of sharing happiness. Helping florists across the country craft, design, and deliver emotional statements in the form of a flower arrangement is incredibly fulfilling. When a son sends their mother a beautiful bouquet over a 1000 miles away, to the spouse of a #veteran on active duty, who receives an arrangement to show that they are never forgotten, it is the florist who steps in to convey the sender's message when they are not able to.
So now the question is, am I happy? The answer is, more than ever before. My career gives me great challenges to solve every day, and it never gets boring. The people are phenomenal, and the work is dynamic. I no longer focus on the efforts of extracting physical currency from my position but on the intrinsic value of happiness I earn every day.