Young Timmy

Hi. I’m the new guy @YouEarnedIt and this is my first blog post. Throughout my first two weeks on the job, I’ve been immersed in the topic of engagement, recognition and workplace happiness. So, I’ve decided to start my career at YouEarnedIt with a post about what makes me happy at work.

First, let’s flashback a few decades to 8-year old Timmy (see above photo) delivering newspapers in a Chicago suburb. It was my first job and I delivered just under 300 fresh copies of the Chicago Tribune seven days a week. In the snowy winter months, my work tools included a 6′ toboggan, some moon boots my mom thought looked cute, and a red snowmobile suit zipped from head to toe. Despite my wardrobe and the mostly mundane and physically demanding work, there were moments of happiness during my three years with the Tribune. For example, I remember feeling like the birds and I owned the quiet, pre-dawn neighborhood before the adults woke up to start their workdays. I also remember the satisfaction I’d get when I’d run into a customer who thanked me for delivering his news each day. Then there was the time I asked for my first raise and the feeling of pride when my boss agreed to pay me an extra $0.35 per hour. Finally, I was happiest picking up my pay each Saturday and treating myself to donuts. The warm donuts melted in my mouth and made it all worthwhile!

The warm donuts melted in my mouth and made it all worthwhile!

Photo used with permission by fellow toboggan enthusiast, Simon Lebrun via

Photo used with permission by fellow toboggan enthusiast, Simon Lebrun via

Flash forward to 2013 and this former paperboy now goes by Tim. Since the days of the paper route, I’ve taken a wild toboggan ride down a hill of mostly fun, often challenging, sometimes boring, usually exciting and always interesting work experiences. As I reflect back over the years, I can identify the types of work, bosses, and environments that make work fun and rewarding. I’d like to share this list with you.

Tim’s Top 10 Happiness at Work List:

  1. Surrounded by super smart, creative, positive and well-balanced people that are active listeners
  2. Empowered to learn, experiment, own projects, try new things, fail, and succeed
  3. Leadership that has clearly defined goals and extreme confidence in the company vision
  4. Recognized by co-workers and bosses for ideas and accomplishments
  5. Access to work tools like a reliable internet connection, a fast computer, a functioning printer, white boards, a desk, and a comfortable seat
  6. Commute time under 20 minutes
  7. Support and timely guidance from leaders
  8. Collaborative and enthusiastic teammates who’ve got my back
  9. Opportunities for professional development and creative expression
  10. Fair pay and an opportunity to have some skin in the game

My enthusiasm, productivity and contributions skyrocket when the stars are aligned and the items on my happiness at work list are in place.

How about you? What are a couple of must haves for your Happiness at Work List? Please share or post on our social media pages:

Twitter: @youearnedit

Facebook: YEI.happinessatwork