Half of marketers feel happy. Fulfilled. Contented. Half don't. What factors determine marketer happiness, and how can you get happy if you're feeling unfulfilled (or even if you're just feeling sort of meh) with your work?

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This week on Marketing Smarts, I talk with Matt Snodgrass, director of marketing for MarketingProfs, about the 2019 Marketer Happiness Report. The report is based on a study created in cooperation with Mantis Research, and it offers insight into what makes marketing professionals happy and fulfilled.

Here are a few key findings Matt and I discuss in this episode:

  • Marketers actively look for new opportunities to learn. 4 out 5 marketers are actively seeking projects that require us to learn new skills. In addition to keeping our skills sharp, this "learning mindset" is one of the key factors in marketer happiness.
  • Marketers are not seeking outside perspective. Only a quarter of us meet regularly with people outside our organization to exchange ideas.
  • Marketers are at the mercy of our inboxes. Most marketers know what we need to accomplish on any given day, but 43% of us get waylaid based on what's in our email inbox.
  • We have a tough time focusing, and no designated retreat we can go to when doing demanding work. Less than half of us have a place we go when we are working on mentally challenging tasks.
  • Half of marketers worry that we don't know as much as our peers. We cross-compare hard, and it turns out half of us feel as though we don't measure up to our peers.
  • Only half of us feel fulfilled as professionals. The other half (those who feel unfulfilled or simply "meh") can make some simple changes to cross over into happiness and fulfillment.

"When we looked at happiness and fulfillment," Matt explains, "we looked at seven key aspects that we defined as indicating fulfillment. Things like whether people felt valued at work, whether the work they're doing energizes or bores them, whether they feel burned out, how frequently they've thought about leaving their jobs...things like that."

After examining the responses, the researchers determined that happiness boils down to these six factors:

  1. Learning Mindset: Are you striving to seek out new things?
  2. Grit: Do you bounce back when things don't go as planned?
  3. Intention: Do you know what you need to do each day (and can you focus on it)?
  4. Community: Do you feel supported by your peers?
  5. Energy: Are you engaging in self-care?
  6. Fulfillment: Are you bored or energized at work? 

The report defines and delves into each of those factors, yielding insight into how happy marketers differ from their less-fulfilled colleagues.

Finding happiness and fulfillment takes commitment, but there are some simple changes you can make today to increase your level of contentment:

  1. Find (or be) a mentor. Feeling supported is one of the keys to happiness, and a mentor relationship supports both mentor and mentee/protege.
  2. Block off distraction-free time on your calendar, blocks of time when you shut off email and mobile notifications to focus on mentally demanding work.
  3. Carve out space for concentration. This might be an internal "happy place" you reach by using noise cancelling headphones, like Matt does, or it might be an actual office or workroom that you reserve for your most challenging tasks.
  4. Make marketer happiness an organizational priority. A learning mindset, community, intention—all the factors that contribute to marketer happiness are difficult to influence working solo. Buy-in at the top can help pave the way for recognition programs, mentoring programs, and other happiness-inducing initiatives.

To learn more, check out the full report at mprofs.com/happiness, and follow Matt on Twitter @msnods.

Matt and I talked about so much, including the importance of mentoring relationships, ways to minimize distractions at work, and ideas for recognizing employee achievement at your organization, so be sure to listen to the entire show, which you can do above, or download the mp3 and listen at your convenience. Of course, you can also subscribe to the Marketing Smarts podcast in iTunes or via RSS and never miss an episode!

This episode brought to you by MarketingProfs PRO:

A MarketingProfs PRO subscription is the ultimate training program to ensure you're prepared for every stage of the marketing campaign cycle. Learn the skills to drive results from your campaigns, every single time. Save 40% in January with code HAPPINESS.

Music credit: Noam Weinstein.