1.   They don’t try to make themselves do things that they might be good at, but don’t genuinely enjoy (or hate).

This means that, from the start, you are more discerning about what you want at work or to do for work and find a way to make that happen as much as you can as often as you can. This saves time and energy in the end. You’re way better at what you genuinely enjoy anyhow. So be prepared to like work!

2.  They don’t try to be a different person in different settings.

The old ways of thinking and being made work and home seem separate – almost as though they required two different personalities from one person. Those aren’t the values of younger generations and older generations seem to see the wisdom in a life without separation. It was (get this!) “too much work!” The older you get, the harder it is to maintain different ways of being that feel too different from how you actually are. Save your health, relationships and time by finding work and ways to be yourself more often.

3.  They know how to say “no.” Only don’t make it sound like you’ve said “no.”

Yes, this one sounds completely unbelievable. But consider this: most people don’t really understand or know what they’re wanting when they come to you. They just need someone to tell their problem to. And you’re assuming that you know what they want because all you want is for their bad feelings to go away. Because you want to help. Of course.

First things first to conserve your precious energy – help that someone asking for your help discern what they want and then let them know what their options are. Let them choose and/or help them choose by offering a suggestion or recommendation. Do this first to see how they respond before you go to all the trouble of doing something that won’t actually resolve their feelings. But don’t choose for them. You’re going to stop that now. Aren’t you?

4.  They have interests and pursuits outside of work that make them happier about being at work.

Funny how it works that the more meaningful other aspects of your life are, the more meaningful the time you spend at work feels. Don’t be one of those people that tries to make your paid hours the absolute and most meaningful thing ever. No one thing in life can give you that and if it does, it won’t be long until it doesn’t and you’re feeling frustrated again. Life is diverse and always changing. Just like you.

5.  They laugh and because they do, it feels good to be around them.

People are drawn to people that they like to be around. Smart as you may be, it doesn’t help if you’re not likable. Not that you need to change yourself to be likable.  In fact, please don’t. Others can’t really be happy if you’re not happy. No one wants that for you and you don’t want that for you, nor from anyone else. The goal here: Find somewhere to work that brings out your unique style of likability. Everyone has some. You just need to be in the right environment – for you.