How Hygge In the Workplace Can Help With Your Job Search

By Meshanda Banks

June 5, 2018   •   Fact checked by Dumb Little Man

The Danes continue to top the list of the happiest countries in the world. In fact, in this year’s World Happiness Report, they came in at second, just behind Norway. Many believe their high levels of happiness is due to the Danish concept of hygge (pronounced as hoo-gah).

Hygge is defined by Meik Wiking, CEO of the Happiness Research Institute, in his book The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living, as “…an atmosphere and an experience, rather than about things.” This means surrounding yourself with the people you love, having a strong sense of home, and feeling you’re safe and shielded from the world.

the little book of hygge

Unfortunately, it’s hard to link feelings of love, home, and safety to the process of job searching. It’s easy to feel vulnerable and uneasy putting yourself out there and deciding on what’s the best change for your life. But, by implementing hygge in the workplace, you’ll be able to give yourself more opportunities to not only make the right decision but be happy and confident in your options.

Create a Calming Job Search Atmosphere

The atmosphere you create for yourself while job searching highly affects your attitude, mood, and decision-making abilities.

Hygge is all about coziness and comfort. This means sneaking in a job search while in a stressful environment, like your current office, isn’t going to allow you to make the most out of your time.

Think of a place where you feel relaxed and free to be yourself. Get your favorite mug and fill it with a soothing tea or hot coffee. Curl up under a cozy blanket and play a calming music. Now, you’re ready to get your search started.

Find People You Love

Wiking’s definition of hygge isn’t about surrounding yourself with loved ones just at home- they should be everywhere. Finding a work-tribe you love takes a lot of time and attention to detail but, believe me, it’s worth it. Social support from co-workers who understand how you operate helps manage stress and promotes productivity.

It’s time to go into stealth mode.

Research a company’s mission statement and values on their website. Keep those in mind and peek into its employees’ social media pages.

Look at their LinkedIn pages to see what previous roles they held and dig into the descriptions of each role to see why they were passionate about each one. Use Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook to see how they’re living out the company’s mission and vision. Additionally, see how much you have in common with them.

If you’re considering applying for the role, don’t hesitate to reach out to current employees. Let them know who you are, the role you’re applying for, and that you’d like to know more about the culture and atmosphere in their workplace.

Search for a Home

office space tour

The idea of ‘home,’ according to the hygge concept, revolves around your ability to let your guard down, feel safe, open up and be yourself. While this is largely impacted by co-workers, it’s also about the space you’ll be working in every day.

Take a tour of the office space. If a company doesn’t offer a virtual tour, look for open houses or ask a recruiter or hiring manager for one.

During the tour, ask yourself these questions:

  • Is this a place where I can let my guard down?
  • Do I feel safe?
  • Does this place spark an excitement and creativity?
  • Do I feel comfortable and cozy in this space?
  • Do I feel like I could focus and be my best here?

If you answered yes to a majority of these questions, you’ve likely found a place where you’d feel right at home. Take notes of what made you feel this way and look for those in other offices as you continue your search.

Meshanda Banks

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