The Pursuit of
It’s not even 6 a.m. when attorney Hilary
Henkind kisses her three young children
goodbye each morning. An hourlong
train ride whisks her into New York City,
where she spends 10 hours a day scruti-
nizing densely worded insurance poli-
cies and claims. She doesn’t return home
until 6: 15 p.m.
Sound like a grind? Not to Henkind.
She adores her work, her duties and
her autonomy. She basks in respect from
her co-workers and clients, and she
thrives on the variety her job provides.
“Every day is different. There’s no
tedium in it,” says Henkind, who admits
she finds intricate insurance matters
Her favorite task is sleuthing
through documents for critical lan-
guage that bolsters a client’s position
in a claims dispute.
“It sounds geeky, but it’s very exciting
when it happens,” Henkind says. “It’s
almost like hitting the jackpot when you
find that document for a case.”
Clearly, Henkind has hit the jackpot
on job happiness. Her work is far more
For more and more
workers, a job is
more than a means
to a paycheck. Find
out how a few small
changes at the office
might be just the ticket
to your happy place
than just a means to a paycheck; it’s
rewarding, fulfilling and fun, words more
often associated with hobbies than work.
But happiness like Henkind’s, a sheer
delight in your work, may be easier to
find than you think.
BY JUNE D. BELL
Experts in the burgeoning field of
positive psychology are looking more
closely at the vital components that
make work, life and relationships richly
satisfying. That’s a big change. Psychology has traditionally focused on what
goes awry in people’s mental makeup,
such as phobias, neuroses and disorders.
But the fledgling field of positive psychology instead probes what goes right
in love, work and life and then suggests
ways to get more of it.
University of Pennsylvania psychology professor Martin Seligman is considered the father of positive psychology, a
field that is just a decade old. In his latest
book, Flourish, he broadens his focus
beyond mere happiness to well-being,