Welcome to the Monthly Happiness Report of September, 2014! This month marked the start of my professional career as an engineer. I started my traineeship at a major marine contractor. No more holidays and traveling for me! Or so I thought, at least! Starting my career definitely had some effects on my happiness!
Let’s have a look at some of the happiness tracking data.
Despite starting my life in the corporate world of contracting, my average happiness rating in September, 2014 was still a whopping 7,98. Coincidentally, this is the same as last month, where I went on an amazing camping trip!
The chart below shows my happiness ratings during September, 2014:
My happiness was super constant throughout the month. Only the last couple of days show a relatively steep decline in happiness.
The table below shows all the happiness ratings for September, including the factors that influenced it.
The chart below shows all the factors that had a positive influence on my happiness during September, 2014.
One of my biggest passions is music. I love recording my own ideas and writing songs. It started years ago, when I bought a cheap audio interface for my laptop. By September, 2014, I had a somewhat good home studio.
Recording music was something that I missed a lot during my 5 month period in New Zealand. I only had a cheap acoustic guitar. So when I got inspiration for songs, all I could do was record the basic music on my smartphone.
“I locked myself in my home studio a lot of the time”
This meant that I had a ton of ideas to properly record, and now was the time. In the first 2 weeks of September, 2014, I locked myself in my home studio a lot of the time, only to record music. I loved every single moment of it.
It was also my goal to finish an album before the end of 2014, so I was trying to get a lot done during this time. I was starting my career soon, and was pretty sure that it would mess up my music time.
Turns out I was right… I didn’t finish the album in 2014. Not even in 2015. I only finished my album in December of 2016.
What can I say? Life gets in the way, eh?
Starting my career
I started my career on the 15th of September. I was a trainee at a major marine contractor, and was ready to take on the world!
During the months between starting my career and returning from New Zealand, I was sometimes bored. It’s not like these months were shitty – not at all – but I was ready to enter the workforce. I was looking forward to being challenged and learning a lot of new things!
The first month of my career was quite an interesting period. I met a lot of new people. I sat in a lot of meeting rooms, listening to intros and presentations. There were also some courses, hotels and briefings. I liked it all!
The company also introduced me to the draft planning of my first year as their employee.
As it turned out, I was going to be working on multiple projects, and there was a 90% chance these projects were somewhere far – very far – away!
“I had to prepare for another period abroad”
I didn’t know that! My girlfriend and I had just survived a 5 month long distance relationship, and now these guys were telling me I had to prepare for yet another period abroad. I wasn’t exactly sure how that made me feel. All I knew was that things were going to be very interesting again, rather sooner than later.
I found out later, in October, where my first project was located. I will explain this situation further in the next Monthly Happiness Report.
Anyway, the effect that my work had on my happiness wasn’t terrible at all. In fact, I can honestly say I mostly liked it!
It had a positive effect on my happiness during 9 days in September. Not bad at all!
The other biggest contributor to my happiness was my relationship. I loved spending time with my girlfriend during the previous month, and I continued to love it during September. Knowing that we were probably going to be apart again in the near future luckily didn’t change it.
Negative happiness factors
There were some negative factors decreasing my happiness during September, 2014. The chart below shows these factors.
Some work related stress had a negative effect on my personal happiness. Not knowing where my next project assignment was going to be made me a little anxious. It could literally be anywhere in the world.
Starting my career also meant I had to participate in the daily commute.
Let me tell you this: I absolutely hate commuting.
I had to drive one of the busiest highways in the Netherlands, each morning and evening. As a trainee, I wasn’t able to determine my own office times, so I was stuck in traffic at the worst peak hours. This traffic had a negative effect on my happiness during the last two days of the month. It’s what caused the relatively steep decline in my overall happiness I mentioned earlier.
“As long as the good far outweighs the bad, I am still a happy man”
The rest was rather uneventful. As I have discussed multiple times before, my relationship with my girlfriend can occasionally have a negative impact on my happiness. But I believe these are signs of a healthy relationship. As long as the good far outweighs the bad, I am still a happy man.
I also went to a club on one of the days. I hope I don’t have to explain to you how I feel about clubs.
That’s it for this month. If you have any questions about anything, please let me know in the comments below, and I’ll be happy to answer them!
Founder of Tracking Happiness and lives in the Netherlands. Ran 5 marathons, with one of them in under 4 hours (3:59:58 to be exact). Data junkie and happiness tracker for over 6 years.