Table of Contents

Flourishing in Life, Work and Careers

Flourishing in Life, Work and Careers

Individual Wellbeing and Career Experiences

New Horizons in Management series

Edited by Ronald J. Burke, Kathryn M. Page and Cary Cooper

Happiness in one aspect of our life can positively impact upon our satisfaction within other domains of our life. The opposite also rings true. Today’s generation of working people have often been called the generation who want it all. But can we really have it all? And at what cost to our and others’ happiness? Flourishing in Life, Work and Careers explores ways in which contemporary working people can thrive in a complex, volatile and uncertain world. Combining both research and practice, the contributors of this book cover all bases from individual wellbeing, family, work and career experiences, to leadership. They conclude by providing the reader with tools to combine what they have learnt and apply it to their own lives.

Chapter 1: Flourishing in love and work

Ronald J. Burke

Subjects: business and management, gender and management, human resource management, organisational behaviour, social policy and sociology, family and gender policy


Sigmund Freud believed that two areas contributed to individual happiness and fulfilment – love and work, ‘lieben und arbeiten’. But Freud did not think that work was satisfying to most people; most worked out of necessity. We have broadened ‘love’ to include family, relationships with others, and extra-work activities. We have also broadened ‘work’ to include careers and lifelong contribution, to better reflect present day realities. In addition, more women and men today are raising the issue of ‘happiness’. Thus, a central question becomes, how can they flourish in their lives, work and careers (Keyes and Haidt, 2003; Sheldon, 2004)? Why is flourishing in life, work and careers important? Let us first consider levels of flourishing in life and work. Keyes (2002) examined a mental health continuum, with languishing and flourishing in life at each end, in a sample of 3032 US adults.