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How to write yourself a happiness manifesto

Image by Ana Escobar
  • Written byCareers and Employability
  • Published date 21 September 2022
Image by Ana Escobar
Image by Ana Escobar

A manifesto is a declaration of intent. Whilst popular as a political tool they’re also commonly used by artists and anyone trying to define their stance in relation to things like social, political, or artistic movements, lifestyle practices etc.

Usually a public declaration, what if you used the idea of writing a manifesto to set your own intentions when it comes to your happiness? When it’s for yourself it doesn’t have to be public.

If you want to see more examples of what your manifesto of happiness could look like, try starting with UAL’s libraries  to look for e-books and physical resources on artist manifestos, available on campus.

Also, once you’ve written your manifestio, feel free to share them with us -We would love to see them! Whether you’re into the idea of sharing what’s important to you or not, we’re into it. How do you feel about manifestos of happiness, do you think it’s something you might try for yourself or are you struggling to see how it might help you? There’s no right answer, but we welcome all feedback and are always open to talking about it, get in touch:

Here are some tips on how to get started:

Paper or digital?

You get to choose whether it’s something you commit to paper or digitally, but it will help to have it somewhere where you will see it regularly, especially whilst job hunting or when considering a change of work pace. Hang it on your bedroom wall, save it as a screensaver on your phone, laptop background, or wherever works for you.

Questions to ask yourself

Start by asking yourself reflective questions, something like:

What does my ideal work environment look like?

What makes me happy while working?

Who do I want to work with/what does my ideal client/employer present like?

What could be some signs you feel happy in the work you do?

What recent task has given you enjoyment and energy?

Writing it up

Then aim to write 3 - 10 ideas or statements formed around your chosen question. For example:

“What makes me a happy employee”

“I want to hang out with co-workers outside of work” - Research companies with work-based sports team opportunities, look for jobs in locations where there are lots of lunch options nearby!

“I need a steady income no less than (work out for self) to survive” – prioritise looking for opportunities offering that figure or above, permanent contracts (where possible) before considering things like fixed term for 1 year plus.

“Being able to manage my own time and not be micro-managed" – look for roles that highlight being able to manage my own time effectively and treat any micromanagement by boss or colleagues as a red flag

Change it when you need to

It can help you define what is important to you, which can act as a guiding motivator at work.

It could provide you with some control over future decisions you make when it comes to applying for jobs or looking for clients to freelance with.

It’s for you alone, so it can’t be wrong, and it doesn’t have to remain static – you are a person and the things that make you happy or that are important to you will inevitably change throughout your life, let your manifesto reflect that.

Use it as a guide

Whilst it cannot lead to guarantees, it can help you feel like you are making intentional choices, influenced by things that are important to you. If you ever reach a point where an experience is not aligning with what is important to you and you are able to make changes, you can use your manifesto to help guide your actions.

You cannot always commit to all your intentions at the same time but having an awareness of what brings you energy and enjoyment in work and life, you will be more able to pursue opportunities that align with the things that will bring you maximum joy.

If you are looking for help and guidance with your career, we are here to help. Find out more about our services through our webpages.