Assess Your Well-Being at Work Using PERMA

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BetterUp Studios

10 min

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Are you your best self at work? Your company may take great pains to ensure the emotional well-being of its employees or completely ignore it. Either way, it’s ultimately your personal responsibility to take stock of how you feel and take steps to improve your well-being.

One challenge we face when assessing our own well-being is that we mistakenly view it as a single factor, when in reality, there are many forces at play. Positive psychology pioneer Martin Seligman created a five-component model for well-being known by the acronym “PERMA.” Applying this model to your own life can give you a richer glimpse into your current state, and more importantly, help you identify new pathways for growth that you may have never considered.


  1. Take a moment to reflect on each of the aspects of well-being outlined below. Does your work currently contribute to that aspect of your life? Give yourself a score of 1 (my work does not contribute to this aspect of my well-being at all), to 5 (my work greatly contributes to this aspect of my well-being).

    • Positive Emotions: How often do you feel joyful, happy, satisfied or content?
    • Engagement: Do you feel fully engaged and immersed in your tasks?
    • Relationships: Are your relationships strong, rich, and positive?
    • Meaning/Purpose: Do you have a sense that what you are doing is meaningful and has a larger purpose?
    • Accomplishment: Are you recognized and valued for what you do?
  2. Let’s get creative. Go back to each of the five components of well-being. Take some time to think about how to use any highly-rated component to help you thrive at work.

    • Example: I have a strong sense of purpose for why I want to sell this product (e.g., it will help get it in the hands of people who need it most), so I will persist when I hear “no” multiple times in a row.
  3. Now dig a little deeper: Consider any dimensions that felt unsatisfactory. How might you give yourself a boost in this area?

    • Example: Noticing that I rated my work a two for contributing to satisfying relationships made me feel surprised and a little sad. In the future I would like to make sure I spend my lunch hour engaged with colleagues, to give myself more of an opportunity to create meaningful connections at work.
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