The UN has been celebrating the international day of happiness since 2013, recognising the importance of happiness in the lives of people all around the world. Happiness and well-being are intertwined with the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals launched in 2015.
The International Day of Happiness campaign by Action for Happiness, a movement of people committed to building a happier and more caring society, is well worth a look. The message is simple and asks only for a pledge:
“I will try to create more happiness in the world around me”
The Action for Happiness movement is centred on 10 keys to happier living:
One of these keys, meaning, can particularly strike a chord when considering our working career and how we can challenge ourselves to create more happiness in the world.
Is your work meaningful?
Meaning is all about being part of something bigger. There are many ways to find meaning in your life, whether it is your religion, being a parent or doing a job that makes a difference.
Our careers are such a big part of our lives, we typically spend about 80,000 hours in our working career, surely it makes sense that we should get some meaning from what we do?
Now we can’t all wear a cape and fight crime of an evening, but we need to recognise the significance of the work that compliance and AML professionals do on a daily basis.
Anti money laundering essentially seeks to keep a criminal from spending their ill-gotten gains. The procedures you implement and follow, such as verifying identity and source of funds, disrupts criminals from being able to successfully launder their money.
The impact of crime is far reaching. In 2009 organised crime was estimated to generate $870 billion. That’s a huge figure but it doesn’t come close to encompassing the countless lives that are also lost as a result.
Organised crime is a contributor to a huge array of issues including drug-related health problems and violence. Drugs, firearms and even humans are trafficked.
Europol’s 2017 Serious Organised Crime Threat Assessment estimates that migrant smuggling in the EU generated a profit of between EUR 4.7 billion to EUR 5.7 billion. The report also shows links between migrant smugglers and the trafficking of victims for exploitation. It’s clear that criminal gangs are capitalising on the refugee crisis.
Impact of corruption
The threat from organised crime is not the only issue tackled by AML laws, another serious crime that can be disrupted is corruption. Corruption enables all types of criminal activity and undermines social and economic development in all countries; it disproportionately affects poor and vulnerable communities. It’s an issue that I looked at on International Anti-Corruption Day, and the message was clear, what people do really does matter.
Understanding why – the bigger picture
We operate in a world full of rules and regulations, when working in this environment it can be easy to forget the reason why they were implemented in the first place, or what they are trying to achieve. But looking at the information above and considering the bigger picture is key to finding meaning in your career.
Happiness is not about smiling every day and adopting a ‘jolly’ attitude; take a pledge to find happiness at work. Consider the other keys to happier living, simple steps to take such as enhancing your working relationships or learning something new.
All of us can do something today (and tomorrow) to make the world a happier place.
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