Many employers use various workplace perks from discounted gym membership to free food and drinks to improve their employees’ happiness. Why? Because happy employees are more creative, innovative and motivated. And they’re more willing to stay with the company over an extended period.
But what if you don’t work for a company that has the resources to offer you free stuff?
It’s possible to create your own happiness, whether it’s a job you feel enthusiastic about or one you know you are competent at. You can boost your satisfaction at work through various strategies.
Find a Career you Enjoy
Not everyone is happy about their work 24/7. Even jobs you love or are exceptionally good at can be tiresome. But if your vocation is something you enjoy, you’re more inclined to feel happy when you are there.
At times, when we realise we aren’t in a job we enjoy, it will require you to look at your skills, passions and interests and possibly change paths.
Yes, there is sometimes a financial hit to be taken. But if you are completely unhappy in your current career, having to manipulate your finances for a short time beats the daily grind of going to a job that makes you miserable for the rest of your life.
Makes Sure You Have Personal Time
Some people don’t need to have a career that stirs a deep passion within and speaks to their personal values. For lots of people, their job simply permits them to establish a lifestyle they love to live – outside of their career.
To make this balance work, you need to envisage what you desire your personal life to look like. Flesh out what would make you happy.
- Time off on the weekends to spend with family?
- A specific schedule that allows you time to be at home with the kids?
- Time off during the week to attend lectures at University?
You don’t have to love your job, but if you have a position where you can create a life that you love, it will make you happier at work.
Own Your Personal and Professional Development
Invest in your own personal growth and professional development. It’s the best investment you will make. This doesn’t always mean spending vast amounts of money on educating yourself.
Develop a strategy to improve your skills in your career and life. Then find ways to fund or access resources to pursue them.
When you feel in the driver’s seat of your life and career, you will see yourself growing and expanding. This will permeate through your job, and you’ll feel far more satisfied both at work and in your life in general.
Know What’s Happening
When you feel that you are missing out of crucial information that others have, it can be extremely disheartening. But this is often the reality with remote workers in particular and leaves people feeling frustrated and devalued.
Don’t wait around to have others tell you what you think you need to know, seek the information you require to do your job and make crucial decisions. Develop a communication network and use it. Request regular meetings with your team leader and ask meaningful questions to obtain the information.
Get Frequent Feedback
Obtaining feedback about your performance provides positive reinforcement of your value or fills in critical skills and gaps to help you succeed in your job. If you don’t receive regular feedback, be proactive and request it. If you are in customer service, talk with your customers as well. The more response you receive about your work, the more success you will achieve, leading to positive reinforcement and increasing happiness.
Failing to keep commitments you make causes tension and discontent, both within you and the people you commit to. Stop making excuses for not finishing tasks or stressing about finishing them. If you can’t keep the commitment, or your workload is regularly exceeding your available time and energy, don’t just let it wash over you and cause unhappiness. Say something or get some assistance.
Track your commitments and manage your schedule if you find that you are always over-committing. If you realise you are getting overwhelmed, don’t put your hand up for additional work. When you don’t follow through on something you say you are going to do, you are letting yourself down…and that hurts, even if you don’t feel the sting straight away.
Avoid the Negativity Trap
Steering clear of the toxic workmates who bitch and moan will instantly increase your happiness. Despite how much you love your work, exposing yourself to their negativity instantly destroys your outlook on life. Avoid the negative conversations, complaining and gossiping like the plague. If it isn’t possible, try to redirect the conversation or get them to look for solutions to their problems that they are always complaining about.
Display Professional Courage
Conflict can be damaging and impact our professional future. But if you have learned to participate in meaningful discussions with constructive communication, respect for your co-workers and clear goals directing your efforts – it can be positive.
By openly displaying professional courage and representing the values, principles, and ideals you believe in, you can create significant change and succeed in your job. It can also generate new opportunities. When you take a stand for your values and ideals, you’ll always be happier than if you keep suppressing them.
If Your Still Unhappy, Search For Another Job
Not everyone is completely besotted with their job, but it shouldn’t make you miserable or depressed either. If creating joy and happiness at work feels impossible, you may be stuck in an unbearable toxic work culture that sometimes isn’t going to improve. This may be true no matter how proactive you are in attempting to change the culture.
If you find a toxic work culture is where you are, it might be time to re-evaluate your career and what you want out of your job. That is OK! Gone are the days where we hold one career and one position for our entire working life.
Put out your feelers, speak with a mentor or trusted counsel to discuss options more aligned to your professional pursuits and personal values. That will definitely get a smile back on your face 🙂