Are you happy in your work? No job is meant to make you unhappy, but many people I talk to reply to my question with a resounding “NO”. They might like certain aspects of what they do, but overall there are lots of people out there pretty miserable and stressed out going to their jobs every day.
So what can you do about it? Or better yet, what are you willing to do about it? Complaining, negativity and expecting to fit into a one-size fits all work environment won’t eliminate the stress, dissatisfaction, and lack of fulfillment you might be feeling.
The first awareness (maybe eye-opener/reality check) is to ask: Is my happiness the responsibility of my employer or me? The responsibility for your happiness lies nowhere outside of yourself - has blaming someone else ever gotten you anywhere?
Back to what you can do… Here are suggestions to reclaiming your sanity and achieving some happiness at work:
1. Define what happiness at work means to you.
Is it belonging and feeling valued? Is it achieving? Is it seeing a task to completion? Seeing a customer or client smile? Everyone has a different definition of the word happiness. Start with these questions as a baseline. Is there any way you can bring them into your current role? Are you willing to take full accountability for your happiness?
2. Be your best.
Find ways to give it your all. Start setting your own high standards. Being the best is not competition; it’s about recognizing and being inspired by your own skills and abilities. Recognize and be proud of your talents and accomplishments. Create your own Standards of Excellence and be exceptional!
3. Have fun.
One of our company values is FUN - A sense of humor, enthusiasm and fun are key in every aspect of our lives. Having fun isn’t just reserved for children. It doesn’t even have to be childlike or only be reserved for off-site training courses. Be creative!
4. Be engaged.
Be authentically engaged and listen with the intention of understanding. The fastest way to build trust with someone is to spend time sharing personal information with them and trust is the most important aspect of any relationship. Build valued relationships.
5. Follow the Golden Rule
Do unto others… think about your ideal workmate. What qualities would that person have, how would they treat others? Every day is a new opportunity to be that person.
6. Be appreciative.
Even if the organization you work in doesn’t do it, you can. Acknowledge yourself and other people and the work you all do: if it’s great, say so. If you recognize a great idea, say so. Appreciate the good moments, be there, be present, say thanks, be the person that’s creating a new culture for the possibility of being happy at work.
If you commit to these ideas will it make you love your job again? I don’t know, but it’s the first and best place to start. If this doens't improve your level of happiness at work, it's time to reevaluate your employer, your job, or your entire career.
Don't spend your life doing work you hate in an unfriendly work environment! Make the commitment to take responsibility for your own happiness…now!