Do success and satisfaction automatically go hand in hand?
Not always. Developing the keys to thrive – not just survive – at your job requires effort, but the payoff is well worth it.
According to The Wall Street Journal, happy employees are 36% more motivated, 31% more successful in achieving their goals, and 33% more likely to assist their coworkers when compared with their unhappy counterparts, workplace contentment is an important objective for many companies. It is inevitable that there will be problems in work, as in life. What separates the happy from the frustrated is how we choose to view and respond to these problems, which is fully under our control.
Click here for our guide on how to stay positive through tough times.
Here are 14 tips to get you started.
Find a Balance.
Your work is not your whole life. It’s important to keep a balance between work and play. You can’t expect to enjoy the whole of your life if all you do is work and go home. By enjoying other interests, you’ll be more prepared to handle the stress of your workday.
Choose work you love.
If you dread a task, you’ll have a hard time losing yourself in it. If your job is made up of stuff you hate, you might want to consider finding another job. Or consider seeking projects you love to do within your current job. At any rate, be sure that whatever task you choose is something you can be passionate about.
Give a Happy “Hello!” in the Morning.
Get into the habit of smiling and greeting your colleagues as you arrive in the morning or begin your shift. It’s really amazing how fast this little courtesy can thaw chilly workplace relations.
Do Something You Love Every Single Day.
Take a look at yourself, your skills and interests, and find something that you can enjoy doing every day. If you do something you love every single day, your current job won’t seem so bad.
Start Something Outside of Work.
The route toward happiness at work is to create something outside of work, such as a new company or side project. While that might seem counter-intuitive, it actually makes a lot of sense. The enthusiasm for your outside project will carry over into the workday. You’ll find that the inevitable workplace annoyances won’t seem as significant. Any progress in the side project will fuel you with a greater sense of accomplishment and confidence.
Connect with co-workers.
Whether you work in a small or large office, it’s important to get to know those you work with. Offices that have this team-environment tend to foster fewer politics, and more satisfied employees. Go to lunch with a colleague and express your appreciation for his/her work.
Hang around positive people.
The energy created by “glass half full” co-workers can influence your own mood. Job satisfaction can increase dramatically when you avoid boss-bashers, complainers, and gossipers.
If someone made your life at work easier, connected you with a helpful contact, or simply has been a pleasant person to interact with, tell them! Openly appreciating your colleagues can strengthen your workplace relationships, improve the way people see you and make you genuinely more appreciative of where you work and the people you work with.
An article from Harvard Medical School stated: “gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.”
Don’t compare yourself to others.
Everybody, and I mean everybody, starts out in a different place and is headed on their own journey. You have NO idea where someone else’s journey might lead them, so drawing comparisons is a complete waste of time.
The key to workplace happiness is the extent to which employers and employees engage with each other and have an open and meaningful dialogue.
Find YOUR Inner Passion.
Many of us make the mistake of finding passion at work when we should be finding it within us. It is easy to think about what we feel should be an ideal job for us and we often lose ourselves in thinking of a perfect workplace scenario. Srikumar Rao – a Columbia University academic and best-selling author of Happiness at Work – points out that we should be spending time changing the way we look at our present job instead of searching for something perfect or even believing it exists.
Letting go of ill will toward others and oneself, surrendering resentments and regrets, and making peace with the past clears the way for happiness to be felt more often and more deeply.
Create others-centric ambitions.
Structuring your goals, not around personal gain, but around positively impacting others’ lives, is one of the most important elements in creating a fulfilling and happy life, Rao says.
Identify the tasks in your job that you truly enjoy and find challenging. Create undisturbed blocks of time to focus on those tasks.
The exact attributes of what you are looking for do not exist in any job. Rao
sleep, eat healthy food and exercise.
“Most of the major mistakes I made in my life, I made when I was too tired to know what I was doing — both personally and professionally,” former President Bill Clinton says.
How much of a person’s Job Satisfaction does each job characteristic account for?
In a breakthrough study psychologists* recently investigated how much happiness and job satisfaction are accounted for by different job characteristics. (*Cangrade’s team of psychologists)
Intellectual Stimulation – 18.5% (WINNER)
Achievement & Prestige – 18.4% (2nd)
Power & Influence – 14.9 % (3rd)
Job-Security – 8.8% (4th)
Work-Life Balance – 8.0% (4th)
Affiliation & Friendship – 5.9% (6th)
Money – 5.4% (LAST)
How happy does your job make you? What are some of the biggest stressors you encounter in your workplace and how do you get past them? Are you really happy at your workplace? Are you willing to do a job you don’t like just for money? What is it that makes you unhappy at the workplace?