10 Ways You Can Be Happier At Work


Want to be hap­pier at work?  Here’s a great list of 10 ways you can be hap­pier everyday.

What makes you happy at work — tell us here, and 6:45 Mon­day morning.


1. Choose to Be Happy at Work
Hap­pi­ness is largely a choice. I can hear many of you argu­ing with me, but it’s true. You can choose to be happy at work. Sound sim­ple? Yes. But, sim­plic­ity is often pro­foundly dif­fi­cult to put into action. I wish all of you had the best employer in the world, but, face it, you may not. So, think pos­i­tively about your work. Dwell on the aspects of your work you like. Avoid neg­a­tive peo­ple and gos­sip. Find cowork­ers you like and enjoy and spend your time with them. Your choices at work largely define your expe­ri­ence. You can choose to be happy at work.

2. Do Some­thing You Love Every Sin­gle Day
You may or may not love your cur­rent job and you may or may not believe that you can find some­thing in your cur­rent job to love, but you can. Trust me. 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. Of course, you can always make your cur­rent job work or decide that it is time to quit your job.

3. Take Charge of Your Own Pro­fes­sional and Per­sonal Devel­op­ment
A young employee com­plained to me recently that she wanted to change jobs because her boss was not doing enough to help her develop pro­fes­sion­ally. I asked her whom she thought was the per­son most inter­ested in her devel­op­ment. The answer, of course, was her. You are the per­son with the most to gain from con­tin­u­ing to develop pro­fes­sion­ally. Take charge of your own growth; ask for spe­cific and mean­ing­ful help from your boss, but march to the music of your per­son­ally devel­oped plan and goals. You have the most to gain from grow­ing — and the most to lose, if you stand still.

4. Take Respon­si­bil­ity for Know­ing What Is Hap­pen­ing at Work
Peo­ple com­plain to me daily that they don’t receive enough com­mu­ni­ca­tion and infor­ma­tion about what is hap­pen­ing with their com­pany, their department’s projects, or their cowork­ers. Pas­sive ves­sels, they wait for the boss to fill them up with knowl­edge. And, the knowl­edge rarely comes. Why? Because the boss is busy doing her job and she doesn’t know what you don’t know. Seek out the infor­ma­tion you need to work effec­tively. Develop an infor­ma­tion net­work and use it. Assertively request a weekly meet­ing with your boss and ask ques­tions to learn. You are in charge of the infor­ma­tion you receive.

5. Ask for Feed­back Fre­quently
Have you made state­ments such as, “My boss never gives me any feed­back, so I never know how I’m doing.” Face it, you really know exactly how you’re doing. Espe­cially if you feel pos­i­tively about your per­for­mance, you just want to hear him acknowl­edge you. If you’re not pos­i­tive about your work, think about improv­ing and mak­ing a sin­cere con­tri­bu­tion. Then, ask your boss for feed­back. Tell him you’d really like to hear his assess­ment of your work. Talk to your cus­tomers, too; if you’re serv­ing them well, their feed­back is affirm­ing. You are respon­si­ble for your own devel­op­ment. Every­thing else you get is gravy.

6. Make Only Com­mit­ments You Can Keep
One of the most seri­ous causes of work stress and unhap­pi­ness is fail­ing to keep com­mit­ments. Many employ­ees spend more time mak­ing excuses for fail­ing to keep a com­mit­ment, and wor­ry­ing about the con­se­quences of not keep­ing a com­mit­ment, than they do per­form­ing the tasks promised. Cre­ate a sys­tem of orga­ni­za­tion and plan­ning that enables you to assess your abil­ity to com­plete a requested com­mit­ment. Don’t vol­un­teer if you don’t have time. If your work­load is exceed­ing your avail­able time and energy, make a com­pre­hen­sive plan to ask the boss for help and resources. Don’t wal­low in the swamp of unkept promises.

7. Avoid Neg­a­tiv­ity
Choos­ing to be happy at work means avoid­ing neg­a­tive con­ver­sa­tions, gos­sip, and unhappy peo­ple as much as pos­si­ble. No mat­ter how pos­i­tively you feel, neg­a­tive peo­ple have a pro­found impact on your psy­che. Don’t let the neg­a­tive Neds and Nel­lies bring you down. Take a look at:
How to Deal With a Neg­a­tive Coworker: Neg­a­tiv­ity Mat­ters.
Deal­ing With Dif­fi­cult Peo­ple at Work.
And, keep on singing in the car on your way to work — or start.

8. Prac­tice Pro­fes­sional Courage
If you are like most peo­ple, you don’t like con­flict. And the rea­son why is sim­ple. You’ve never been trained to par­tic­i­pate in mean­ing­ful con­flict, so you likely think of con­flict as scary, harm­ful, and hurt­ful. Con­flict can be all three; done well, con­flict can also help you accom­plish your work mis­sion and your per­sonal vision. Con­flict can help you serve cus­tomers and cre­ate suc­cess­ful prod­ucts. Happy peo­ple accom­plish their pur­pose for work­ing. Why let a lit­tle pro­fes­sional courage keep you from achiev­ing your goals and dreams? Make con­flict your friend.

9. Make Friends
In their land­mark book, First, Break All The Rules: What the World’s Great­est Man­agers Do Dif­fer­ently (Com­pare Prices), Mar­cus Buck­ing­ham and Curt Coff­man list twelve impor­tant ques­tions. When employ­ees answered these ques­tions pos­i­tively, their responses were true indi­ca­tors of whether peo­ple were happy and moti­vated at work. One of these key ques­tions was, “Do you have a best friend at work?” Lik­ing and enjoy­ing your cowork­ers are hall­marks of a pos­i­tive, happy work expe­ri­ence. Take time to get to know them. You might actu­ally like and enjoy them. Your net­work pro­vides sup­port, resources, shar­ing, and caring.

10. If All Else Fails, Job Search­ing Will Make You Smile
If all of these ideas aren’t mak­ing you happy at work, it’s time to reeval­u­ate your employer, your job, or your entire career. You don’t want to spend your life doing work you hate in an unfriendly work envi­ron­ment. Most work envi­ron­ments don’t change all that much. But unhappy employ­ees tend to grow even more dis­grun­tled. You can secretly smile while you spend all of your non-work time job search­ing. It will only be a mat­ter of time until you can quit your job — with a big smile.


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