When it comes to being happy at work, most of us have things the wrong way around: we think that when we find the perfect job, we’ll finally feel good about coming to work. In fact, the opposite is true: become happy with your job, and you’ll be more successful at it.
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“Happiness is a state of mind and not about circumstances,” Australian psychologist and organizational consultant Gavin Sharp tells Stuff.co.nz. “It is about how you manage and interpret what is going on around you. It is about being positive and friendly to others, helping colleagues and doing the best you can.”
So how can you get happy, when you’re feeling meh about work?
1. Practice gratitude.
Before you roll your eyes, don’t worry: no one’s suggesting you focus on the fact that you’re lucky to have a job. Nothing is more fatal to happiness than forced gratitude, especially for the basic necessities of life.
A better way to practice gratitude at work is to focus on the people who brighten your day. In almost every office, there’s at least one person who makes it easier to come to work. Think about those folks, and the day will seem brighter already.
2. Avoid gossip.
Ever spend a half hour gossiping about your co-workers, and feel sort of like you’ve been breathing in car fumes afterward? That’s the negativity hangover. Skip the griping, or keep it to a minimum, and you’ll do more than lessen the chances of finding yourself on the wrong side of your maligned co-worker or boss — you’ll make yourself feel better, as well.
3. Keep track of what you’re learning.
Even if the only thing your job is teaching you is how to get along with difficult people, that’s still an important skill. Set aside time on a regular basis to update your resume, including your new skills. It’ll help with your job satisfaction in the meantime, and set you up for a better gig down the line.
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