The pursuit of happiness is a never-ending one, no matter who you are or what you do for a living. Thankfully, there are a variety of ways to make your workday more pleasant and productive, thereby increasing your chances of happiness.
Below is a summary of the advice shared during the Happiness in the Workplace podcasts. It covers a range of scenarios, from requesting new job duties to leaving a bad job with your head held high. No matter your situation, hopefully you’ll find something that contributes to a more positive work life.
To paraphrase Eleanor Roosevelt, “Happiness is a byproduct of a life well lived.” What does a well-lived professional life look like to you? Do you find fulfillment in creating a product or helping customers? Do you take joy in making a coworker’s day better? Do you find contentment in knowing your work has made the community stronger?
For instance, if you’re happy at work, figure out why. Do your best to keep doing things that bring you fulfillment and joy, and your workplace will improve that much more. If you find things that make you happy, cherish them.
On the other hand, if you’re unhappy at work, find the source. Is it your job duties, your colleagues, or your customers? Voice your concerns to management to see if changes can be made. If you need to have a meeting to discuss a troublesome coworker or customer, speak up. Otherwise, things may never change.
At the same time, be willing to ask yourself the difficult questions: What type of attitude do you have at work? Are you friendly? Do you complain often? Do you accomplish your fair share? Think about it: If someone came up to you at work and had a sour attitude, how would you take it?
A big source of unhappiness is boredom. If you’re unsatisfied or bored with your duties, ask for different responsibilities or study a new opportunity within your job. Showcase your desire to learn and something great may come of it, like learning new skills to add to your resume. Simply put, the more engaged you are with your work, the more likely you are to find happiness in it.
Do your best to build relationships with your coworkers. You don’t have to be best buddies with everyone, but when the workload gets demanding or if you’re collectively dealing with a difficult boss, you’ll be able to rely on each other. And yes, work can be filled with conflicting personalities and worldviews, but you should still be civil and professional. Plus, having friends at work can make the day a little more fun.
Finally, if you leave your job, don’t burn bridges. While the thought of telling off people who have wronged you may seem tempting, it will only hurt you in the long run. For instance, your new job may contact your old one in reference to your work history, and you don’t want some cathartic insult to come back to haunt you. Leave with your head held high and your name in good standing.