There are many reasons we work the jobs we do. Some do it for the pay, some for the prestige, some for the impact it has on others, and some for the pure enjoyment that it brings them. What are we to do if none of these reasons justify our current jobs?
Allison Rimm, author of The Joy of Strategy, has three quick-fixes to help you enjoy your job. In her online article, Rimm breaks down unhappiness in the work place and offers some inside tips for us to use when our current working situation isn’t ideal:
Try Some Self-Management
We can’t always control what assignments we accept at work. But regardless of our position, the choice of how we approach our work is up to us. You have likely seen this principle in action. Do you have a favorite checkout clerk in your local grocery store? You know, the one who recognizes you and offers a warm hello, or who comments on how delicious one of your selections is bound to taste on tonight’s dinner table? Doubtless, you’ve come across the surly cashier who barely glances at you until he barks at you to “Hit OK” on the credit card machine so you can hurry up and get out of his line. Same job, same manager, different attitude. Who’s having a better day at work? Who’s providing a better customer experience? We have more power than we recognize.
Use Your Gifts
American psychologist Abraham Maslow showed in his famous hierarchy of needs that self-actualization is the highest driver of human motivation. According to his well-regarded theory, people who fulfill their potential, experience moments of profound happiness and harmony. To that end, if we can find a job that makes regular use of our gifts, we optimize our chances of enjoying our work. That may be a very big “if” in the current economy, so the trick is to find ways to use your talents wherever you are right now. The grocery cashier with cooking talents can enjoy giving recipe advice, even if his main job is to collect the cash.
Find A Friend And Then Give As Good As You Get
It has long been understood that one of the greatest predictors of happiness on the job is having a friend or colleague with whom you can share your triumphs and trials. And, of course, it never hurts to share a laugh or two. Research confirms this understanding. A recent study of 1,648 students at Harvard revealed that social support was the greatest predictor of happiness during periods of high stress. That study looked at how much social support individuals received. A follow-up study, by the same researchers, showed the amount of support the students provided was even more important to sustained happiness and engagement. So, find some friends and be supportive every chance you get. It will make you feel good.
Rimm ALSO has great ideas on how to create a business plan for your life. Rather than searching for the job of your dreams and feeling miserable along the way—make every job enjoyable. The happiness doesn’t end at work. Rimm’s book has become a go-to guide for those professionals looking to improve their lives in the office and at home. Don’t take my word for it, though:
“[This] book makes change seem truly achievable. Readers who feel stuck in their lives will find Rimm’s optimism infectious.” —Publishers Weekly