Estimated reading time: 7 mins
“To enjoy good health, to bring true happiness to one’s family, to bring peace to all, one must first discipline and control one’s own mind. If a man can control his mind he can find the way to Enlightenment, and all wisdom and virtue will naturally come to him.” – Buddha
It’s quite normal that when we first join a workplace, we are motivated to prove yourself. We tend to be happier as we have many things to look forward to. With the passage of time, things settle in and most of us experience stress and low esteem. It gets easier to fall in a trap of mediocrity. When we get in a routine, we tend to feel like you are sleepwalking through each day at work. So how do we bounce back from this slumber? In this blog post, we will look into 6 ways to turn that work-induced frown into a smile.
Create a Social Circle. Having a strong social network is the key to finding happiness. You might hate your job because you do not know your co-workers that well. Avoiding them will only make matters worse for you, as you will feel left out, making you hide in your own shell. Some workplaces are not good with new employee inductions and orientation. Not properly introducing new employees to a workplace will make them feel ignored, resulting in loss of motivation. Hence, whether your management does it or not, you must break the silence with your colleagues. You need to put in some effort to know the people around you, what they like or dislike, what their interests are and a lot more.
Look for Growth, Not Failures. It is common for all of us to think about ways to protect ourselves at work. As a sceptic, you will always look at various situations as chances to fail instead of opportunities to grow. Constantly having thoughts like, “Will I look bad if I do this?” just guarantees failure. Being a pessimist will result in you seldom taking full advantage of the opportunities that lie in front of you. If you think you have always been defensive at your workplace, perhaps it is time to take a deep breath and dive into the unknown with confidence. Look for opportunities and feel joy in doing new projects. Bigger opportunities are always present, no matter where you work. The last thing you should be doing is settling in for the same routine, punching the clock each day. You taking new opportunities is also important for everyone around you because if you are constantly defending yourself in every situation, you are draining the energy out of your team members, growing their dislike for you. Having a positive approach to work and embracing new challenges will keep your inner-self happy and content.
Help Others at Work. Trust me on this – there will be few things that will make you feel as happy and content as helping others in life. The same applies to your workplace. Not only will this help you learn a new skill, it will also make your team members in need respect you more. Moreover, you can learn a lot if your boss or someone at a senior position than yours is busy and you get the chance to do some of his/her grunt work. To be happy at work, you need to help others. Making others feel supported will give you immense motivation and satisfaction. It will also make your team members your biggest advocates, which will help you professionally. Your management and human resource team will take notice of this and also credit you for your leadership skills, because you understand other team members’ problems and take their worries as your worries, for the greater good of the company.
Take On More Responsibilities. To widen your influence and reach at work, try to become an important piece of the puzzle. If you take on additional responsibilities, you will be valued and respected in the workplace. Having your opinions counted and your presence valued will give you confidence and build excitement. Not sure where to start? Consult with your supervisor to see which projects you can help with. Be aware of the workload you have as taking in too much work might cause you to slack in your main job responsibilities. It might be that you will need to do better time management for you to take on more responsibilities without jeopardizing your primary tasks. Here is a great blog post on How to Triumph In Prioritizing a Heavy Workload. To be happy at your workplace, you need to stay relevant to its purpose. This requires you to be involved in enough tasks to make you indispensable for the company at any cost, and puts you in control of your salary appraisal negotiations with your senior management.
Have the Courage to Speak Up. We all hate some things about our jobs. What is important is to speak up and ask your management if there is some way to change it. Do not wait for someone else to notice what is annoying you and help change your situation because it will only delay matters and increase your frustration. Everybody is busy with his/her own job and will not worry about your satisfaction at work unless you speak up and make it an issue to be discussed. Is there a co-worker annoying you? Talk to the management and see if you can move to a different department or team. Do you want to work on a different project for exposure? Ask your boss if there are other opportunities where you can be of value. Are you looking for a salary raise? Instead of just asking for an increment, why not ask the management if you can take on more responsibilities so that you can prove your worth. I do not preach that you start nagging about everything and be the whining team member, but at least talk to the relevant person and you will be surprised by how easily you can get what you want. In addition, after improving yourself and taking in more challenges, you need to directly contact your boss for feedback because 80% of Employees Say Their Supervisor Doesn’t Follow Up After A Performance Appraisal.
Focus On Increasing Your Goodwill. We all feel happy when others say good things about us. When you take out time to do good things for other people, you make them happy and set the stage to receive happiness I return. We often forget about the power of passing compliments and we should never take them for granted. You will get respect if you give respect to others. Take out time to appreciate your team members when they give good presentations or successfully manage executing a project. Praise your boss for their support and I am sure they will have good words for you in return. If you see a new CEO has joined your company then compliment him/her on all they good work they have done so far. You also have to be careful with your constructive criticisms. For example, if a team member gets 90% of his/her work just right then do not worry about correcting them on the 10%. It will help you to remain united and supportive of your team than being too critical of them. If you like to criticize then you should take out time to pass compliments. It is easier for you to gain respect and happiness in your office when goodwill is abundant.
Finding happiness is not just about having good things happen to you, but also about the decisions and actions you take. You do not have to remain stuck with a life that you are not enjoying. Staying in the same routine and not doing anything about it will result in the same outcome, create more frustration, and demotivation for you. Embrace change and reach for the unknown. Be compassionate with others at your workplace and pass compliments to others. Remember that by the end of the day, happiness has to come from within. If you are enjoying what you are doing and are at peace with the state you are in, I am sure you will be able to enjoy your tenure at your workplace with a smile.
Have you ever been unhappy at your workplace? What did you do to cope with this and achieve happiness at work? Share your stories in the comments below.
In addition, I strongly recommend that you check out our blog posts on how you can ace at collaborating at workplace. If you find it difficult to communicate with your team members then I would suggest that you read Proven Strategies for Improving Workplace Communication, a guest blog post by Mary Walton. If you are an employer, you might want to read this blog post on Why Your Employees Are Unhappy & Unproductive in 3 Minutes Flat.
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