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How to be happier at work

Mind, Together inspired, 2018

According to research, being unhappy at work is not an uncommon condition. In fact, a Gallup survey reports that 70 percent of Americans are not engaged with the work they do and find themselves searching for advice in articles just like this one.

Here are a few changes you can implement in order to enjoy your work day more.

Change your attitude.

This isn’t a mandate to just “be happy,” but more of a suggestion to find the bright side in your everyday work life. Start by identifying what things you like about your job, rather than focusing on the parts you don’t. Write a short list of the big and little things you enjoy most about your work and keep it nearby to encourage positive affirmations throughout your day. Keep it positive and try to avoid negative conversations and gossip as much as possible. Other coworkers with poor attitudes can have a serious impact on how you feel about work.

Next, start looking for ways to make your current tasks more exciting. Sometimes, the mundane work of any job can get stale. See if a new technique or change in process helps make these tasks feel fresh. And don’t forget about your work space, make sure your work area is an enjoyable and appealing surrounding. A few personal touches, like family photos or an inspirational figurine, can help remind you what you are working towards.

vase of flowers on a work desk

If you’re feeling tired or lack motivation, stock up on healthy snacks and delicious refreshments. Sometimes a tasty pick-me-up is all you need to regain that second wind. At the very least, take a few breaks to get some fresh air. This will help keep you focused and productive back at your desk.

Change your trajectory.

If your current work situation makes you unhappy, then it might be time to forge a new path at the company. This starts by looking beyond your job title and deciding what it is you’d rather be doing at work – and then seeking out those opportunities.

When you find out about an exciting project, get involved. In fact, take the initiative. Talk to your boss about how this new assignment fits your goals and be ready to put in the effort to make it work. This could be the opportunity that encourages the next step in your career. Plus, it will be time you enjoy at the office.

If you’re feeling stuck and unable to make the career moves you’re looking for, consider pursuing continued education outside your current role. Find out if your company offers training internally, or if it can cover costs for classes you take outside of the office. Investing in your own skills will offer rewards for your current employer and will also allow you to pursue other career interests – if that’s the step you need to take.

group of adults in classroom setting

Change your job.

Sometimes, the best option is a new beginning. If you are unhappy at work despite your best efforts to improve your attitude and position, then it may be time to look for a new job. This isn’t a decision to take lightly, so plan to thoroughly examine your skills before deciding what you do and don’t want in a career.

Take the time to search for a position that provides you with the opportunities and engagement best fit for your personal goals. In the meantime, don’t neglect your current work duties and aim to find happiness outside your office hours.