Are you happy and inspired at work?
If you spend eight hours a day, five days a week at work, you will spend more than 2,000 hours on the job in a year. That's a lot of time! If you enjoy your job, then 2,000 hours probably flies by. But if you struggle to find happiness in your work life, it can seem like an eternity.
So how do you find ways to make work a source of happiness? It's not an impossible question! There are lots of ways to bring happiness into your workday. Here are five questions to ask yourself about your job which will help you uncover sources of happiness beyond that paycheck hitting your bank account.
1. What parts of your company or job inspire you?
Inspiration comes in lots of forms. Maybe something inspired you to apply for this particular job, like being able to help others. Maybe it appealed to your sense of creativity. Maybe you felt a connection with the business mission statement or your employer or coworkers. Take a moment to think about what drew you to this particular job or workplace.
2. Are there problems at work you can participate in solving?
There's no perfect company or perfect set of coworkers or customers out there. Every job will have its challenges. What things bother you? What can you do about them to work toward a positive solution that helps everyone around you? It could be something small, like adding a potted plant to your work area to brighten things up. Or something larger, like meeting with your manager or team to discuss changing a policy which is making your job difficult. Be sure to offer solutions rather than just airing complaints.
3. Can you bring creativity into your job in some way?
Maybe you can bring in a few pictures (or update those you have) to remind you of the people you care about. Take a step back from the way you normally do things at work. Is there a new approach you can take which might freshen up the way you complete your job? It doesn't have to be huge. Don't be afraid to think outside the box or bounce ideas off a coworker.
4. Where do you want this job to take you?
Think about your goals for the next year or five years. Can you see this job as one piece in a larger puzzle of your life? Sometimes taking that step back to consider the bigger picture helps put things in perspective for us. Not only is work just one part of our lives, a job is also one part of our work career. You may picture yourself staying at the same job for the rest of your work life. Many people will change jobs several times through the course of their careers. Thinking of this job as a part of your larger goals can help give you renewed energy and a feeling of freedom at work.
5. Is this the right job for me?
If you've answered all the questions above, and you're really not able to find peace or happiness in your current work life, it may be time to consider a change. Maybe this means moving to a different project or department within the company you work for. It could mean taking some online classes or getting a new certification to add to your arsenal of skills on the job. Maybe it means taking an online career planning test to find out what you should look for. Then, polishing up your resumé and looking for your next workplace adventure.
Whatever the case, with a little effort and some self-examination, finding happiness at work is entirely possible. Making those 40 hours each week contribute to your happiness rather than draining it will significantly change your overall energy level and your ability to enjoy other parts of your life.
Still have questions about how to improve your workplace happiness?
If you have more questions about workplace happiness, I can help you answer them. Take an online career planning test or order a copy of my book, 21 Days to Happiness today. Day 20 focuses on how to find happiness at work. You'll find tips and other resources to help you on your journey toward greater happiness.
Ms. Ingrid Kelada is an experienced psychologist and happiness expert in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. She is a speaker and has facilitated over 1000 workshops all over the world.
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