Is it true that if you have a happy job then you will have a happy life? How much does what you do for work influence your overall happiness – and how can you boost your joy at work? Read on…
Being happy – it’s what most people say they want when you ask them.
But so few people ever achieve genuine happiness in their careers.
In many cases, it’s the total opposite.
As you might know, I wrote a bestselling book called Happy Habits.
Inside my book I share a range of habits which boost happiness. And in my research, doing work which you love is a big contributor to happiness.
In fact, having a happy job is one of the primary determinants of whether you will enjoy your life. If you’re doing something that you enjoy, which helps other people, pays well, and provides fulfillment – then your chances of a good life are pretty high.
Likewise, if your work includes doing something you hate, causes harm in the world, or leaves you feeling empty, then your job won’t contribute to your overall well being.
Being happy at work, though, is essential. After all, the average person spends more than 40 hours per week in their role.
So what can you do to get real satisfaction in your job? Here are some ideas.
We all know people who are on-call, 24/7. Their bosses pay them fat salaries, but they’re rarely happy. In fact, being on call all the time is a major source of stress for them. They never know when the phone is going to ring and they’re going to have to go into the office.
The best jobs are those that accept that everyone needs a little downtime, especially at weekends. These roles allow you to fully unwind and rest before the working week commences again.
Here’s another essential strategy you need to adopt: take charge of your professional development. Don’t assume that your employer will provide it for you, despite their promises. They usually won’t.
For instance, if you’re a contractor, you can make extra money by getting your gas or HVAC license. Having this allows you to work on more high-value lucrative projects, instead of odd jobs here and there.
Likewise, if you work in accounting, you’ll need to personally ensure that you stay on top of your professional development. Every year, take at least one top-up course to ensure that you keep your skills current. Where possible, try to complete industry-related courses.
Your boss doesn’t give you a job out of the kindness of his heart. Instead, he pays you because he expects that you’ll deliver more value to him in return. That’s why it is so critical for employees to ask for feedback from senior managers regularly. The more you know about how they perceive your performance, the more likely they are to promote you.
You can also do the same with your customers too. Usually, they are more than willing to talk to you about what they like about your service, and what they don’t.
People get into trouble in their jobs when they make commitments that they can’t keep. In the early stages of a project, they’re often optimistic about what they can achieve in a given time. But as they go deeper, they realize that they simply don’t have enough time to get everything done. And this can become a substantial source of stress.
Here’s a pro tip: always overestimate the time you’ll require to get anything done. Your manager might not like it, but when you complete the project early, you’ll seem like a hero. It takes the pressure off and allows you to exceed expectations, not just meet them.
Sometimes, negative situations can emerge in the office when somebody in the team isn’t pulling their weight. Negativity, however, can bring you down and make you feel awful about yourself and your work.
In situations like this, you need to be proactive. In any job, there will be people who do the lion’s share of the work, and those who slack off or are incompetant. The best thing you can do is accept this reality and then move on with your life. If you allow negative situations to control you, it will change your attitude towards your work and make you feel more cynical about it.
Many professionals don’t like conflict. It feels awkward, especially when it involves people you see everyday. But, unfortunately, it is sometimes necessary.
Conflict can be a negative thing. But it can also help you to sort out problems at your work. For instance, if a manager is treating you poorly, a little conflict can actually go a long way to improving your mental health. Standing your ground establishes a new basis for respect between the two of you going forward. Similarly, if somebody isn’t pulling their weight or treating you unfairly, then pointing it out can help a lot.
Being courageous can feel scary when your company is the one who pays you. But, remember, you don’t have to stay with your current firm if you don’t want to. You can always go elsewhere.
The people you work with can become more than mere colleagues: they can be your friends too.
Working with friends is always more fun than with other professionals who don’t really care about you or your interests. You can be yourself in the office and then go out in the evening together, strengthening your bonds further.
Plus, when you work with friends, you feel more understood by the people around you. You can talk about topics of concern, knowing that the other person is listening sympathetically.
If you still hate your job after all that, you can always try job searching. Just knowing that there are other roles out there can change how you feel about your current position.
It’s worth mentioning that some places of work have a downright toxic culture. If you find yourself in one of these, leaving might be the only way to protect your mental health.
In conclusion, being happy in your job increases your chances of a happy life. It won’t solve all your problems. But if you’re doing something that you really love surrounded by great people, you’re on the right track.