Can I feel happy at work?
Working a full-time job means you work 40 hours out of a 168-hour week, that’s nearly a quarter of your week spent at work. Of course, you probably want to make sure those hours are more enjoyable than not. If we are to spend all of this time at work and still take pleasure in day-to-day life, it’s essential that we view our jobs in a positive light.
Every role brings different challenges at times, which is especially motivating if you’re an ambitious go-getter who sets the bar high. To make this happen, you need to learn how to stay positive and happy at work. Here are our top tips:
Find out what motivates you
Many individuals are unhappy at work because they haven’t tapped into what fundamentally motivates them — they lack a sense of meaningfulness and direction in their job. So, think deeply about how you define success and career fulfilment, and see how that relates to what you do at work. Perhaps there’s a disconnect between what really motivates you and how you relate to either the projects you engage in or the teams you’re involved with.
Take regular short breaks
Take a few minutes for yourself several times throughout the working day (especially if working remotely)— whether it’s meditation, taking a short walk, stretching, or listening to music. When we feel tired, we make more mistakes, and the quality of our work decreases. This is because weariness leads to less efficiency and decreases our focus. Taking regular breaks in your schedule will take the strain off your eyes and rest your mind. You will notice an instant rise in productivity. Allowing yourself more “you” time can help you feel more grounded and excited about work, as well as less stressed.
Learn a new skill or get involved in a new project
Sometimes, boredom may lead to unproductivity and a feeling of purposelessness. Have a chat with your manager and ask for a new challenge, a more demanding task or if there is an opportunity to get involved in a new project. By mastering new skills, you open yourself up to new career paths and opportunities. Taking charge of your own development will bring a sense of accomplishment and excitement for what new doors can open for your career.
Chat to your manager more often
While it can be uncomfortable at first, speaking to your boss/manager will help you discover opportunities to have a more positive impact — find out what they care about, what they wish was possible, and what you can do to help them. Taking a more collaborative approach to your work will increase the visibility of your achievements and give you a deeper sense of purpose in your everyday work.
Don’t be ‘on’ 24/7
Unless it’s an emergency or some sort of unique circumstance, employees should never be — or feel forced to be — plugged in 24/7. Organisations don’t need to, and quite frankly, shouldn’t implement an environment that encourages an “always-on” team. In April 2021, the Irish Government signed off on the Right to Disconnect Act which gives employees the right to switch off from work outside of normal working hours, including the right to not respond immediately to emails, telephone calls or other messages.
End every day with a simple gratitude pause
Unfortunately, our brains are better at remembering the bad than the good. We can automatically think of the bad things that happened in our working day rather than the wins we may have overcome that day (big for small). Taking 30 seconds at the end of everyday to consciously think of what went well can give us a sense of achievement and pride in what we achieved. By doing this simple ritual on a daily basis, it can completely change how you end your workday which will lead to a happier approach to the work place.
Few people feel happy at work every single day and most people have times when they don’t feel they’re performing their best. But you can still love your career; you enjoy most of the work you do and the career path you’re on, even if you don’t love the job on a daily basis.
If you’re no longer happy at work, or have never loved your job, maybe it’s time to move on. Browse our current jobs to find one that makes you happy.