Are you happy in your work? Before answering this question, think carefully about what happiness means. It’s not just a workspace size or location, or the amount of paid vacation time, or even the paycheck that brings us fulfillment at work.
The ability to find happiness at work doesn’t come from your employer. Instead, it comes from within yourself. The following are ways to increase your happiness at work regardless of position or organization:
Use your skills: if you love to write but your current position doesn’t require too much creativity, volunteer to write an article for your company’s newsletter or website. If you like to present to others, offer an informal class on something new or changed in your organization, such as the impact of new technology or legislation.
Expand your position: don’t get caught in the “It’s not in my job description” trap. Look for that stretch assignment that can teach you new skills or use your existing expertise in a new way. Embrace the opportunity for new experiences, especially if they involve other departments or disciplines.
Make friends at work: work friends can be a valuable network for shared experiences and emotions. Work at these friendships by spending time together at work and outside the workplace, and explore what you have in common beyond your employer.
Personal development: it’s up to you. In addition to your annual goals, be sure that you have a development plan in place. Basically, the plan should specify what you want and what it will take to get you there. Try to include specific measurements that are short, medium and long-term.
Embrace feedback and evaluations: don’t wait for your annual performance evaluation to get feedback on your work. Sit down regularly with your manager for ongoing conversations on your work progress. Solicit feedback from others with whom you work, including managers in other departments and your peers.
Take time to be organized: and it does take time and diligence. Set aside some time each day to plan your activities and review your commitments. Put it on your calendar just as you would a meeting. Don’t leave the office at the end of the day without having a plan in place for your assignments for the next day. It will be time well spent.
Don’t procrastinate: especially on tasks that are tedious or unpleasant. Plan for them, do them and move on. Procrastination doesn’t help because the tasks are still in front of you. Once they’re done, your mind and calendar will be free of them.
Never stop learning: and this applies to everyone, no matter at what point you are in your career. Take a training course in your specialty or something that interests you. Check what your organization offers in terms of tuition reimbursement or other learning opportunities. Enhancing and updating your skills not only keeps you current but makes you even more valuable to your company.
You can see that it’s up to you to find fulfillment in your job. As a happy, fulfilled employee, you can only increase your contributions to the organization. It’s a win-win situation because the organization benefits also.