4 Tips from Experts on How to Be Happier at Work

October 19, 2017

3:50 pm

Count yourself among the lucky if you’re one of the few people in the world that loves their job. While perks like remote work, flexible schedules, and other work-life balance initiatives have made life a little easier, poor management, low wages, and a lack of purpose have made work life more difficult than ever. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to make sure you’re at least a little bit happier at work.

Thanks to a little digging from Fast Company, we’ve got a few tips from experts on how to be happier at work. Take a look at what they had to say below:

Drop the Dream Job

In high school and college, having a dream job is more than understandable. However, once you’ve entered the professional sector, dream jobs do little but stress you out and screw up your expectations. If you really want to be happy at work, stop picturing an imaginary position that will meet all your requirements, because chances are, it doesn’t exist. And even if it did, you’d probably hate that too.

“The exact set of parameters you outlined doesn’t exist. And, even if it did, and you were magically plugged into it, it would probably take just a few weeks or months before you’re the same miserable self there,” said Srikumar S. Rao, happiness guru and author of Happiness at Work: Be Resilient, Motivated, and Successful—No Matter What.

Start Learning

The key to making it through a job you hate is finding something to learn from it. No job is a complete waste of time, which means the more you focus on gleaning skills from your current position, the more set up for success you’ll be down the road.

“There is nothing you do in your work life, particularly when you’re young, that is a waste of time. The things that you think are boring are actually building up a skill base over the years,” said Joan Kingsley, organizational psychotherapist and author of The Fear-Free Organization: Vital Insights From Neuroscience to Transform Your Business Culture.

Build a Better Day

Happiness lies within the eye of the beholder. If you’re job sucks, you’re probably doing something to make it worse,; for example, saying that it sucks every chance you get. Changing the way you interact with your daily schedule can completely change how you perceive your job.

“There are all these things you do around the edges of your work to make it more engaging. They don’t require the permission of your boss or a change in your job description. They’re within the control of the employee,” said Gretchen Spreitzer, professor of management and organizations at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan.

Take Action

Being happier at work isn’t easy. And if you’ve tried all of these strategies to no avail, there is only one more than you can do: something! Get a new job, change fields, take a hiatus, do anything that will make a difference in your life. It could be your only chance.

“Sometimes, one of the ways the universe signals that it’s time for you to change is by making you miserable where you are,” said Rao.

Read more tips from entrepreneurs on TechCo

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Conor is a writer, comedian and world-renowned sweetheart. As the Assistant Editor and Writer at Tech.Co, he’s written about everything from Kickstarter campaigns and budding startups to tech titans and innovative technologies. His background in stand-up comedy made him the perfect person to host Startup Night at SXSW and the Funding Q&A at Innovate! and Celebrate, posing questions to notable tech minds from around the world. In his spare time, he thinks about how to properly pronounce the word "colloquially." Conor is the Assistant Editor and Writer at Tech.Co. You can email him at conor@tech.co.

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