How to Be Happy at Work
Carly Chynoweth | The Times
Finding a job that you like is clearly important to your workplace happiness, but it isn’t always easy – and even when you do there will still be times that you’re not happy. Obviously the best way to cheer yourself up is to turn Super Trouper up to 11 and dance around the room for five minutes, but if you don’t have an Abba-friendly workplace you might like to try these suggestions instead.
1. Keep things in perspective. “Your work experience is a very big part of your life, but it’s not your whole life,” says Michael Chambers, the managing director of Bacs, the payment processing house. Remind yourself of the positive things in other parts of your life.
2. Recognise the possibility of happiness. “We very often fail to recognise the rich sources of pleasure and meaning that are right in front of us at work,” writes Tal Ben-Shahar in Happier. “To turn a possibility [for happiness] into a reality, we first need to realise that the possibility exists.”
3. Change your focus. If the daily grind is getting you down, look at the big picture and remind yourself why you took the job – for example, that you share your organisation’s goal of reducing poverty or that gaining experience at this firm will help you to land your dream job. On the flip side, if it’s the big picture that is getting you down – say, you feel that helping your company to get richer isn’t your goal in life – try concentrating on individual tasks that you can do well. Don’t underestimate the satisfaction that can be gained from getting little things done, whether that is finally clearing out your inbox or resolving an irritating administrative problem.
4. Surround yourself with happy people… even if that means making other people happy to do it, says Marc Woods, a motivational speaker. “People react well to you helping them, and being around happy people does rub off.” He also suggests finding a mentor who enjoys his or her job and can offer support dealing with your emotional state as well as with technical issues. And steer clear of moaners: just as positive people will help to keep your mood up, colleagues who spend their days complaining will inevitably bring you down.