Do you remember the first few months at your new job? The excitement of a new environment, new co-workers, new projects, and the fact that your got hired in the first place gives way to boredom and job dissatisfaction. According to Right Management, people are so dissatisfied with their jobs that 84% of its respondents are looking for a new position in 2012. Here’s how to keep you happy, even if the “newness” of the job has long worn off…
Think Yourself to Happiness
A boring and repetitive job, an hour long commute, almost no vacation time, and being underpaid are not the recipe for happiness. Rather than focusing on the negative aspects of your job, focus on the positive by making a list of the good things: You have a job, you are comfortable, you get some social interaction, you get to be creative, etc.
Also, try smiling more, even when you don’t feel like it. You’ll find that you’ll start to feel happy just by forcing yourself to smile. Don’t believe it? Smile now and see what happens.
Aside from focusing on the positive and smiling more, savor the little things in life. Before your commute, have a hearty breakfast, kiss your loved ones goodbye, and listen to some good music or comedy while on your way to work.
Focus on the Big Picture
A lot of people are not satisfied with their jobs because they think their work is meaningless. Let’s say you’re a janitor at a school. That may seem like unimportant, but the school depends on you to keep the school functioning, which is the key to a child’s development and well being.
Get In Shape
All of the stress you feel at work may very well be your stress over not being physically active. If you go to the downtown of any city you’ll notice that most people are out of shape, living sedentary lifestyles in which the most exercise they get is walking up stairs. Exercise can improve your mood, give you more energy, and make you sleep easier.
Take Time Off
A lot of people eat at their desks, forcing themselves to spend 8 hours each day in a cubicle. Make use of your lunch break and go outside the office to a place that relaxes you. Take advantage of any personal and/or vacation days that you have. You may think that you’re doing your employer a favor by taking a pass on them, but you are sabotaging your future work performance.
Lower Your Expenses and Save Money
People feel trapped because they have monthly bills they need to pay and have no way of quitting their job, unless they are willing to file for bankruptcy. Lower your expenses by buying food in bulk, biking to work, using coupons, and getting rid of cable. Don’t buy into the consumer culture. You know how to get a 100% discount on Black Friday (or any other day for that matter)? Don’t buy stuff you don’t need. Focus on decreasing any debts you have so that you aren’t tied down to any job. This will lower your stress and make you happy.
At work, your coworkers don’t have to be your best friends, but it will help if you are friendly to them. Ask them out for lunch and take the time to talk to them.
Outside of work, make friends, and/or find a romantic partner if you don’t already have one. Too many people expect these type of things to fall in their lap and are not willing to pay the ego sacrificing price to obtain them.
You may think that your work is the source of your unhappiness, but imagine how different your views might be if you had a happy life outside of your job and had friendly relations with everyone at work.
Mix Things Up
Does your life seem like a very boring movie that is replayed again and again? Ask your boss for a new assignment or think of a way to do your current work differently. For example, rather than emailing your coworkers, stop by their office to talk. If you’re at a desk the whole day, ask your boss if you can relocate with a laptop somewhere else in the office.
Look for Another Job
People feel trapped in their jobs. They see no sign of a promotion, advancement or anything new happening any time soon. The company culture may be to blame and the best way to avoid feeling trapped is to actively explore other options. More importantly, do you remember the last time you did something that was so engaging, so pleasing, that you never wanted it to end? Does that ever happen at your job? You can find a job that lets you do just that…
Make a habit of spending at least 30 minutes each day to network with professionals and apply for other jobs. If you are entrepreneurially minded, focus on a side hustle so that it can one day support you. Looking for another job may seem counterintuitive to being happy at work, but it may very well be your only option.