Feeling dissatisfaction within our work can take a huge toll on our overall happiness. Considering that globally, we spend 1/3 of our lives working, which translates to 90,000 hours, it’s crucial that we find satisfaction around our work. If you’re feeling dissatisfied and want to feel happier on the job, here are 5 techniques that can help.
1. Target your dissatisfaction
The first step to changing your negative feelings around your work is to admit that you’re feeling them in the first place. If possible, figure out what it is about your job that is making you unhappy. This will help you shift your focus to the problem at hand.
Is your work environment making you uncomfortable? Is your type of work misaligned with your morals? Does your work fail to challenge you? Is it hard for you to feel like you’re making a difference?
As individuals, we want to feel as though we’re doing work that we value, feel comfortable doing, and are morally aligned to. It has been statistically proven that we value this more than a high salary or impressive benefits.
The Meaningful Work Insights 2019 study surveyed more than 1,000 Australians to understand what we value in our work. Research has found that Australians place great importance in their work as a core part of their personal identity.
Statistically, “only 4% of Aussies rated money as most important”, thus showing that we are actively searching for “a job that closely aligns with our personal values and one where we can make a difference.”
It is important to fully understand where the dissatisfaction with your work is coming from and figure out whether you can change that internally, or if it’s time to search for a new opportunity.
2. Remember your end goal
In virtually every profession in the world of work, it is important to gain fundamental experience before you land that dream job or really start to enjoy the work you do. Sometimes, all it takes is a reminder that your current position is simply a gateway to bigger opportunities.
Tip: Place images, quotes, or other physical reminders in your workspace that will help you keep your eye on the prize.
Cal Newport, author of So Good They Can’t Ignore You, describes that in the quest for loving work, many have realized that most love the work they do because they are good at it, instead of being good at the work they do because they love it.
Who doesn’t love doing things they’re already good at? Try immersing yourself in your role and learning how to become an expert. Seek knowledge and ask questions where you don’t understand.
3. Create your own professional development plan
It can be frustrating when you feel like your professional growth has stagnated. The Upskilled Australian Careers Survey shows that 67% of unhappy workers felt they weren’t receiving enough training and development.
Instead, take your professional development into your own hands. Take it upon yourself to learn from every colleague around you, whether within or outside of your network.
Tip: Set up individual meetings or lunch outings with team members (or cross-functionally) to learn new information.
Every single person has something to teach you. Whether they are more heavily creative, work closer with a different team, have a unique background or favor a different working system, get to know their tips and tricks. This will create a greater
sense of fulfillment within your work and expand your knowledge in many different areas.
4. Form relationships at work
Beyond professional development, it helps to build bonds with your colleagues on a personal level. A survey performed by global recruiter Robert Half shows that “Australian workers who have good relationships with their team are 2.5 times more likely to be happy on the job than those who don’t get along with their colleagues”.
Although some may see it as unproductive, getting to know your colleagues on a more personal level has been proven to increase productivity and create a general happiness around work life.
5. Change your morning routine
Your morning routine can drastically impact your overall happiness around your work. If your routine is repetitive, causing fatigue or even resentment, then it’s important to rework your process. Northwestern Medicine has proven that creating a positive morning routine can reduce stress levels and anxiety, increase overall health, raise self-esteem, and thus raise overall happiness.
Tip: There are a countless number of resources on the internet around creating the perfect morning routine. Find one that works for you!
Whether it’s adding yoga or removing electronic devices, it’s important to find your personal preference for mood boosting in the morning.
Finding happiness in your work is essential to your well-being, even outside of your job. General dissatisfaction can come from many different places, so it’s important to search internally and find ways to create comfort within your career.
Your relationship with work is just as important as all other relationships in your lives and requires maintenance just like the rest of them. Let’s make sure to give it the attention it deserves.