Many people think that, in order to be happier at work, you have no choice but to change careers. They think that the reason they’re not happy in their careers is because they chose the wrong one. However, this isn’t necessarily true. Some people can be engaged in the type of work that promises to bring them the most satisfaction and still be unhappy.
This is largely because happiness at work depends on the attitude you carry with you everyday. Fortunately, your attitude isn’t 100% fixed for the rest of your life. There are many simple things you can do to change it.
If you approach your work with greater positivity, you’ll also find yourself being happier at work. Here are a few tips to help you do so:
- Know Thyself. First of all, you need to be sure that you really are engaged in the right occupation. Do you often dream about something else that you should be doing? Do you wish you’d made a different choice when you were younger? Did your parents pressure you to choose a certain path that you were not inclined towards? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then it might be a good idea to do some introspection. Think about what you really want to do and how different it is from what you’re already doing.
Sometimes, you may find that what you really want to do is only slightly different from your current occupation. At other times, it may seem as though a complete overhaul is needed. In either case, it’s important to continue to have a good attitude towards your present job even while you look for another one.
- Avoid Criticism. As Dale Carnegie said in his book, How to Win Friends and Influence People, it’s important to avoid complaints, condemnation and criticism. Don’t you avoid others who criticize and condemn you? Don’t you tend to stay away from those who keep criticizing others? Most of us have an innate mechanism which automatically keeps us away from all forms of negativity.
But sometimes, we can get into a pattern where we feel better when we criticize. In such cases, we tend to hang out more with others who are also critical and we feed off them. This is a very dangerous situation to be in. And if you have friends or colleagues who encourage such forms of negativity, you need to learn to stay away from them. Make sure that the words that leave your lips generally have a positive tone and you’ll find that your experience at work changes drastically.
- Make Little Changes. There are many little ways in which you can make your work environment more pleasant. Think about all the things that have positive associations for you and try to bring them into your work space. Here are a few ideas:
- Pictures of our friends and family on your desk can make you feel good.
- Flowers and plants always make you feel more at one with nature even when you’re indoors.
- Sitting near a window, if possible, can help ensure you get some natural light, which is a mood-booster.
- Add decorative touches that appeal to you even if they don’t serve any practical purpose. You could go with a pretty lamp, figurine or piece of art that appeals to your senses.
- A pretty rug, throw or cushion in a bright color can help make your space more homey.
- Put up a poster of your favorite book or movie.
You may not think that making these small changes can help you in the long term. However, they can definitely make you feel better in the short term. And if you can make it through one work day feeling positive, then you can make it through another one as well. Try to take baby steps and you’ll find that your work life improves drastically over a period of time.
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