How to enjoy work more when you don’t like your job

An angry businessman about to throw his laptop A recent survey of 2,000 UK workers revealed that 80% are unhappy with their jobs. A recent Gallop poll of over 150,000 US workers had a similar finding: 70% of Americans either do not like their jobs or are uninspired at work.

Many managers try to make their staff happy using perks, such as half-day Fridays and free lunches. But do perks work? Randy Allen is the Associate Dean of Cornell University’s Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management. Allen said that: “There’s a lot of research out there that says, although it depends on the employee, the perks come out as less important as job satisfaction. Having a satisfying job, a manager you respect and job growth opportunities is more important. If you don’t have those fundamentals, the perks aren’t going to fix it. You may keep them for a while, but at some point they’re going to leave.”

So if your boss sucks, the passion for your work has gone, or you’re not challenged at work – three common reasons why people hate their jobs – you’ll most likely need more than perks to make you happier at work.

Try the tips below to boost your spirits at work and in your spare time.

Look for ways to boost your happiness at work
Take your lunch breaks, and enjoy them
Enjoy your time outside of work
Create a work-life balance
Have enough mental and physical breaks at work
Strengthen worthwhile friendships
Think positive thoughts and visualize (imagine) positive outcomes in your life
Make your job more interesting
Train for a job that inspires and uplifts you
Research ways to be happier at work
Get a better job

Look for ways to boost your happiness at work

Is it time to improve the relationships with your colleagues? If it’s time, what can you do to get along better? And how is your work space? Perhaps some clutter clearing is needed, or indoor plants, sorting of files…? Then there’s the work itself. Is it too hard, too easy, too boring or too annoying…? If so, how can you improve it?

Take your lunch breaks, and enjoy them

I recently heard a segment on the radio that – not surprisingly – said that people who often work during their lunch breaks are more stressed and less satisfied at work than people who take their lunch breaks.

To enjoy my lunch breaks I like having a laugh and happy chat with friends at work, and watching funny YouTube videos. Sometimes I visit shops that I like, or go for a walk in a park or other nature spot.

Enjoy your time outside of work

If your work doesn’t inspire you, at least pursue your passions in your spare time. Play sport, an instrument, spend time in nature, or see friends…. Whatever your passions are, make your spare time something to look forward to.

Create a work-life balance

Limit working overtime. Regular exercise, spending time with friends, getting enough sleep… are important for health, happiness and good quality of life.

Have enough mental and physical breaks at work

Focus for too long without a break, and our concentration and accuracy will reduce. Have enough breaks to improve health, concentration, accuracy and performance.

Do you do a sit-down job? If so, have regular short breaks to get up and stretch, and prevent deep vein thrombosis, back pain, etc. ABC Health & Wellbeing says Dr. Alicia Thorp from the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute is researching the effects of standing and sitting in the workplace. Dr. Thorp recommends sitting for no more than 30 minutes at a time, and standing as much as possible throughout the day.

Strengthen worthwhile friendships

The people we spend our time with affect our happiness. Spend quality and quantity time with people who boost our spirits.

Think positive thoughts and visualize (imagine) positive outcomes in your life

Often imagine how you would like your work to be – getting a job promotion, getting along better with your colleagues, and so on. Imagine outcomes that are positive, realistic and happy. As I’ve mentioned in previous blog posts, thoughts are creative, so dwell on what you want and how you would like your life to be. In time, your life and work can improve.

Make your job more interesting

Do you have a boring job? If you do, maybe look for ways to perfect it, like some people try to perfect playing board games, team sports, etc. Listen to music while you work. Ask your manager for more interesting jobs. Do challenging hobbies… outside of work to compensate for a mundane job.

Train for a job that inspires and uplifts you

Night school, college and university courses, online courses… are great ways to help you find a job that you’re passionate about.

Research ways to be happier at work

Want more ideas? Ask people you know, and people who like their jobs, for their ideas. Read books, blog posts, news stories, and so on, about how to be happier at work.

I like Louise L. Hay’s best-selling book You Can Heal Your Life. I’ve used lots of ideas in this book, and I’ve found them very helpful. Check out Louise’s views on how to get along better with your boss, Louise’s positive affirmations for getting a great job…, if you’re interested. Louise is an amazing author who has helped millions of people all over the world with her kindness, brilliance, and love of humanity.

Other fantastic self-help authors I recommend include Andrew Matthews, Dr. Joseph Murphy and Wally Amos.

Get a better job

Is it time to get another job? Feel your current job is destroying you mentally, physically, and/or financially… and your workplace won’t improve? Can you find something better? If so, look for a better job. Join job agencies, search Internet job sites, read the employment notices in the newspaper, network with people in your area of expertise, etc.

Be the type of employee that employers want to hire. Have a great resume. Enhance your interview skills, if necessary. Be reliable, trustworthy, helpful….

Looking for a better job can be a long, hard slog. You might need to submit many job applications just to get one job interview. It has been like this for me at times in the past, and for others I know as well. But the results were worth it – a more fulfilling job, a better manager, better conditions….

Some jobs are soul destroying. Switching to inspiring jobs that we enjoy – and make us want to go to work – could be one of the best decisions we ever make. As Confucius said, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”

written by Nyomi Graef

References:
Dnaindia.com, 2013, 80% people hate their jobs but are too scared to quit,
http://www.dnaindia.com/lifestyle/report-80pct-people-hate-their-jobs-but-are-too-scared-to-quit-1870552

Jones, E, 2013, The top 5 reasons people hate their jobs & why the #1 reason may be you, Trackur,
http://www.trackur.com/the-top-five-reasons-people-hate-their-jobs

Levinson, S, 2013, It is amazing how many people in America hate their jobs, Elite Daily,
http://elitedaily.com/news/business/it-is-amazing-how-many-people-in-america-hate-their-jobs/

Ryan, C, 2012, Stand up for your health, ABC Health & Wellbeing,
http://www.abc.net.au/health/thepulse/stories/2012/09/24/3596655.htm

Today, 2013, Study: 7 in 10 Americans hate their jobs,
http://www.today.com/video/today/52305482#53633196

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