Having held a multitude of different jobs, ranging from translator and language teacher, to massage therapist, fitness instructor and coach, I often found myself in workplaces and under working conditions that made me vow I would never do these jobs again.
Today I am – among other things – a Joy of Business facilitator, which has helped me combine all my aforementioned skills and allowed me to have a sense of fulfillment and more fun than ever.
Get clarity about what are you missing in your job, which factors account for unhappiness and which of these depend on you and which depend on others. In the situations where you cannot change other people’s behaviour, look at what you can change in your attitude that might make a difference.
Here are a few suggestions on how to be happier in the job you have.
Finding emotional happiness
Are you having expectations of your job that should be reserved for other areas in your life?
For instance, I found myself expecting my colleagues to behave like family or friends, and would subconsciously be very concerned about our emotional interactions. As soon as I realised I was doing this, life became much easier as I readjusted my expectations to an appropriate and healthy level.
Where are you having expectations of your job that are not truly job-related?
Do you not get the recognition you think you deserve?
This used to be a big issue for me, because even when I was being praised I felt that now I was under pressure to always provide at least a 100% performance, or that I wasn’t being praised for the right things.
I suggest making a habit of mentally “patting yourself on the back” for anything you have accomplished and really acknowledging yourself, as you are the only one who knows what your small and big accomplishments and victories are.
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Do you feel you are not being seen as a human being?
Acknowledge the contribution you are to the company and your colleagues, not only professionally, but as a human being. Realise that you do have a choice around how you show up and figure out how to bring more of the ‘real you’ to work so you feel comfortable and fulfilled in the workplace.
What energy can you bring into the workplace that would make it more enjoyable for not just your colleagues, but yourself too?
Are you overly affected when your colleagues are in a bad mood?
Don’t go into trying to “fix it“ and realise that whatever is going on for them, it has nothing to do with you.
If you choose to remain unaffected by other people’s mood swings and just let the emotional intensity go through, and past you, while still being open and friendly (as you would with a child throwing a tantrum),they might be able to see a different perspective as well.
Does the general workplace atmosphere get you down?
Identify what you don’t like about your work or workplace and brainstorm ways to make the experience a better one. It could be suggesting a weekly lunch with co-workers or a physical space for meditation in the office. Whatever your ideas are, speak up and suggest it. Even if they don’t accept or actualise your idea as is, it could open up new possibilities.
Finding happiness in your tasks
Do you find yourself procrastinating when it comes to tasks you don’t like?
How about trying a simple trick: If you have to do some less-than-favourite tasks, first think of something you really love doing. And then apply that energy to the task at hand. Be curious. Ask yourself: How can I do this so it would be fun for me?
Do you feel overwhelmed and under constant stress to perform to a deadline?
As a translator I am very familiar with this and have found the following tweaks get me out of the rut. As far as your schedule allows it, see which tasks feel easiest to do at any given moment, and start with these. This gets you into an “easy mode” which you can maintain while gradually increasing the complexity level, and soon you will find yourself doing the things you had considered less easy, with more ease. Also, accomplishing tasks well before the deadline (even small ones) can give you a sense of space and relief, whenever possible.
Finding happiness generally
It may sound old, but counting your blessings is the first step to get you back in a positive vein. First of all – being unhappy in our job means you do have a job to begin with.
Find 5 things, every night, you are grateful for about your job. Open yourself up to what you like about your job and figure out if there is a way to do more of that and less of what you don’t. Then, realise that you DO have a choice – if all the signs are for you to find a new job, start looking for a new one, while still being grateful for your current job to set the course for a fresh start.
Find something you love doing outside of work that is fun and easy to do
Find hobbies or activities that you love doing so much, you could spend all day doing them. Bring that energy to your workplace and look where you can make even small changes to brighten up your day.
To sum it up – begin to realise you are not a victim to your circumstances or a robot, but a multifaceted personality that can bring a different spark to any work environment. Do more of what you love, in and outside of work – and learn to love what you do.
What would it take for you to tune into your “happy vibe” more and more often until it becomes a new habit?
Corinna Kaebel is a professional interpreter, communicator, coach and mentor. Being fluent in English, German and Russian allows her to travel the globe extensively to teach, coach and interpret. Corinna loves being on the road, exploring new places and working with people from all different cultures and backgrounds. Her number one goal is to inspire, support and help people to show up with more of themselves intact and to navigate their own life journey with more ease, grace and glory. Corinna is a Joy of Business facilitator, a specialty program from personal development organisation Access Consciousness.