If you are reading this, you probably have a job. If not, you wouldn’t be learning how to be happier at work.
Maybe you love your job. Maybe you despise it. Or perhaps you are somewhere between those two extremes. Or somedays you love it and others you despise it.
However it is you feel about your job, did you know having a job makes you happier than someone that is unemployed?
It’s the truth.
Wellbeing is higher in those with jobs compared to those who are unemployed.
Pretty cool, right?
But how do you become happier at work?
I’m going to tell you.
And so you know, this information comes from the 2017 World Happiness Report.
Select the Right Type of Work for You
What you do for work matters.
Some jobs are associated with higher levels of happiness and satisfaction.
Those with the highest reported levels of happiness were managers or executives. This is closely followed by professional workers, clerical or office workers, and service workers.
Those with the lowest levels of happiness? Farming, fishing, and forestry workers. Construction workers and miners closely followed.
So if you are dissatisfied by your work, consider this information before choosing a new direction.
Be Actively Engaged
According to the 2017 World Happiness Report, active engagement is extremely important to job satisfaction.
The more engaged you are in your job, the happier and more satisfied you are with it.
What does it mean to be actively engaged in your work?
Actively engaged workers are passionate about what they do and feel committed to their job or employers.
Disengaged workers are are “checked out” and put in time without much energy or passion.
According to a Gallup poll, only 30% of Americans are actively engaged in their work.
How do you get actively engaged? Change your mindset or change your responsibilities/job.
Negotiate for a Raise
Higher wages are predictive of greater wellbeing.
This goes counter to advice or graduation speeches you’ve heard.
But the facts are those in well-paying jobs tend to feel happier and more satisfied with their lives compared to those in lower income brackets.
This isn’t a purely linear relationship, though. The lower you are on the income spectrum, the more a raise will contribute to your wellness.
Likewise, the HIGHER you are on the income spectrum, the less a raise will contribute to your happiness.
This is a tricky subject, because you have to consider work-life satisfaction. A higher paying job that substantially increases your commute time or causes you to worry at home will leave you LESS happy. Read the next tip for more details.
Leave Work at Work
This is a fascinating one.
Even though you may be enticed with the idea of job-flexibility or work you can do from home, this may detract from your happiness.
If your job interferes with your ability to spend time with loved ones, your happiness level goes down.
If your job causes you to worry about work matters when you are off the clock, your happiness level goes down.
If your job leaves you too tired to enjoy non-work factions of life, your happiness decreases.
Volunteer for Variety & Learn Something New
Variety is more than the spice of life — it is a key to job satisfaction and happiness.
Those with jobs that entail variety and the need to learn new skills are generally more satisfied with their work AND their lives.
So volunteer to learn something new or take on a new project — your happiness may increase!
Take Control Over Your Day
Having control - or autonomy - over your work is a significant contributor to happiness.
If possible, exert control over your workday and your pace of work. Workers that do this have higher wellbeing outcomes.
Find Your Work Tribe
Keeping your nose to the grindstone and staying to yourself at work may result in less happiness.
The level of social support you receive at work is strongly predictive of wellbeing.
Finding social support, and even being a member of a union, can increase your happiness at work.
Work for Someone You Respect and Feel is Competent
Your boss has a big impact on your job happiness (some of you may be thinking “duh” on this one).
When you work for someone you respect and feel is competent, your work wellbeing increases. Bosses and supervisors make a HUGE impact on satisfaction.
Data aside, I can personally attest to the importance of this one. I’ve been lucky to have mostly wonderful bosses. And in those circumstances, my team and I were happy and thrived. I can think of one situation where this was not the case — where I did not feel confidence on my boss. Instead of my team thriving, we were unhappy, stressed out, and overall lacking in wellbeing.
Turn Information Into Action
Information is only so helpful — it is action that will transform your life.
So take inventory of your job and life. What changes can you initiate to make you happier at work?
Write one or two down and commit to incorporating them into your life.
The Happiness Series
Do you want to be happier?
Sending you health and happiness,