"We not only need to work happy, we need to work at being happy." - Shawn Achor
Well, the results are in: while I’m sure you’ve heard of the Great Resignation, have you heard about the aftermath? Are you currently living the aftermath? Studies show that for many people who left their job and found a new one, they are finding that their new job is as unfulfilling as their old one. Of course, this is of no fault to the employee – many people were pressured into looking for something new for a variety of reasons – in-person vs remote work, pay, location, work culture, etc.
And sometimes, even better pay or an option to work remotely does not fix your new co-worker’s crummy attitude, and a good work culture does not fix a pay cut. If you are in new job, you might’ve even had a honeymoon phase; and now that it’s wearing off, the new job doesn’t feel as good as it did 3 months ago. Or maybe you wanted to resign, but for whatever reason, you have to stay in your current position. It can be tough getting things done at the job you’re currently in when you want to be somewhere else.
So, what can you do when you’re in this position? Well, you could look for something new again, but you may end up in a vicious cycle. Another option, if you’d like to stay at your new job for a while, is to find ways to make it bearable. I’ve been reading a book by Shawn Achor called: “The Happiness Advantage,” and through his research he has found that a positive attitude helps people to thrive in their jobs compared to people who view their job as negative.
This is not to say that I’m advocating toxic positivity; negative emotions are a necessary part of life. However, I do think that, when possible, a positive outlook can help us get through things that would otherwise be tough to work through. So, with that being said, here is a list of ideas that can help you find joy in your current job.
Help your co-workers
One thing you can do is take your mind off your what you don’t like and focus on helping a co-worker with a task. It doesn’t have to be anything big, simply reading over an important email they’re sending or adding in their papers that need copying into yours can make a difference.
Make a list of things you like about your job
This could be directly related to your work, or the environment you’re in – maybe one of your co-workers always has your back. Maybe you love the view from your office. Maybe the delivery man always has a big smile on his face. Little things can add up to making your day-today work life better.
Gain or improve your job skills
Having something to focus on other than the job itself can help you bear where you’re at. Not to mention, expanding your skills can help you get a new job/career when you’re ready for a change.
Find or create social activities for you and your co-workers
See if your company or co-workers host social events, like drinks after work. If not, consider hosting them yourself, and invite your co-workers on a hiking excursion or bowling. This can break up the monotony and add some fun to your work life.
Reorganize and decorate your office space
Reinvigorating your space can brighten your mood and give you a new perspective. If your desk is currently empty, consider putting a photo or two on your desk.
Find a new hobby to get excited about
While your job may not be what you dreamed, you can control what you do outside of business hours. Exploring new hobbies or reintroducing yourself to an old one can help you find fulfilment and happiness.
Krista Swais-Hannesen Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief, A Beautiful Life Magazine & Books