Enjoying your job is crucial to your wellbeing. Whether you work out of necessity or simply because you want to, having a job you enjoy, versus a job that makes you miserable will help set the tone of your attitude toward the rest of your life.
Having worked at both jobs I loved and hated, personal experience has taught me that an enjoyable career choice contributes to success and happiness in other areas of life. So, what if you feel stuck in a job that you don’t enjoy and moving on doesn’t appear to be an immediate option? There are still ways to make the most of every day and turn your working hours into the most positive experience possible, even if your job isn’t so much fun.
Enjoy Your Job Because You’re Lucky to Have One!
First of all, remember this – your job is “what you do” not “who you are”. Sure, we are, at least in part, defined by our jobs but the person we appear to be for eight to ten hours of a shift at work is probably only a shallow shadow of our true selves. Second, be thankful for your job, no matter how lousy you think it is. Count all the things it provides for you and allows you to provide for your family. Food, shelter, entertainment, transportation, heat and more are all things we couldn’t have without our paychecks.
Other ways to be happy with our jobs include making the most of our commute, making sure we take our regularly scheduled breaks and working a little bit of fun or enjoyable activity into every work day. Let’s examine some of the ways to make our jobs more enjoyable and take some of the stress out of a typical working day.
Finding Ways to Relax Can Give You a Reason to Enjoy Your Job More
Commuting can be a hassle – an expensive way to get from point A (home) to point B (the dreaded workplace). Whether you drive rural back roads or take city transportation, there are ways to make your commute relaxing and beneficial to you. If you drive, play your favorite music or a book on CD. This is an opportune time to learn a foreign language or listen to a recorded lecture on a topic of interest. Always allow a little extra time for commuting. Arriving late for work and frazzled because of heavy traffic or other delays doesn’t encourage a positive start to your work day. If you use public transportation, you can take advantage of this time to read the newspaper or a novel. Conversations with fellow passengers are probably under-rated in this day and age, but why not make some small talk with some of your regular fellow commuters?
Regular breaks are important for maintaining our wellbeing at work. So often I hear people say that they didn’t have time for lunch or worked for so many hours without a break. First of all, your employer must be adhering to federal, state, and local labor laws that mandate breaks. Help your employer out by finding out what the rules are and following them. Your half hour lunch won’t make or break the company. Take advantage of your break time to get away from your work area. Eat lunch away from your desk or work station. Get outside if you can and if the weather allows. Take a walk, run an errand, or chat with a co-worker and ask about their recent vacation. Good working relationships are enhanced through the small talk we make at break time so show some interest in your fellow employees.
To bring some comforting pleasures into your work space, find out what your company allows and what the corporate culture permits in the way of personal belongings in the work space. A photo of your dog, a pretty bowl of candy, a scented candle (not lit, of course) can all enhance your work area and make it more pleasant. If you work in a factory or other sort of setting that doesn’t allow for these creature comforts, can you decorate the inside of your locker with photos and other items of interest that bring you comfort and remind you of who you are and why you do what you do?
While employers have certain responsibilities for their employees, making us happy at work and able to enjoy our jobs isn’t one of them. A savvy employer will do their best to make this happen, but the responsibility is ultimately ours. Sometimes this requires more than a little creativity on our parts. Why not take it upon yourself to learn something new about your industry? Learning something that will help you be a better employee could not only keep you more interested in your work, it could have long-term career benefits.
Attitude plays a large part in whether or not we enjoy our jobs. As basic as it sounds, if we decide we are going to be miserable at work, we will be. If we make up our minds to make the most of every day and see the positive aspects of our jobs, we will end up enjoying them more. Can you focus on the parts of your job that you like the best? Tune into how what you do benefits your organization and helps it reach its goals. If you don’t know, take the time to find out how your job relates to your company’s mission, goals, and values.
Begin to enjoy your job more today by implementing some of these suggestions. Additionally, practice good habits such as getting to work on time, completing assignments before they are due and keeping your work space clean and orderly. All these things will make your life easier and your job more enjoyable and will not go unnoticed by your supervisors. Making the most of your time outside of work can also help make your job more enjoyable. It is important to have balance and a satisfying home and family life outside of the job will contribute to that. Both work together to result in a well-rounded, happier you.