3 Ways to Find Happiness at Work

When most people think of happily ever after, they rarely think about riding off into the sunset with their laptop or laughing out loud on Slack.  But since most of us will spend about one-third of our lives, or 90,000 hours, at work, it would be great to spend that time happy, instead of miserable.  After all, happy people not only live longer but also can earn more money over their lifetime than those that are unhappy.

So how do you find happiness at work?

  1. Find your purpose.  Not everyone can be, or wants to be, a doctor that saves lives or a diplomat working to negotiate peace, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy what you do, or even why you do it. Take time to learn about the mission of your company and understand how your role helps move that mission forward. Does that mission still motivate you?  If so, spend some time thinking about your personal “WHY” and how you are helping achieve that mission.
  2. Set healthy boundaries.  Despite popular belief, working long hours and being “on” all the time is actually bad for productivity, not to mention the increased risk of mistakes that comes with it.  If you want to be happy at work, and maybe even get some accolades while you’re at it, make sure you set healthy boundaries for when work ends and your life begins.  Living a fulfilling life outside the office boosts your ability to show up strong, happy and ready for the next challenge in the workplace. What boundaries do you need to set up?
  3. Reflect often. Take the time to think about how you’re feeling at work, then dive into why those feelings are there.  Map out some of the things you enjoy about your job and what makes you cringe.  There will always be a few things on the cringe list, but if most of your work falls in that category, it’s time to speak up and let someone in your organization know how you’re feeling.  If you’re not ready for that just yet, try reaching out to a friend or trusted colleague to share your feelings and get the assurance you need to speak up for yourself.

Life is too short to allow our work to make us miserable. So while your work may not be quite like a knight in shining armor, it can be something that brings you joy, or at the very least, doesn’t make you cringe.