Some people have jobs they truly love. They wake up every day with a smile on their face and can’t wait to punch in. These people should consider themselves lucky, and they can stop reading right now.
Everyone else might want to absorb the expert advice of confidence coach Steve Errey. He’s penned a Daily Muse post titled “5 Practical Ways to Feel More Joy in Your Job,” and it’s filled with great suggestions for finding happiness in the workplace. The words “joy” and “job” might seem like opposites, but Errey begs to differ.
His first tip is a great one: “Don’t be an island.” When you hate your job, you’re likely to withdraw from your coworkers and live in your own bubble, but this, he says, is counterproductive. Smile, be friendly, and become part of the team. “Time and time again, polls have shown that the people you work with are the number one reason for loving a job,” Errey writes.
Next up: “Accept responsibility.” Just as you should throw yourselves into conversations with colleagues, you should make yourself a part of the company by taking on projects, no matter how small. It’s important to feel like you’re contributing and adding value. Otherwise, you’ll see yourself as an “insignificant cog in a big machine,” as Errey writes.
Errey also cautions against getting involved with office politics. “Don’t play games,” he warns with No. 3, explaining that “ego” and “agendas” will “eat you alive” if you let them. Instead, focus on doing great work.
The fourth tip, “Engage,” is all about thinking positive. If you head to the office every day loathing your job and “flapping your wings against the bars of the cage,” you’re going to set yourself up for more discontentment. Embrace your situation and find a way to eek out whatever pleasure you can. You have the power.
Lastly, Errey urges everyone to “Follow the energy.” This means doing whatever it takes to feel motivated and inspired. It could be as simple as vying for projects you think could be fun or applying “a strength or talent (creativity, empathy, problem solving) in your work rather than leaving those things at the door.”
It might be that you need to change companies or even careers, but ultimately, it could be worth the effort. After all, Errey says, “life’s too short to not experience joy in your work.”