The old adage about the grass always being greener on the other side of the fence definitely holds true in the professional world. Whether you hate your job or simply feel stifled sometimes, chances are you have friends who are always posting on Facebook about how great things are where they work. Why should they have all the luck?
As writer and Shop Your Way manager of business analytics Chris Hooker writes in a great Muse post titled “4 Changes You Should Embrace if You Want to Enjoy Your Job More,” it’s not about luck. To some extent, you control your own career satisfaction, and there are little tweaks you can make to get more satisfaction out of your job — no matter what you do.
First, Hooker says, you should “take ownership” of your position. Even if you’re a tiny player at a big company, think of what you do as your own personal business. This adjustment changes everything — suddenly, you’re not doing those spreadsheets because you have to, but because it’s good for “your business.” The best way to get started, Hooker says, is to “decide what your business consists of as well as what goals it needs to reach this week, this month, and this year.”
His next suggestion is “practice having gratitude.” This might strike some folks as difficult, since the idea is to be grateful for things like meddling coworkers who always tell you what you’re doing is wrong, but again, it’s about subtle shifts in perception. That nosey coworker might be hipping you to new ways of doing things, and even if not, he or she is helping you boost your patience and improve your interpersonal skills.
Hooker’s third tip is to “have perspective” and focus not on what you’re doing, but how your role impacts others. If you’re in the billing department for a big company, you’re keeping the cash flowing. Work in HR? You’re assisting others with their jobs. Play it like an artist and find new and interesting ways to see work you might initially deem mundane.
Finally, Hooker says, if none of the above suggestions work, and there are still parts of your job you can’t stand, “take action” and change them. Or at least try. “You’ll gain a reputation as an innovator and someone who is solution-focused,” he writes.