When we spend 40 hours or more per week at our careers, it’s essential to take a step back every now and then to reflect on our true feelings. You may not have your dream job just yet, but liking what you do and who you work with is essential to maintaining happiness. Do you go to bed each night dreading the next day? It’s normal to look forward to the weekend and fun plans, but going through the motions at work every day will hurt your morale and motivation in the long run.
According to Expertrain, research has shown that employees who are engaged with their work are more likely to feel a sense of satisfaction. Those who are regularly praised for their work feel more connected and will be more likely to feel like their work matters in the bigger picture of the company.
So, what if you aren’t quite where you want to be or you’re stuck in a rut at work? Below are five ways you can feel more engaged with what you’re doing.
- Find outlets for stress. It’s unrealistic to expect a totally stress-free job. There will always be last-minute projects and deadlines. The important part is that you discover ways to deal with stress you experience and don’t let it define your working environment. When you leave the office, depending on your job, try to truly leave your work behind you. Spend time with family and friends and get into the habit of exercising, whether it be walking the dog or going for a swim.
- Deal with conflict early. No matter how much you love your coworkers, tension will arise and it’s essential that you learn how to properly address it. There are healthy and unhealthy ways to deal with conflict. Address the situation early and go to a manager or supervisor if the problem needs to be escalated. Rather than calling a coworker out or giving them the cold shoulder, continue to be polite and don’t make the situation worse than it is.
- Find meaning. Even if you’re working at a entry-level job and your daily tasks seem “boring” to you, try to see the bigger picture. Expertrain says that a study carried out in Germany by the Institute for the Study of Labour in 2007 revealed that being happy at work actually makes us healthier. Remind yourself that you are working toward your ultimate goal.
- Recognize that happiness is about more than money. Once you reach the threshold of being able to support your family and lifestyle, more money does not necessarily mean more happiness.
Challenge yourself. If you have an idea for a project that falls within your skill set, outline a plan and present it to your boss. Get out of your comfort zone when it comes to sharing new ideas.