Most people spend 30, 40, or even 50 hours a week at work. What we do at work, and who we work with, have a tremendous influence on our day-to-day happiness. Here are four tips for increasing your happiness at work:
1. Accept that work is work. Have you heard the advice, "Do what you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life"? While you should enjoy your work, this aphorism is terrible advice. No matter what you do, and how much you like it, you will encounter boredom, repetition, frustration, difficulties, and stress in every job. Ironically, accepting that fact can makes it easier to handle. Don’t worry about getting rid of all the boring bits. Instead, focus on what you really love about your work, and try to maximize those moments.
2. Connect your work to your values. Humans are happiest when we are doing something with meaning. Whatever you do, think about how your work brings value and meaning to your life. Work can be valuable in many ways. For some people, the value is in the work itself: they work in a field they love, doing something worthwhile that suits their talents. If that’s not you (yet), that’s ok. What other value does your work have? Perhaps it allows you to take care of your family, or save for school, or has flexible hours so you can pursue your art. Whatever is meaningful about your work, keep that in mind when you have a stressful day.
3. Value your colleagues. Often, we spend more time with our colleagues than our family, and they can make or break our work experience. Whenever you have a choice in your career direction, choose based on the people you’ll be working with.
4. Seek out opportunities for learning and growth. Learning makes us happy — that drive to learn is how we advanced from dwelling in caves to constructing the Burj Khalifa. Seek out new projects, new teams, and new opportunities for growth whenever you can.