Four Tips To Make You Happier at Work

Posted by The Editors on January 30, 2012
Four Tips To Make You Happier at Work

It sucks to be unhappy at work. Lately I’ve been hearing complaints from friends and acquaintances about how their jobs are too demanding, not challenging enough, and how one boss is a replica of Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada. And while it’s healthy to vent a little and let the stress of it all fall away during happy hour or a night out with friends, it’s not a lasting solution. Wouldn’t it be easier to make the stress go away permanently?

But how can we get to the point where we finally feel HAPPY?

For a while now I’ve been wondering what it takes for people to feel content in their work. For some it might be a larger salary or more paid time off. For others it could take learning an entirely new career field to feel satisfied. Whatever the magic cure is for you, this article from might help you find it.  

According to the article, you can make yourself happier on the job by taking the following steps:

1. Document Your Current Rules
Set aside a half-hour of alone time and, being as honest as you can, write down the answers to these two questions:

    • What has to happen for me to be happy?
    • What has to happen for me to be unhappy?

Now examine those rules. Are you currently making it easier to be miserable than to be happy? If so, it makes sense that you’re unhappy at work.

2. Create a Better Set of Rules
Using your imagination, create and record a new set of rules that would make it easy for you to be happy and difficult to be miserable. 

Don't worry whether or not these new rules seem "realistic"—that's not the point. All internal rules are arbitrary, anyway. Just write rules that would make you happier if you really believed them.

3. Post the New Rules Where You'll See Them
When you've completed your set of "new" rules, print out them out and post copies in three places: your bathroom mirror, the dashboard of your car, and the side of your computer screen. Leave them up, even after you've memorized them.

Having those new rules visible when you're doing other things gradually re-programs your mind to believe the new rules. You will be happy at work. It's really that simple.

4. Recognize the Problem
This step isn’t on Inc’s list, but I think it should be added. If you know dealing with a terrible boss everyday is leaving you with ulcers and a big therapy bill, then you need to come to the realization that for your own sanity and health, it’s time for a change. Recognizing what’s making you unhappy in your current job will provide you with better guidance in finding a new, happier job somewhere else. Who knows, maybe the problem you’re having can be fixed and all it takes is some communication between you and your boss.

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