5 Tips for Staying Happy at Work

December 22, 2014

No one likes his or her job all the time. Even if you have what you consider a “dream job,” chances are that there are some days that you just aren’t giving 100 percent, or days that you just don’t want to do the job. If you start to dwell on these downsides, you will eventually have a hard time sticking it out at work.

Happiness in your work is one of the things that can help you relieve stress, and feel better about life in general. As a result, it makes sense to do what you can to be mostly happy with your good job, and do what you can to make an “ok” job mostly bearable.

Here are 5 tips for staying happy at work:

1. Work Toward Making Yourself Indispensable

We all like to feel appreciated, and as though we are an integral part of the team. If you want to feel essential at work, though, you have to actually make yourself essential. This doesn’t mean that you take on a ton of responsibility leading to burnout. Instead, it means making yourself a solid part of the team. You should be reliable, and a problem solver. If you know that you would be hard to replace, you are more likely to be satisfied at work, and even improve your productivity.

2. Take Appropriate Breaks

Too often, we don’t take breaks at work. It starts to feel like a grind. If you want to enjoy your day a little better, take appropriate breaks. Don’t work through lunch. Take a five minute break to stretch your legs. If you have vacation days built up, find a good time when work is a little slower and take a vacation. Give yourself permission to step back, reset, and come back to the task refreshed and better focused.

3. Focus on the Good You Do

Look for the purpose in your work. If your company provides products that make life better for thousands of people, that’s something you can be proud to be a part of. Look for the good in what you do. Even if the good you find is the fact that your work puts food on the table and lets your family live a good life, that can be a reason to keep with it. Focus on the good things that come from your work, and you will be happier to do it.

4. Find a Good Friend at Work

Often, we feel better about whatever we are doing when there are people we like nearby. Look for a friend at work. This can be someone who you get along with, and who has similar interests to you. The good news is that you don’t even have to do a lot with your friend outside work. If you have someone that you can look to and trust at work, and someone you can hang out with at work parties and functions, it can make your job more enjoyable. Look for someone you can connect with as a friend, and your job will be happier.

5. Follow Your Industry

Get involved with your industry, and keep up with the latest developments. This makes you a valuable employee, but it can also help you feel a connection to what you do. When you are immersed in your industry during work, it feels like a part of your life, rather than being a drudgery that you try to escape. While you don’t want to focus on your industry to the exclusion of everything else, you can still derive satisfaction and a lot of benefit from staying up with the latest industry trends.

What are your best tips for staying happy at work?


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Miranda writes about personal finance almost every day. An experienced freelance writer, she's covered your money online and in print from every angle and is always looking for new ones.

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4 Responses to 5 Tips for Staying Happy at Work

  • Mrs. Frugalwoods

    This is all great advice. I agree with you on the power of taking short breaks! I try to walk around the building and climb the stairs at least once every day. It gets the blood flowing and gives my brain a bit of time to reset and refocus on the project at hand. It always feels like time well spent.

  • Mik

    It’s hard to be happy at work when affirmative action policies discriminate against white males !

  • Melody

    These are great practical tips. I read the Art of Happiness at Work, which was written by the Dalai Lama and Dr. Howard Cutler, which extends these types of sentiments into emotional wellbeing at work as well.