Work occupies an enormous chunk of our lives. We spend more time with our colleagues in the workplace than we do relaxing with our families, visiting with friends, or pursuing our passions. Americans are insanely work-oriented, and workweeks of fifty and sixty hours are not exceptional.
Fortunately, some tricks exist for making the hours we spend at our places of employment more pleasant. Only rarely do our occupations fulfill us in the ways we imagine our dream positions might, but we can do some concrete things to make the time we spend at work as positive as possible. Here are eleven suggestions for making your job more enjoyable:
1. Do Your Best.
Doing mediocre work undermines your enjoyment of the job. Throwing yourself into each task with gusto will bring you satisfaction as well as a good reputation with your employer and your colleagues.
2. Set Personal Goals.
Establish daily objectives as well as long-term career goals, and pursue them both with tenacity. When you create a milestone for yourself, don’t talk about it until you reach it, and once you do, be sure to advise your supervisor of your success. The idea is to push yourself to perform better and avoid putting unnecessary pressure on yourself.
3. Learn Something Each Day.
As long as you are doing first-rate work, no one should object to your observing a process in another department, reading a professional article online, or pursuing continuing education paid for by the firm. When you run into something that you don’t know, take the time to learn about it. Internet access makes such investigations fast and easy, and if anyone looks at you askance, you can justify your digression as pertinent to the task in which you are involved at the moment.
4. Volunteer For Committees And Special Taskforces.
In every company, situations arise that do not fit specific job descriptions. Doing these tasks, however, makes your job more challenging and interesting. Planning for Christmas parties, crawling around warehouses during inventories, gathering information for audits, and entertaining visitors all require attention. If you establish yourself as the go-to guy for special assignments, you will shore up your position in the company while making your job more fun.
5. Be Pleasant.
Make an effort to smile and to treat your coworkers well. When someone says good morning, respond with something nice. Many people become jaded at work and forget their manners. Aside from alienating those around them, their boorishness causes them to lose leverage when layoffs begin and when pay raises are set. Relationships drive much of what happens in companies, and if you want to ensconce yourself in your position, advance your career, and enjoy each workday, forming alliances at all levels in the organization is paramount.
6. Do More Than Expected.
Employees and management know who does the bare minimum and who goes the extra mile. Develop a reputation for attending to details and for being willing to jump through hoops to do so. You will reap a multitude of dividends by doing the little things that allow you to finish tasks with pizzazz.
7. Joke Around A Little.
Joking is a positive part of workplace culture. If you’ve ever worked on a construction crew, you know that every group of men has its poet. Often, the poetry is crude and silly, and the rhyme strained and awful, but through it, the artist makes a point, and everyone laughs and goes on working.
If you have a flair for humor, you can lighten the atmosphere of a meeting by telling a short, funny story. Doing so sets you apart from the crowd and, when combined with genuine competence at your job, will advance you in the organization (as long as you choose the appropriate moment to demonstrate your talent).
8. Take Frequent, Short Breaks.
Your happiness at work is dependent partly on doing satisfying tasks and partly on engaging with your colleagues on a meaningful level. Taking a short break about every forty-five minutes is good for your body, eyes, mind, and social life. As you go for coffee, stop for a drink of water, or walk to the restroom, strike up a brief conversation with someone. When you return to your workplace, you will feel physically refreshed and socially invigorated.
9. Help Other Employees.
Build a reputation for willingly assisting your colleagues. When other employees ask you for assistance, stop what you’re doing and turn your full attention to their needs. Making this your standard behavior will give you tremendous leverage when you present such requests yourself.
10. Pace Yourself.
Burnout is a reality for many well-intentioned employees, but what’s the use of striving to realize long-term career objectives, if you kill yourself in the process? Working hard is important, but learning to pace yourself is equally so. Finding a sustainable work stride will allow your career plan to come to fruition, and you will be healthy and happy as you enjoy excellent results.
11. Look For Jobs.
Searching for better opportunities should be a permanent part of your career plan. If you put out occasional feelers, you will know what jobs are available, how other companies value your skills, and what salaries positions like yours command. Having an awareness of the job market also will help you understand the extent of your leverage in your current position.
I am sure that you will think of other things that you can do to make your working life fuller and happier. Add them to these ideas, and use your revised list to make your job as enjoyable as possibly. Good luck!