＊ Top 10 Ways to Be Happy at Work
By Susan M. Heathfield
Working at Google sounds very cool. I'd be the first to tout Google as a motivating employer: free food, engineers who are enabled to spend 20 percent of their time on their own projects, and a work environment that fosters play and creative thinking. At Google, Genentech and other Fortune magazine top 100 companies, employers provide the best workplaces.
At the same time, perks that enable employees to spend all of their time at work exploit people and destroy work - life balance. So, even the best employer may not be best for everyone. These are the factors that will help you find happiness at work.
1. Choose to Be Happy at Work
Happiness is largely a choice. I can hear many of you arguing with me, but it's true. You can choose to be happy at work. Sound simple? Yes. But, simplicity is often profoundly difficult to put into action. I wish all of you had the best employer in the world, but, face it, you may not. So, think positively about your work. Dwell on the aspects of your work you like. Avoid negative people and gossip. Find coworkers you like and enjoy and spend your time with them. Your choices at work largely define your experience. You can choose to be happy at work.
2. Do Something You Love Every Single Day
You may or may not love your current job and you may or may not believe that you can find something in your current job to love, but you can. Trust me. Take a look at yourself, your skills and interests, and find something that you can enjoy doing every day. If you do something you love every single day, your current job won't seem so bad. Of course, you can always make your current job work or decide that it is time to quit your job.
3. Take Charge of Your Own Professional and Personal Development
A young employee complained to me recently that she wanted to change jobs because her boss was not doing enough to help her develop professionally. I asked her whom she thought was the person most interested in her development. The answer, of course, was her. You are the person with the most to gain from continuing to develop professionally. Take charge of your own growth; ask for specific and meaningful help from your boss, but march to the music of your personally developed plan and goals. You have the most to gain from growing - and the most to lose, if you stand still.
4. Take Responsibility for Knowing What Is Happening at Work
People complain to me daily that they don't receive enough communication and information about what is happening with their company, their department's projects, or their coworkers. Passive vessels, they wait for the boss to fill them up with knowledge. And, the knowledge rarely comes. Why? Because the boss is busy doing her job and she doesn't know what you don't know. Seek out the information you need to work effectively. Develop an information network and use it. Assertively request a weekly meeting with your boss and ask questions to learn. You are in charge of the information you receive.
5. Ask for Feedback Frequently
Have you made statements such as, "My boss never gives me any feedback, so I never know how I'm doing." Face it, you really know exactly how you're doing. Especially if you feel positively about your performance, you just want to hear him acknowledge you. If you're not positive about your work, think about improving and making a sincere contribution. Then, ask your boss for feedback. Tell him you'd really like to hear his assessment of your work. Talk to your customers, too; if you're serving them well, their feedback is affirming. You are responsible for your own development. Everything else you get is gravy.
6. Make Only Commitments You Can Keep
One of the most serious causes of work stress and unhappiness is failing to keep commitments. Many employees spend more time making excuses for failing to keep a commitment, and worrying about the consequences of not keeping a commitment, than they do performing the tasks promised. Create a system of organization and planning that enables you to assess your ability to complete a requested commitment. Don't volunteer if you don't have time. If your workload is exceeding your available time and energy, make a comprehensive plan to ask the boss for help and resources. Don't wallow in the swamp of unkept promises.
7. Avoid Negativity
Choosing to be happy at work means avoiding negative conversations, gossip, and unhappy people as much as possible. No matter how positively you feel, negative people have a profound impact on your psyche. Don't let the negative Neds and Nellies bring you down. Take a look at:
* How to Deal With a Negative Coworker: Negativity Matters.
* Dealing With Difficult People at Work.
And, keep on singing in the car on your way to work - or start.
8. Practice Professional Courage
If you are like most people, you don't like conflict. And the reason why is simple. You've never been trained to participate in meaningful conflict, so you likely think of conflict as scary, harmful, and hurtful. Conflict can be all three; done well, conflict can also help you accomplish your work mission and your personal vision. Conflict can help you serve customers and create successful products. Happy people accomplish their purpose for working. Why let a little professional courage keep you from achieving your goals and dreams? Make conflict your friend.
9. Make Friends
In their landmark book, First, Break All The Rules: What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently (Compare Prices), Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman list twelve important questions. When employees answered these questions positively, their responses were true indicators of whether people were happy and motivated at work. One of these key questions was, "Do you have a best friend at work?" Liking and enjoying your coworkers are hallmarks of a positive, happy work experience. Take time to get to know them. You might actually like and enjoy them. Your network provides support, resources, sharing, and caring.
10. If All Else Fails, Job Searching Will Make You Smile
If all of these ideas aren't making you happy at work, it's time to reevaluate your employer, your job, or your entire career. You don't want to spend your life doing work you hate in an unfriendly work environment. Most work environments don't change all that much. But unhappy employees tend to grow even more disgruntled. You can secretly smile while you spend all of your non-work time job searching. It will only be a matter of time until you can quit your job - with a big smile.
＊ Top 10 Ways to Be Happy at Work
Sometimes it’s hard to find happiness at work. Maybe your work isn’t fulfilling. Maybe it’s because of your co-workers. Then again, maybe it’s your own negative attitude. The truth is that finding happiness — or at least contentment — shouldn’t be that difficult. Here are ten suggestions on how to start.
1. Try to be optimistic. Optimism means having a positive outlook in even the worst situations. And despite what others may say, optimism can be learned. With regards to your job, optimism means deciding that you will at least try to enjoy your job. When in doubt, fake it. Sometimes faking optimism actually helps you develop optimism.
2. Change your attitude. Many people who are dissatisfied with work tend to have a 9-to-5 relationship with their job. They punch their cards and then go home. One way to combat this mentality is to see yourself as part of the company. Think about it: even though you don’t own the company, it is still yours. With this in mind, it’s easier to develop a sense of pride and fulfillment in the work you do.
3. Be grateful for your job. Before you slam your phone in the wall, remember that your job provides for your necessities. Take a few moments and itemize all the benefits you receive through having a job — any job — and try to feel grateful. Try to remember that there are worse jobs; if that’s a stretch, then think about having no job at all.
4. Avoid self-criticism. Most people are too sensitive, especially when it comes to their own mistakes. Rather than cutting yourself down, think about how you can make improvements. Avoid negative criticism and applaud yourself for successes, even little ones. Remember that most of your daily successes involve tasks and responsibilities that no one notices but you. So give yourself a break.
5. Forgive your co-workers. Forgiveness is hard under any circumstance and especially with people you see everyday. Still, when you’ve been wronged or offended, try to forgive even if the guilty party doesn’t ask for it. Remember that holding a grudge tends to affect you, not them. Offensive people rarely notice those to whom they give offense — that’s what makes them offensive. Just let it go.
6. Stand up for yourself. It’s hard to be happy when you’re being harassed or bullied. Too often people keep quiet or simply quit rather than confronting the problem. Don’t let that happen to you. Don’t tolerate bullying or harassing in any form. Stand up for yourself. By doing so, you will not only stop the harassment but also gain a greater sense of self-confidence.
7. Don’t gossip. Gossip destroys confidences, friendships, and unity. It creates hostility, criticism, and pessimism and can undermine a productive workplace. There is no upside to gossip. So, when invited to participate in gossiping of any form, just remember this: what goes around, comes around. Thus, if you don’t want co-workers gossiping about you, don’t tolerate them gossiping about other people.
8. Be friendly. It’s a simple fact that work is more enjoyable when you like your co-workers. This doesn’t mean every co-worker has to become a “bosom buddy” — after all, “being friendly” isn’t the same thing as “being friends.” Still, you will create more enjoyable working atmosphere by being amicable with your co-workers. Show an appropriate interest and be friendly, albeit professional.
9. Expect change and prepare for it. Workers today face more changes than ever, whether adjustments to policies and procedures, expanding technology, or rapidly growing and equally rapid down-sizing. When change happens, try not to be intimidated by new technologies or responsibilities. You’ll manage. Besides, the great thing about change is that it’s fleeting. So even if it’s a bad change, it’ll be over soon.
10. Quit. Yep, that’s right. If you have tried all these tips and nothing has changed, then it’s time for drastic measures. Quit. Resign. Take a leave. If your job simply isn’t making you happy, then find one that will. There’s plenty of jobs out there. Everyone needs a fresh start or a change of scenery once in a while.
Remember that happiness in the workplace takes action. You can’t be happy by simply sitting around wishing for it. Contentment and satisfaction take work — sometimes daily work — in order to obtain and maintain. But with these strategies, and a little conscious effort, you too can find happiness in the workplace.
＊ Top Ten Reasons to Quit Your Job
By Susan M. Heathfield
These are the top ten reasons why you might want to quit your current job. These are difficult, if not impossible, work problems to solve. You need to look out for your best interests. Your job consumes too many hours of too many days of your life for you to stay where you are if you're miserable. No excuses, now. If these problems exist in your current job, make a plan, and quit your job.
1. Your company is experiencing a downward spiral, losing customers, losing money, and rumors of possible closure, bankruptcy and failure prevail.
2. Your relationship with your manager is damaged beyond repair. You have sought help to mend the relationship but you know it is too damaged for recovery. (Perhaps you were untrustworthy, missed work on too many days, or the manager acts like an untrustworthy jerk.) Whatever the reason, the relationship is irrecoverably damaged.
3. Your life situation has changed. Perhaps you have married or had a baby, and the salary and benefits no longer support your life needs. You need to move on to better opportunities to support your family.
4. Your values are at odds with the corporate culture. Perhaps your company is egalitarian and you believe in assigned parking spots for salaried employees. Your company does annual employee satisfaction surveys and you think these are a waste of time. Your company is hierarchical and you want to influence every aspect of your job. No matter where the clash is occurring, a lack of congruence with the corporate culture will destroy your attitude at work.
5. You've stopped having fun and enjoying your job. No matter what changed, when you dread going to work in the morning, it's time to quit your job.
6. Your company is ethically challenged. Perhaps the managers lie to customers about the quality of the products or the day on which the product will ship. You become aware that the company is stealing information from competitors. Whatever the issue, don't stay in an organization where your ethics are out of sync.
7. For whatever reason, you have behaved in ways that are considered improper at work. You've missed too many days of work, slacked off on the job, failed to maintain needed skills, and / or just generally developed the reputation of a loser. That reputation, once earned, is unlikely to change; you might as well quit your job, while you have the opportunity.
8. You've burned your bridges with your coworkers. Your group is not getting along in an environment that requires people to work together well. Again, at some point, the reasons don't matter; start fresh in a new job and resolve to not let this situation happen again.
9. Your stress level is so high at work that it is affecting your physical or mental health and your relationships with your friends and family. Watch for the signs of burnout and if they can't be cured, move on. Read this article, Tips for Managing Stress and Change at Work for ideas about managing work stress.
10. And the top ten reason to quit your job? You are unchallenged, need more responsibility, and seek opportunities that just don't exist for you in your current organization. You've explored the current and potential options, and they are limited. It's time to quit your job.