Ways to Feel More Joy in Your Work

Karen Mosier, Research Coordinator and Navigator, University of Saskatchewan

   

Many of us have re-evaluated our lives and our careers due to the pandemic. It is okay not to experience joy in your job all the time. Life is too precious to fast forward to your next job promotion or your retirement. It is important to live in the moment and keep a good attitude. Be purposeful and look for the joy in the everyday and choose to make it a priority.   

Here are some great ways to feel more joy at work:

1. Reach Out to Others: Polls indicate that the people you work with are the number one reason for loving a job. Take the effort to develop a social circle. Connect with others as it can provide some much needed relief, support, and joy. Reach out to others and be curious about what makes them happy. Take actions to increase good will in your workplace. Help others and it might just solve some of your own problems.

e.g., Mary started a new job. She didn’t have any trouble with the expectations of the job as her new position was pretty much the same thing that she had done before. However, she didn’t really feel happy in a different environment and especially working with new people. Mary took it upon herself to get to know everyone in the office. She started small by saying good morning to everyone and tried to pop into the coffee room as often she could to get to know people on a more personal level. She started asking for added responsibilities. Within months, she became good friends with two of her coworkers. Mary starting going to the gym with Annabelle twice a week and going for a walk with Bob once a week over the lunch hour. Mary started to feel joy again in going into work.        

2. Avoid Office Politics: Jockeying for positions of favor in the office, assigning blame to others to make yourself look good, and partaking in office gossip is never about joy. Don’t get distracted by little jabs and comments that might drawn you into dicey conversations or get caught up in people’s egos or agendas but rather choose to do great work.    

e.g., Carolyn didn’t appreciate all the office rhetoric that went on every day in her workplace but she did love her job. She knew that she had to keep focused on her career goals and not be sidetracked by petty office grumblings or ungenuine attempts to sway her favor. Specifically, she was working towards her Masters in Business Administration and she was also taking a course in conversational French as she hoped someday to get a job working for the government. But most of all, what made Carolyn the happiest was when she could help a customer or mentor a new employee. Helping others was her gift and her strength and it also gave her the greatest joy.    

3. Look for Opportunities: Find projects that catch your eye and get involved so that you can apply a strength or talent. Tap into your creativity. This might mean learning new skills but this can help you find your strengths and examine areas that you need improvement. Get out of your routine, look for new opportunities and even if you fail, learn from your mistakes and move on. By trying something new, you may also realize that this new area is where you want to focus your energy and you might want to move your career in a whole new direction.   

e.g., Carla had done the same job for ten years. She was feeling unfilled in her job and was seriously thinking of taking a different position. It was at this same time that her supervisor approached her about mentoring the new staff and setting up a mentorship program for them. This meant that she would be involved in giving presentations and tours to new staff and also facilitating the new staff mentorship program. Carla knew she would have a huge learning curve ahead of her but she decided to take on the added responsibilities. Six months later, Carla experienced great joy from helping others and learning new job skills and she was so glad that she didn’t take the other job.

You may not experience joy in your work every day, but joy is something you can feel more if you choose to make it a priority. Finding joy in every day moments is as much about the decisions and actions that you take as it is about having wonderful and amazing things happen to you. You have the power to change your attitude and make the best of each workday.

References

  1. Steve Errey. (June 4, 2021) The muse. 5 Practical Ways to Feel More Joy in Your Job. https://www.themuse.com/advice/5-practical-ways-to-feel-more-joy-in-your-job
  2. James Clear. Tiny Buddha. How to Find Happiness at Work in 6 Steps. https://tinybuddha.com/blog/6-ways-to-find-happiness-at-work/