4 steps to increase your happiness at work

Drawing showing stickmen leaving work.

When I started to work in Corporate Malaysia, I heard this expression : “ let’s make the boss happy”.

It triggered my mind. First, I never considered that I could be “happy” in the workplace before. Happiness and work did not belong to the same sphere. I needed to earn a living and working was not an option but a must. Then, I surely wanted to “do a good job” like most of my colleagues, and not necessarily please the boss in the first place…

How to increase your happiness at work ?

Making the boss happy, at any cost, might lead you to say “yes” even if you want to say ”no”. We then do overtime (not being paid or rewarded) or things that are not aligned with your values.  Worse, you may end up in a long medical leave because of a depression.

If you are not happy, it will affect your motivation, your productivity and your relationships at work.

On the contrary, if you are happy, you tend to be more creative, you show initiative and enthusiasm and you are eventually making your boss happier ! Let’s go through the 4 steps to increase your happiness at work.

Step 1: measure your happiness at work

Here are a few questions that I ask to my clients. On a scale from 0 (unhappy) to 10 (happy), where are you now ? What percentage of the time are you doing things that you really enjoy ? What are you missing to be happy at work ? What will happen if you stay longer in this situation ?

Step 2: surround yourself with positive and supportive colleagues

You want relationships that are energizing you, that make you feel good about yourself. You need to get the support and the feedback of constructive people to do your work and to grow.

Step 3: know your limits and respect yourself

You do not want to over-commit and feel bad afterwards because it is too challenging. You do not want to say “yes” all the time and feel overwhelmed. Let your boss know about a realistic planning that you can honor. Speak up when things do not go right and get help.

If you reach your limits, let your boss know. He/she shall find a solution. And if you do not get heard or feel stuck, then that might be the right time to initiate a change of career.

Step 4 : development plan

Your current job is most probably not the last one. Know what doors your position can open afterwards. Keep your professional end goal in mind. Does your job is supporting you in getting closer to where you want to be in 10 years from now ? If your company does not provide any development plan, then manage your own career.  Find a mentor, take online training , read books, hire a coach…

We can help you design your action plan and increase your happiness at work. Get in touch !

Leave a Reply