Get Your Happy Back on the Job!
6/25/2013 12:00:00 PM
With changes in the radio industry, there have been times when I have pondered did I go to school for the right field. And yes, there was a period early in my radio days where I questioned why did I leave corporate America to pursue my broadcast desires. And I’d be lying if I didn’t admit to days when I long for Wendy Williams type of gig or a syndication deal. Shoot, there are days where I just want the opportunity to do additional media here in KC while working at CBG! But all in all, I am happy with what I do. That means however long the Lord lets me ride this radio train, I sure won’t mind! However, not everyone can say that about their jobs.
Despite looming job reports in some fields, layoffs and lack of promotion, a new study shows most Americans are unhappy at work! Only 30 percent of American employees feel engaged or inspired at their jobs and the vast majority of U.S. workers -- 70 percent -- are not reaching their full potential, a Gallup study concluded. The 2013 State of the American Workplace Report estimates that widespread disinterest and unhappiness in the office is not only affecting company performance, but is costing the U.S. $450 billion to $550 billion a year.
Those who were "engaged" said they are passionate about their work and feel a connection to their company. What about those who ain’t feelin’ it? Well, although they put time and effort into their work, they don't have energy or passion. While 30 percent said they were engaged, about half of Americans (52 percent) fall into the latter category. And peep this! Those miserable at work try to make you feel the same! Those categorized as "actively disengaged" act out their unhappiness by undermining what their engaged coworkers accomplish. Sheesh!
So this begs two questions:
1) How can you be more content at work?
2) When should you bounce?
Both of these issues are answered via Forbes in "10 Tips To Find Happiness At Work", by Jenna Goudreau:
Throw Out Labels
We spend most of our lives instantly judging things that happen to us. It’s raining: Bad. No bonus this year: Very bad. The boss is out of town: Very good says you can boost your sense of calm by turning off the mental labels. If you decide something is bad, it most likely will be, he says.
Let It Go
When something throws you off, being able to let it go quickly will exponentially increase your happiness at work. The ability to move on–resilience–enables you to handle work challenges with composure and strength. Instead of focusing on how bad a situation is, focus on how to fix it or the next step.
Write A To-Do List
It’s hard to feel resilient when you also feel like you have no power over your work day. You can take some of that control back by writing a to-do list and completing tasks in that order. Also, limiting distractions by scheduling times to check e-mail or social networking sites will help keep you on task and feeling productive.
Focus And Engage
“The current workforce is like the cast of the Night of The Living Dead, says Rao. Disengaged worker-zombies do nothing for the company or for individual morale. If you are able to get excited about your work and focus on it with full attention, time will go by faster and the experience will be much more pleasant.
Quiet Mental Chatter
A constant stream of negative thoughts sends many workers into a downward spiral of unhappiness. Quiet the chaos by redirecting your thoughts. Think of a positive memory and create a mental image of it. The next time you have an idle moment, instead of surfing the Web, draw up this mental screensaver. Replay this in order to reset your mind and scale back the negative.
Find Restorative Time
Workplaces are stressful and you need to cope. But “alcohol and TV won’t help,” says happiness author Jessica Pryce-Jones. Instead, set aside some time each day to recharge. Taking a peaceful walk at lunch rather than mindlessly eating at your desk will restore calm. Maybe a warm bath in the evening or fun book for the commute are your fix-its. Experiment and find what works for you.
Connect To Your Values
People who feel more connected to the company’s mission and feel like their work is valuable or meaningful are more likely to be happy on the job. If you begin to feel like your work is meaningless, look at the big picture: Work for a pharmaceuticals company? Think of the lives being saved. Or, consider how showing up each day aligns with your personal values. The money you earn supports your life outside of work, and whether that’s your family or a hobby, it’s a good reason to keep coming in with a smile.
We’re The Same
It’s easy to put people–colleagues, bosses, and clients–into categories. People I don’t like; people I do like. Me vs. them. A simple way to make work relationships more pleasant is by finding common ground. Consider what makes you similar to your co-workers rather than different and the dynamics of the relationship will change. Social interaction plays a huge part in your happiness on the job, so it should prove a good investment of your time and energy.
Feel Compassion For A Toxic Boss
The No. 1 reason employees leave a company is because of a bad boss, says Rao. They’re everywhere, and you’re likely working with one. See a boss for who he or she really is, he advises, and feel compassion for them: “You have to put up with her a couple hours a week, and she has to put up with herself her whole life.” Rao suggests picturing a toxic boss as a child having a temper tantrum. When you remember the negativity is all about them, not you, you’ll be better able to shrug it off.
Know When To Leave
You can do everything right and still be dissatisfied with your job. If you’ve tried everything in your power to make a situation work and you’re still unhappy, that’s when it’s time to leave. Situations can be salvageable, and it’s in your best interest to admit it and move on. Workers spend an average of 90,000 hours at work in their lifetimes. You owe it to yourself–and your health–to discover happiness on and off the clock.
I dare to say when you will do anything for a day off or Sunday night you feel queasy and by Monday, you’ve got that “dread-it” feeling. Moving on – especially when you carry financial responsibility for your household – is not easy. But you owe it to yourself to at least explore ways to make your job work for you. Or reinvent your career. Go to school for a new field. Find a mentor to advise you in career direction. Do something! Mental duress due to work can have a negative impact on your outside work world, while deteriorating your emotional well-being.