How To Be Happy At Work

By Irma Hunkeler

November 30, 2016   •   Fact checked by Dumb Little Man

Are you unhappy with your job, just riding along the career conveyor belt and not sure how to get off? Or, do you think you have the perfect job, but some days just feel like a bit like a slog?

Recent research from career experts Sokanu suggests that the happiest careers tend to be those with a creative angle and a degree of autonomy, while the least happy jobs have little to no freedom for artistic expression. 

Results from the study also show that the place where you work also impacts how much you enjoy your job. For example, Hawaii posts the highest work satisfaction rating while Vermont is way at the bottom.

Unless you’re lucky enough to be in one of the five happiest jobs (film director, athlete, choreographer, DJ, and video game producer) in one of the happiest states for workers (Hawaii, West Virginia, and Maine), we have some top tips on how to make your working days brighter.

Tip 1. Stay positive


It’s easy to start feeling depressed and irritable when deadlines are approaching, work’s piling up and the traffic/weather is terrible — and it tends to be catching. Try smiling through it even if it’s through your teeth at first and see how much more positive people behave around you.

See Also: 6 Ways Happiness Can Help You Be Better At Work 

Tip 2. Get your voice heard

Feeling more empowered and listened to is a great way to boost your confidence at work and to feel more engaged in your job. Ask your boss for more responsibility or volunteer to represent an employee group. Or, simply speak up more at meetings. Even if you don’t feel comfortable doing this at first, getting into the habit of doing so goes a long way.

Tip 3. Don’t overcommit

When there’s a lot of work going on at the office and there’s a lot of competition for promotion, it might seem sensible to take on more work than you can realistically handle within your current hours. However, this can’t be a long-term strategy. You may be setting yourself up for stress, poor work/life balance, or even poor health.

Work smart. Be realistic and take on only what you can handle – but make this work amazing.

Tip 4. Make friends


This might seem obvious, but the more you get familiar with your co-workers, the better. If you’re struggling to see eye-to-eye with your colleagues, make an effort to spend more time with them and organize some social activities. Research shows that solid friendships at work make for being happier in your job.

See Also: 5 Benefits of Making Friends at Work 

Tip 5. Change career

If you’re really struggling to enjoy your job, it might be time to make the change. Don’t be put off if you’re not sure what you want to do, or how to go about it. Start by making a list of 5 things you hate about your current job, 5 things you’d want in your next career, and create an action plan to make it happen! Or, you could use an online career test to help you decide.

Check out our infographic “Discover the Happiest Workers in America”. Where do you fall in the infographic below? Click on the image to zoom in.


Irma Hunkeler

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” St. Augustine. Passionate traveler, food lover and music enthusiast.

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