Six ways to be happier at work when you can't quit (or can't quit yet)
Sometimes choosing to stay on your existing career path is the practical choice to make.
But choosing to stay doesn’t mean you have to remain unhappy.
Here are a six ways to increase satisfaction without making a big move.
1. Pursue a personal interest outside of work.
Take a course on a topic you’re curious about or start that hobby you've been wanting to try. This strategy takes place outside of work but it can work wonders.
2. Shift your work tasks.
Do more of the stuff you like and less of what drains you. This strategy is effective when your proposed shifts help meet the organization's business objectives or you have autonomy in your role.
3. Take on a new project within your organization.
Get involved with an interesting internal project that needs a champion. This can be an opportunity to learn something new, help meet a business objective and build new relationships. A three-for-one benefit!
4. Take on a new project outside of your organization.
Join a board, pitch in with a community-based organization or lean into mentoring. This has the added bonus of expanding your network which is valuable in itself, but also comes in handy when you are ready to make your big move.
5. Improve your relationships at work.
Give people the benefit of the doubt, focus on their positive traits, improve your communication and make new friends. Having better relationships at work will go a long way to making it more enjoyable.
And perhaps most important...
6. Shift your stance.
As psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl teaches in his book Man's Search for Meaning, “when we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.”
Shifting your stance means changing the way you relate to staying. Remind yourself of why you are choosing to stay. Honour your sacrifices. Focus on why you make them and who you make them for. Reframe staying as a choice, rather than a forced requirement. It makes the weight easier to carry.
Have you tried to shift the scales of satisfaction at work? if so, what worked for you?