How to enjoy work even when you don't love your job
No matter how good you are at your job, it might not be something you love to do. The good news is that even if you don't love what you do, you can enjoy your day at work. The average person spends a good percentage of their time at work, so it is important to spend this time happily. Here are some tips for how to enjoy work.
18 ways to enjoy work whether you like your job or not
We spend too much time working not to enjoy it. If you don’t want to change careers or companies, find ways to make your day better by doing something about it. Here are 18 ways to enjoy your job and your work.
1. Focus on what you do like about your job
If you can determine what you do like about your job, it will give you the strength to get through the parts you don’t like. Consider things such as the people you work with, a supportive boss, or even assignments or projects that provide you with unique experiences.
2. Organize your workspace
A cluttered workspace can cause stress. Even just quickly cleaning up your desk when you get in can make a big difference in your day. Keep the clutter to a minimum. This also applies to your computer. Clean out your email inbox and get rid of junk mail that’s cluttering up your computer space.
3. Make a small change
Even taking one small step in a positive direction can make a big difference. Think about one thing that will make you happier at work and make it happen. It can be something as small as taking your lunch break out of the office instead of at your desk or something larger, such as requesting a move, so you don’t have to work next to a co-worker that gets on your nerves.
4. Look at the bigger picture
You are only capable of doing the best you can in each situation. Take some time to look past the pile of work on your desk to see the bigger picture and remember, there is more to life than just work. Stop thinking that your day at work should go a certain way and that you have to accomplish a certain number of tasks each day.
5. Make a reasonable to-do list
Start each day by making a list of what you need to accomplish. Make sure it is a reasonable list that you can do in a day. Starting your day this way will give you focus and give you a sense of accomplishment as you finish each task. Just remember to be flexible and accommodate unexpected delays and interruptions.
6. Ask for different duties
Take a look at your responsibilities, and if you are bored, you might enjoy your job more if you have different responsibilities. Talk to your boss about what you might be able to do. A new responsibility might refresh your daily focus and bring you some happiness at work.
7. Make some new work friends
Friends to collaborate with and chat with throughout the day make any job better. You don’t have to be friends with all of your co-workers, but having a core group of people you can go to throughout the day will make your day better. Having a close friend in the office can change your attitude toward your workday and provide an outlet for confidential discussions, whether it is about work or personal.
8. Discover a new mentor
A mentor is a great resource when you need feedback about your work. This person can provide guidance and help you stay on track in your job and your career. Look for someone to connect with that is highly regarded by other workers and respected by the management team. A mentor might even be able to help you make professional connections that will come in handy as you advance in your career.
9. Use company perks
Almost every company offers its employees perks. Taking advantage of everything your company offers will help you enjoy your job more. If one of the perks is a free gym membership, join a local gym and take out your frustrations in a fitness class. Other perks could be flexible work schedules, continuing education, or a volunteering program where you can give back to your community.
10. Take a vacation
You just might need some time away. Use your vacation time and plan a vacation that will help you relax and refocus. If you take this time for yourself, you can go back to work and enjoy your job again.
11. Listen to music
When you feel the day pressing down on you, put your earbuds in and crank up the music. Create an inspirational playlist with songs that make you happy and let the music bring you up. Music is proven to positively affect mood and a person’s ability to focus, but if it’s not your thing, you can try calming sounds such as ocean waves or an inspirational podcast. Just make sure it’s OK with your company to listen to music on the job before you pop the earbuds in.
12. Personalize your space
Adding a new picture to the wall of your office or cubicle can make a difference. Make your workspace your happy place, and your day will follow along. Add new photos to your desk or wall, bring in a plant to warm up your area, or bring in something from home that makes you happy, whatever it may be. If you surround yourself with things that make you happy at work, your day at work will be more enjoyable.
13. Have fun outside of work
Make an effort to have fun outside of work. Even if your job doesn’t fulfill you, you can find ways to be happy when you are not working. Taking the time to create a full and fun personal life will allow you to become a happier person, allowing you to feel energized and ready to take on the day when Monday morning comes. Enjoying life outside of work will help you enjoy life at work.
14. Further your education
When you have a job that is not what you want to do but you don’t have the education or credentials to get where you want to go, there are many resources that make it easy to further your education. Whether it’s taking classes at the local community college, taking a certificate course, or getting a master’s degree, it is possible to get it done. Many schools offer online courses or have classes at night or on the weekends, so you can further your education while working.
15. Create rituals to look forward to
Give yourself little rewards throughout the day. Creating these rituals will help you get through tasks and give you little bits of pleasure. It can be as simple as a cup of coffee when you finish answering emails or taking a walk on your morning break to get some fresh air. When work gets hectic or stressful, taking the time to reward yourself can give you some peace and re-energize you to get through the next tasks.
16. Delegate tasks
When your workload seems overwhelming, take a good look at what you have to do and delegate jobs that belong to others.
17. Determine specific aspects of your job that you can improve
You can’t enjoy your work unless you know what needs improvement. Just like you need to know what you like about your job, you need to clearly define what you don’t like about it. Then decide if it is something that you can change. Is your office in a high-traffic area that makes it hard to concentrate or talk to clients, or is a co-worker or manager making it impossible for you to contribute your ideas to the team? If the problem is solvable, create a plan to make it happen.
18. Have an exit strategy
We need to enjoy work, so if you have done everything you can to make your workday enjoyable and nothing is working, come up with a clear exit strategy. Tell yourself that you won’t always work here and set a timeline for finding a new job. Even if you have to stay for a while, start planning for your future. This can include networking inside and outside your current company, researching other jobs, and updating your resume. Taking these positive steps toward your future career will put you in a position to make the move when the time is right.
Learn More: Know Your Worth
If you don’t love your job, learning how to enjoy work takes some practice and some insight, but it can be done. Take the time to think about your job and what you can do to make your day better, and you’ll be off to a good start.