Can we experience an authentic happiness in our careers?

By Robert Half on 24 June 2018

Believe it or not, sometimes even the "go-getters" can find their happiness waning.

High work stress levels, increased workload and long working hours in Hong Kong can have a negative impact on your passion for work.

Add on a competitive colleague or an overbearing boss and you might be wondering if this relationship is worth saving.

Deep down, you would like to feel more inspired, more engaged and have an experience of authentic happiness in the workplace, however, you’re unsure how to turn things around.

Before you start looking elsewhere, consider the following suggestions to overcome these challenges and reignite your passion for your work:

Surround yourself with positive people

First, consider the company you keep. Are the people you spend the most time with at the office complaining about their work regularly? If so, their negative outlook might be rubbing off on you.

Try to spend more time around colleagues who are upbeat and seem motivated to excel. Their positive attitude will likely be even more contagious and help to rekindle your passion for work as well.

Tackle tough challenges head on

By nature, most people will address the easiest or most interesting tasks on their to-do list first, pushing aside projects they regard as boring or a challenge.

Try turning things around if this describes your approach to work. Address the most frustrating or tiresome responsibilities when you feel most productive, so you can get these stressors off your desk sooner and avoid having them accumulate.

The sense of job satisfaction you’ll gain from positive work productivity should give you the energy to get through less-intensive work with ease.

Keep learning new things

Many professionals find that engaging in continuous learning is essential to an authentic happiness in your career. If this describes you, and your firm is unable or unwilling to provide job-related education and training you’d like to pursue, you may need to make the investment on your own.

The rewards can be well worth it: Not only will you have the personal satisfaction of improving your knowledge and skills, but you can also increase your value to your current employer (or perhaps, a future one).

Be your own goal-setter

More likely than not, you’re working toward milestones that you have discussed and set with your manager. But have you established your own professional goals and a deadline for achievement?

Working towards what you want to accomplish can offer more of a boost to job satisfaction than simply meeting your employer’s expectations. And don’t think only of big picture goals, like, “I want to earn a promotion by next year”.

Assign yourself short-term “achievables”, such as, “This month, I’m going to master the newest version of our firm’s payroll software so I can work more efficiently”.

Smaller accomplishments can help rekindle your passion for your everyday job while pursuing longer-term career objectives.

Have balance

If your workload is starting to take over your personal life, it's time to make a stand.

Maintaining a work-life balance is key to reducing stress and managing your deadlines. Whether that means requesting more flexible work hours, eating your lunch away from your desk (or going for a walk outside), or even simply turning off your work phone when you leave the office at the end of the day - these little changes can have a big impact towards enjoying an authentic happiness.

Work towards an authentic happiness

Rewarding yourself for a job well done is key to maintaining your job enthusiasm and motivation.

Each time you set a professional goal and reach it, celebrate a little. A small accomplishment may warrant a dinner out with a spouse or friend, for example.

Toasting your success doesn’t have to be reserved only for reaching a career-altering achievement.

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