How often do we stop and think about our own happiness – especially with our work or career choices overall? We all certainly know people who appear to have jobs that are a great fit for them…that they really enjoy going to work every day! They talk about how interesting the work is…how fulfilling the job is. But, what happens if this is not the case for you? Some people have jobs strictly to pay the bills and don’t get any personal satisfaction from what they do for work. If this is the case for you, consider the following suggestions to manage a job that is “just a job” – at least until you are able to make a change.
Patricia Thompson, PhD, has suggested considering techniques such as the ones listed below in the HuffPost March 11, 2016:
- Self-Reflect. Take a hard look at yourself by asking yourself: are you a person that thinks everyone is luckier than you? Are you miserable? It might make sense to focus on how to make the best of your situation. The only thing we have control over is ourselves. If you have to keep the job that you have for now, then you want to be as positive as you can with what you are doing.
- Make a Plan. Being in a job you hate can feel paralyzing so focus on what is next while living in the present. Take a career test to see if there are new ideas that you might be able to take advantage of in your future. If further education is required to have the job you want, then start with one class at a time. However you decide to proceed, it is important to think carefully and create a plan. This plan should be as detailed as possible so you can check your progress, too.
- Work Your Plan. Once you have your plan set, you might actually feel overwhelmed particularly if you must work while preparing for your next step. Plan the steps to reach your goals so they are manageable with the life that you currently live — that way you will stay energized and organized.
- Don’t Check Out of the Job You Have. Each day at work, look for the good parts. Is it the people that you work with that may make you happy or the salary you earn that, say, allows the family to go on vacation. You want to feel good about what your contribution is at the job you currently have.
- Change How You Look at Your Job. Find the positives in your daily workday. Make it important that you do your best. You may find that you see your job in a different light and then may start to enjoy it.
For those who do not have jobs that are fulfilling, plan to have interests outside of work that bring a sense of satisfaction. This interest can have a lot of meaning for you personally and also bring you a sense of wellbeing. Special interests combined with good friends can make a job you are not happy with tolerable. You can bring those happy experiences to work with you and make your work life just a little brighter.