Why is it that something we spend at least five days a week doing gets such a bad rap? What if we could enjoy Wednesday as much as Saturday? For too many of us work is often a grind. Even those who genuinely like their jobs tend to dread Monday and live for Saturday and Sunday. Why?
We spend more hours at work then we do anywhere else. If our primary emotional response to our job is negative then our productivity will go down which will lead to less job satisfaction , which will lead to even more negative emotions. Who wants that? Let’s stop the cycle at the source.
We need to decide to change our attitudes about work. We spend 2/3 of our life on the job, let’s at least make that time enjoyable. So is it possible to have any fun where our work is concerned? Luckily, studies have shown you can fake it until you make it when it comes to happiness. In fact, some studies have even demonstrated that all it takes is a smile to brighten your outlook. In other words you can choose to be happy even if you don’t particularly feel like it. The longer you “put on a happy face” the more joyous you’ll feel, until eventually your mood will genuinely improve and you’ll start having a little more fun on the job.
OK, so we can trick ourselves into temporary happiness, but what about a more long-lasting joy; the kind that comes with having real satisfaction in our jobs. There is one question you need to ask yourself. If you can give a credible answer then I would suggest you are well on your way to finding happiness at your job.
How does your job positively affect others? The answer to this is how you can begin to re-frame your working life into one that brings a little happiness. If you are in education, healthcare or public safety then thinking of how your job positively affects others is sort of easy, but what if you sell things for a living, or work in a trade?
Let’s look at sales. For example, if you sell cars then what you really do for people is give them freedom. Freedom to explore and freedom to strike out on their own. Rather than look at customers as commissions you can start to look at them as clients who you are helping to make the second most important purchase they can make (after a living space). You are important to them.
Think there are some jobs where fun or purpose just can’t be found? Then check out this Ted Talk by Mike Rowe, the former host of Dirty Jobs. He states that the highway workers who deal with roadkill actually whistle while they work. (Somehow I don’t think that is what Disney had in mind with the song, but hey, if they can be happy at work, why can’t you?) Trust me, if people can find joy in some of these jobs I am sure you can too.
So let’s stop working for the weekend and start having some fun at work.