How to be happy at work

Your happiness at work is important for your productivity levels and your overall wellbeing – hard as it may be to admit, you’re not doing anyone any favours staying in a job that makes you miserable. 

If you’re feeling the strain of a heavy workload, have a sour relationship with your manager or feel frustrated by a lack of progression, it might be time to consider why you took the job in the first place and whether or not it’s time to move on.

Consider what it is that makes you unhappy – there might be a solution…


The job itself

If it’s the core responsibilities of your job that you’re not enjoying, go back to your original job specification and review whether your role has changed dramatically. Have you moved away from the tasks you enjoyed doing when you started? Or is the problem that it hasn’t changed at all and you’re bored? Have you asked for extra responsibilities? Taking on a few extra projects or duties might re-engage your interest. 

If you still enjoy the work atmosphere and have built up good relationships with colleagues, clients etc then it’s well worth your time to start a conversation with your line manager about how you could reassess your role in a way that benefits both you and the business. However, a fresh start in a new company might be the way to go if you’re not happy with the day-to-day aspects of your current workplace. 


Feeling valued

Rewards and recognition for a job well done can be the difference between staying motivated at work and resenting your job on a daily basis. Remember, other members of your team could be feeling unappreciated too, so be ready praise others for the tasks you think they perform well. You might find that giving praise means you receive it back – it’s always good to know your team values you!

Even if your job isn’t your biggest passion, money can be a big motivator. If you think you’re worth more than your current earnings, benchmark yourself against the market using salary surveys and present your findings to your manager. You can speak to your Michael Page recruiter about current market rates for positions similar to yours.


The organisation

Is it the organisation or bureaucracy that you no longer like? If you feel your values are misaligning,  try and concentrate on your specific role and make your immediate work environment more enjoyable. If you can’t change the organisation, you can at least make a difference to your team or department. 

However, if a conflict of interest with your company culture is prohibiting your happiness, is there really any point in sticking it out? Consider your options – can you perform the same role in another business? Sometimes you might have to sacrifice a perk like higher pay to work in an environment that gives you greater job satisfaction.


Thinking long-term

You don’t have to decide exactly what your career will look like up to retirement, but it’s useful to think about the options you’d be interested in exploring and the potential methods of following each path. Use your appraisals to talk to your line manager about your objectives in order to evaluate how you’re meeting them.

Few people feel happy at work every single day and most people have times when they don’t feel they’re performing their best. But you can still love your career; you enjoy most of the work you do and the career path you’re on, even if you don’t love the job on a daily basis.

If you’re no longer happy at work, or have never loved your job, maybe it’s time to move on. Browse our current jobs to find one that makes you happy.