The results of a survey by NEBOSH (National Examination Board in Occupational Safety and Health) found that 60% of UK workers were happy at work, with 10% describing themselves as “extremely happy” when doing their job. http://ca.biz.yahoo.com/prnews/110228/30027686en_uspublic.html?.v=1
I thought this was very interesting in light of the current economic climate, where more and more people find themselves out of work and those in work may be more likely to show greater appreciate for what they have. Not that that is a bad thing at all.
I had an opportunity to share briefly on this subject with presenter Jonathan Lampon on the BBC Radio Leicester on the Lunchtime show this afternoon. You can hear it on ‘listen again’ for the next couple days.
Following on from this, I thought I would share a few tips for anyone dealing with being not so happy at work at the moment. The truth of the matter is, if only 40% are unhappy, then clearly a greater percentage of us, 60% are happy.
But I am sure that all of us have been unhappy at sometime in one job or another. So if that happens what can we do about it?
Well here are a few tips I hope will help:
1. If you can’t change your job, find external interests or hobbies.
- Focus on what makes you happy and get involved in doing some charitable work.
Nothing helps more to focus the mind on what we have that we can be thankful for than giving to others less fortunate in one regard or another.
2. Find out what you want to do. If not this job, then what else would you like to be doing? If you want to change your job, but are not sure what you want to do:
- Be clear about what you enjoy doing;
- Find out what excites and energises you; what really peaks your interest?
- What helps to replenish your emotions and strength; What make you happy; Do more of these things. There may be something in these areas that you earn living doing.
3. Take responsibility or your own life. Take control of your life
- If you are not happy, don’t just complain about it, do something about it. If you don’t know where to start, get someone to help you. Get yourself a mentor or a coach. At the very least discuss how you are feeling and your situation with a friend or family member; someone who can help you to look at it objectively.
4. Write a grateful diary
- Once a day or at least once a week jot down the things that you are glad to have in your life – those things you are grateful for:
- It could be big or small, it does not matter – it’s your list
- Reflect on what is good in your life and write that down;
- This is help you to remember that there is more to life than work and that there are still quite a lot in your life that makes you happy. It could be getting a smile from a stranger on the bus today or seeing the bird flying today. The fact that you able to see this and it made you feel good is the important point.
- Remember that the small things in life are just as important as the bigger things.
- If this is hard at first, start it with a friend or partner. Talk about the things that you are glad to have and appreciate. Sometime saying this out loud can be a great help.
This can help to change what you are focusing on. Sometimes we get so stuck looking at what’s not working well, we forget that there are things in our lives that are good.
5. Get qualifications – this will help you feel as though you are actually doing something to change things now, although it may a little time to achieve this. There are short courses and well as longer ones.
6. Learn something new. Try something you’ve never tried before – hobby, leisure or work interest. Stretch yourself. You will realise that there are other things you can do. This will help to open your eyes and your horizons.
7. Work on your people skills – get some help with how you interact with people in the workplace. Changing your approach can either change things on your current job or improve the way you deal with people in your new job, socially and with your family members.
8. Work on your communication skills – look at how you communication, not only with your words, but in your non-verbal communication. It may be that you are giving out the wrong signals and this is affecting how you interact with people and the results you are getting.
9. Get out into the fresh air – get some exercise. Exercise and fresh air have a huge impact on your mental and physical well being. People who exercise a couple times a week find that it helps reduce stress and gives you a more positive outlook. Getting out into the open, parks, the country side, etc, helps you to get more in touch with nature and feel less pressured.
10. Learn how to be more assertive and build your confidence. Get some training. Sometimes when people are unhappy at work, it is because they don’t feel able to be heard or they don’t get the respect they think they are due. Understanding and working on these two areas will definitely be beneficial.
11. If you are feeling under pressure at work and being given too much to do, don’t keep quiet about it. Speak to your manager and re-state the fact that they need to prioritise what they have given you to do. Work on agreeing realistic targets and then plan your time appropriately.
12. Never give up on trying finding happiness you are worth it.
And finally, if you are unhappy working for others, you can always do what many people have done over the years and start working for yourself. Become self employed. This is the stuff our Nation is made of.