How to Make Your Workplace Happier

Although not every job will be a perfect fit, it is possible to feel happier at work.

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Heather R. Huhman
It’s Admit You’re Happy Month. But are you happy in your job? How about at your office or around your co-workers? Unfortunately, for many employees, the answer to some (or all) of those questions is no. But it doesn’t have to be.

Although not every career move will be a perfect fit, there are many things that you can do to improve your experience at your current job and improve your attitude toward it.

Here are a few ways to make any workplace a happy one:

Open up the lines of communication. Many workers struggle because of lack of feedback or interaction within the office culture. So make an effort to communicate more and better with your co-workers and supervisors. Simply stopping into your boss’s office to chat or sending your co-worker an email can help keep everyone in the loop and build important relationships within your office.

[See 10 Ways to Make Any Job Healthier.]

Set goals for yourself. Even if your supervisor doesn’t have clear goals in mind for your position, you should. Goals help you work toward something bigger and understand how your role at the company benefits the bigger picture. Ensure these goals help you in your job by making them realistic and attainable. It’s also important to be specific in order to achieve goals you set.

WorkSimple is a social goal management company that allows employees and managers to set goals and track their progress. By making your goals social and sharing them with others within the organization, you can see how your goals affect other parts of the company.

Look for professional development opportunities. Professional growth will help you excel at your job. If you feel like you’re sitting in place, set yourself up for a promotion or advancement by learning more about your field or industry. Research webinars, conferences, and workshops within your area of expertise to learn more. Present these opportunities to your boss to inquire about company sponsorship options.

[See How to Negotiate a Sabbatical.]

Focus on the positive aspects of your job. Instead of beating yourself up for messing up that report or missing a client meeting, think about all of the great things you’ve done. If it helps, write down these successes in a spot where you can see them each day to keep your motivation high and attitude positive.

Participate in the work community. Although some co-workers may get under your skin, it’s important to interact with the folks you spend eight or more hours with each day. From time to time, engage in the watercooler chat, take your lunch in the break room or cafeteria, or ask a co-worker how their day is going. Small talk can be a stress reliever when you’re feeling bogged down, and it also helps to see commonalities among yourself and others at your company. Who knows—you might find yourself befriending someone you didn’t expect to get along with.

How else can you improve your experience at your workplace? Have you ever managed to change your attitude at an organization by increasing communication, setting goals, etc.?

Heather R. Huhman is a career expert, experienced hiring manager, and founder & president of Come Recommended, a content marketing consultancy for organizations with products that target job seekers and employers. She is also the author of Lies, Damned Lies & Internships (2011) and #ENTRYLEVELtweet: Taking Your Career from Classroom to Cubicle (2010) and writes career and recruiting advice for numerous outlets.