As much as we’d all love to be in love with our job, landing a dream career is actually a rare feat. Only 49% of workers are very satisfied with their jobs, and 30% of Americans are working just to make ends meet. However, just because you’re not in your ideal position right now doesn’t mean you can’t have a good day at work. No matter what role you’re in, you can shift your perspective and your routine to feel satisfied in your role and positive about your output.
Enjoying work, where most full-time workers spend 40 hours or more each week, is essential to living a satisfying life. If you want to boost your job satisfaction — which is the level of contentment you feel in your position — use these seven tips to improve your workday.
1. Bring Your Passions into the Workplace
Everyone has at least one passion. While it may not be your current line of work, you can build job satisfaction by integrating your passions with your role. For instance, if you’re passionate about photography, consider volunteering to take head-shots for your team or contributing to your company’s social media pages. Take initiative in shaping your own role by showing your value in arenas you’re more interested in.
2. Find What Motivates You
While some human resources professionals may preach the universal effectiveness of their employee engagement strategies, it’s important to remember that every person is different — and you know yourself better than anyone else. While getting a free lunch for a job well done may be encouraging to some employees, it may not be exciting to you at all. Finding your unique inner motivations can help you feel long-lasting passion for your job.
Take time to consider when you were most motivated at work and create a list of your top motivations. Then, start seeking out those motivations from your workplace. For instance, if you thrive with recognition, you can cultivate recognition at work by making an effort to build authentic workplace relationships and help your team members whenever you can.
3. Take Breaks
Working for hours on end can lead you to grow increasingly exhausted and stressed throughout the workday. Ultimately, this can lead to burnout. Taking short breaks between your work sessions — whether it’s to check your phone or take a walk — can help your mind and body feel refreshed each time you get back on the grind.
The Pomodoro Technique is a proven productivity method in this arena. It encourages workers to work on a task for 25 minutes, then take a 5-minute break. Then after your fourth cycle, take a longer break for 15-30 minutes. This can help your biggest tasks feel smaller and less stressful.
4. Create a Routine
Implementing a good routine is an effective anxiety and stress management technique that helps you add a calming aura of predictability to your workday. No matter how chaotic your to-do list may look, your routine can help you fly through your tasks with greater ease.
Test out different routines within and outside of your workday to figure out what contributes most to your job satisfaction. For instance, getting up earlier can give you time to wake up your mind and relax with a cup of coffee, and setting aside your work outfit the night before will reduce the number of choices you need to make before your workday begins.
5. Lead a Healthy Lifestyle
How you feel internally can greatly affect your mood at work. Improving your diet with plenty of nutrient-rich foods (like lean meats, fruits, and vegetables) can keep your energy levels high. This way, you’ll feel prepared to take on any project and more capable in your role.
6. Discover Your Purpose at Work
Feeling useless or unimportant in your workplace can quickly lead to job dissatisfaction. When you want to have consistently good days at work, it’s important to discover your purpose, or why you’re an essential part of your team. Consider what skills you contribute to your workplace and what you uniquely do to make your customers’ lives and your coworkers’ lives easier. Ask for input from your coworkers if you need a reminder of why you’re needed.
Once you know your purpose, remind yourself of it each time you feel demoralized. You can also hone into it by volunteering to actively serve your purpose whenever you can.
7. Pursue Your Career Goals
If you’re not in love with where you’re at in your career right now, consider how you can use it as a stepping stone for your career goals. Have a conversation with your managers about where you want to be in the next five years, then request their support for your growth.
For instance, if you’d ideally like to serve in a managerial role, ask your supervisors if they can connect you to mentors or invest in your continuing education. Request more responsibility to show that you’re capable of bigger and better roles.
Experience Long-Lasting Job Satisfaction
Feeling satisfied in our careers is essential to feeling satisfied in life. To improve every workday and feel long-lasting motivation, create a consistent routine and healthy lifestyle to improve your mood. More importantly, consider your passions, your motivations, and your purpose — then find ways to access all three during your workday so you feel more content with every task.
Photo by Jason Goodman on Unsplash
Guest Author Bio
Jori Hamilton is a writer and journalist from the Pacific Northwest who covers social justice issues, healthcare, and politics. You can follow her work on twitter @HamiltonJori, and through her portfolio at Writer Jori Hamilton.
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