Work can be the bane of your life if you let it. We spend so much time in the office, more time there than with our families. If the office is awful the rest of your life will suffer. Of course, there are many people who simply hate their jobs and are unable to leave them just yet. Or people who are bored, uninspired, and restless. This is a terrible way to feel about your job and you will find it virtually impossible to enjoy work or even your colleagues. And waking up each morning dreading the day ahead will result you becoming really depressed about your work life.


But having a happy work life is something you can try to ensure for yourself. You can make an effort to simply be more happy at work. Even if you are uninterested in your job description and actual daily tasks, you can change your mindset and improve your environment to help you simply feel much better about everything. After all, you can’t change anyone else and you can’t change the expectations of your superiors so you need to focus on yourself.


Focusing on yourself could mean a variety of different things. A truly pragmatic approach would be to find out how to improve yourself within the environment. This might mean a change of attitude or this might mean studying further to improve your skill set.


Here’s what you can do to reinstall the spring in your step at work.


Check out the marketplace

The job market is saturated with people looking for work and jobs are scarce. So when you’re feeling unhappy in your current position it is often made worse by the fact that you feel it’s impossible to leave. You feel you have to remain working in a job that you don’t like because you don’t have options. But that’s not necessarily true. Sometimes you don’t realise how much experience you actually have until you update your CV and scour through job ads.


The years that have gone by have given you a wealth of experience and often, without you even realising it. This means that the jobs you would’ve scrolled over before because you lack experience could now be viable options. But now, that project management training course you completed, the public speaking boot camp you attended, and your online certifications are major game changers. Employers will view you as a completely new candidate.


But updating your CV, having a realistic view of your capabilities and experience and seeing what’s available, you’ll feel far more in control of your work life. This in itself could make you feel better about your circumstances. You’ll realise that you can move if you wanted to. There are options and you’re not stuck in your current job.


Pay attention to small pleasures

You might be desperately unhappy in your job and you might not enjoy the industry or company anymore but you’re likely to have some small things that make you smile. Perhaps the office is in a great location near your favourite restaurant or maybe your gym is around the corner, these things are convenient and can make for a pleasant day at the office. And don’t you have friends at work? Work friends often become real friends because you spend a lot of time together. If you have a work bestie then celebrate that part of coming into work everyday. Have a predetermined time and place to have an awesome catch up with them. Head out to your favourite coffee place together and plan a delicious lunch date once or twice a week.


Just because work sucks doesn’t mean your whole world has to

When things are tough in your professional life make sure to increase the calm and happiness you find in your other spaces. Make an effort to have a happy and safe home environment so that each morning you wake up refreshed and each evening you look forward to going home.


Also, take on the hobbies you’ve been threatening to try. Do things in your downtime that bring you joy and help you to feel less stressed and more peaceful. This will make your difficult work life easier because your world expands beyond the office. And the stress from work might just melt away altogether.


Are you sure you have an unhappy work life?

You see, when things become difficult and nothing seems to be going right we tend to think everything is awful. But what if it’s only awful for that week? What if what you’re going through is less about how unhappy your job is making you and more about how you just have difficult clients right now? Try to remember when you were really happy at work. Why were you happy? Sometimes it’s a bad day and not a bad life. If you can pinpoint exactly what is upsetting you then you’ll be able to figure out if it’s temporary and you can fix it or if you do actually need to leave the space.


Most importantly though, if you’re unhappy at work then speak up. Your boss can handle you being upset. They will either offer you some hard truths about how it’s your fault or they’ll offer you some insight into how to change things. Speak to a superior who you trust, that person should be your boss but if it’s not then find someone else — and if you don’t trust your boss, therein lies a problem you should confront too.

About The Author

I was born in the Eastern Cape, close to the waves. After getting my degree in Media, Communication and Culture, I knew it was time to make my way to a big city. Not wanting to leave the ocean, Cape Town was the natural choice for me. At first I thought the fast paced world of marketing. But I never forgot that what I'd always wanted to do was write. Now I'm a freelance writer, where my office is my bedroom and my platform is the World Wide Web. I live with my partner and our two beloved Great Danes. When not reading or writing you can probably find me on the beach or exploring nature trails.

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