How to be more satisfied at work
Here are some quick and easy ways to improve your outlook on your work life.
Take the high road
Like a YouTube video of a waterskiing hamster, negativity among colleagues spreads fast. The difference is that when grousing and gossip go viral, it’s not just harmless fun.
Yes, it’s tempting to complain about your boss or to pass on that rumour about the new guy’s drinking problem, but resist the urge. If you can’t, you’ll eventually be known as someone who can’t keep her mouth shut.
All it takes to make clear you’re not playing is to say, “I’m not comfortable hearing that” or even “You don’t say!”
Then smile and move on.
Talk to your boss
The number one reason people quit their jobs? According to a Gallup poll of more than 1 million people, the answer is a bad boss. “People leave managers, not companies,” conclude the pollsters.
The truth is, your boss may be difficult, inaccessible, or just not very helpful. But if you learn to communicate well with them, you’re more likely to come to mind first when new opportunities like a promotion arise. That means knowing when to bring up concerns, doing so clearly and honestly, and listening carefully to her response—even if you disagree.
The best way to get the credit you deserve is to share it with others, according to Stephen Viscusi, author of Bulletproof Your Job: 4 Simple Strategies to Ride Out the Rough Times and Come Out on Top at Work.
“You look good for whatever you’ve done, and you look even better for being confident enough to share it with others,” he writes.
The flip side of sharing credit is sharing blame. And while you should spread the credit around whenever you can, you should share the blame very rarely.
Take responsibility for your own stuff, and never single out another person in public. If pressed by your boss to explain who did what when things went wrong, do it very carefully and avoid finding a fall guy.
When you’re aggravated or angry, ask yourself if whatever upset you is important, says anger management consultant Virginia Williams.
Is what you’re thinking and feeling appropriate to the objective facts of the situation? Can you modify the circumstances? Is it worth taking action?
If so, do it after you’ve calmed down and mapped out a thoughtful strategy. And don’t let yourself dwell on the offence. Find a way to distract yourself— plan your dream vacation, read a favourite poem—when you get steamed on the job.
Roll with it
When a coworker shares feedback about your work, accept it as information, not criticism.
Though it may be your first instinct, don’t react defensively. If you think the critique is off base, privately ask a third party for their assessment. But don’t dwell on it.
Hear it, consider it, decide what to do with it, and move on.