by Elena Kozlovskaya
Over 50% of people are not happy at work and therefore are not effective.
It would be so nice if your career is like a path strewn with roses… but am I right to say that now it is a bit like a path with an unclear destination and a bunch of little puddles here and there?
Do you have these thoughts sometimes that there is an alternative reality somewhere there, where other people truly enjoy what they do, have an opportunity to be innovative, be supported and afford many things that you cannot?
Or do you have these periods of self-blame, where you criticize yourself for being not intelligent enough to have chosen the school where you went and for making a bunch of other wrong decisions?
Well, yes… Life is not easy, but if we understand some core things and if we put the effort into learning the science of happiness – we can very practically take our career game to the next level.
This is a vicious circle that we are in: if we are unhappy – our work sucks, and if our work sucks – we are unhappy.
The solution is in learning happiness because being happy brings so many tangible results: we gain clarity about life circumstances, we become more attractive, we become more emotionally detached from problems and more effective in solving them.
My profession is to research happiness and help people obtain it. Today I’d like to share with you only 1 strategy, but a very powerful one how I personally and my clients do to take their work happiness to the next level.
THE POWER OF STRUCTURING THINGS
To cope with a problem I like breaking it down into different layers and see where the root of the problem is. Speaking about the career, there are 5 layers to look into:
ORGANIZATIONAL – Which components does your work consist of? Which particular aspects of your work you do not enjoy?
PHYSIOLOGICAL – What is your fitness regime? At which circumstances does your body feel worse?
EMOTIONAL – Are you free from self-blame? How do you maintain your dignity and self-respect at work?
MENTAL – Are you in charge of what you think? Are you free from maximizing a small problem, emotional explanations and dividing things into black and white?
SPIRITUAL – What must you believe that makes this problem even exist? Are you aware of how you are living your values and your authenticity at work?
The strategy that I want to give you today belongs to the organizational level of handling things.
It is simply called “Setting Rules”. Before we get down to the exercise, here is some theory:
In our work life (same as in our relationships) we go through 3 stages: romantic, tough and collaborative.
At the romantic stage in your career, you see all the nice things, exciting opportunities, friendly people and you just feel good, energized and enthusiastic.
At some point, this stage always finishes and the most difficult “TOUGH” stage kicks in. At the tough stage, you suddenly start feeling the heavy weight of all the little and big problems that exist in this company, in this industry, in how things go, in these colleagues of yours and so on. Sounds familiar?
This is the stage where people normally drop, in life and in business.
And this cycle can continue on and on for a very long time and even for the whole career.
The exercise for today is on how to overcome this phase smoothly and start feeling really good in your career and in your life.
This is when you have to realize you are all in the same boat. You are never alone. You are always with your colleagues, bosses, company, industry.
Bad news – they are not perfect. Good news – there are ways how to collaborate in a “win-win” way so that everybody is happy, including you.
Exercise “Setting Rules”:
You are about to write your own policy!
Open a separate document and write 10 things, which you DO NOT ACCEPT, never ever.
This could be something like:
“I do not accept not to receive a clear feedback on my innovative ideas.”
“I do not accept to stay overtime for more than twice per week.”
“I do not accept that someone cleans my desk without my consent. ”
And so on. Is this idea clear?
When you are finished with your DON’Ts, proceed with your DOs. Write 10 things that you can tolerate. For example:
“I accept that some of my innovative ideas do not get implemented.”
“I accept that I have to help junior workers in getting their things done.”
“I accept that I have a salary increase at least once per year.”
When you have it written, you will simply see when your borders are crossed and will be able to react and discuss immediately. At the same time, when something insignificant happens, it will become easy for you to tolerate it without any hard feelings.
I hope this exercise is helpful for you. But it will only work, when you actually get it done. So, get some paper and write down your DON’Ts and DO’s.
I wish you much happiness and success in your life and in your career!
As a motivational foreword for you is the quote from Walt Disney: “The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.”
What are your tips and tricks for being happy at work? Let us know in the comments below!