Do you know we spend approximately 35% of our waking hours at work?
Yep. According to author and entrepreneur Jessica Pryce-Jones, the average person spends 90,000 hours working during their lifetime! In addition, a 2019 study reported on by the American Institute of Stress found that 94% of American workers report experiencing stress at work. So, I think it’s safe to say your job satisfaction has a huge impact on your life!
I started EPI in 2002 because I wanted people to enjoy going to work as much as I do. Finding ways to help employees love their jobs is important to me. Of course, not all aspects of every job are perfect. But, ideally, a job shouldn’t feel like something we MUST do. Rather, our job should be something we GET to do as we pursue our life goals.
Work should be our partner as we pursue life goals, not our enemy.
If your job doesn’t fill you with a sense of growth and purpose, then you probably aren’t fulfilled or happy. Sometimes that means a job change, but other times it can mean taking small steps to improve your current role.
The question is… what are YOU going to do about it? No one will make these changes for you. Seek a fresh perspective on how to get more out of your work.
Here are eight tips for increasing your job satisfaction:
1. Identify the parts of your role that you like and dislike.
What projects bring you satisfaction? Is it the tasks themselves that contribute to that satisfaction or is it the people you work with? Do you prefer working with a specific tool or software? What are your main stressors on the job? Are there any parts of work that actually bring you joy? Identifying these preferences brings clarity.
2. Communicate with your supervisor.
After identifying what specifically brings you satisfaction/joy in your job, talk to your supervisor about ways you may be able to increase time, focus, and/or depth around those tasks, projects, or collaborators. There may be work perfect for you that you don’t even know about yet!
3. Volunteer for new opportunities.
Network with peers and learn where your skills and interests could align in different capacities. Start with a small project, join an industry organization, or contribute to a committee… and grow from there.
4. Stop multitasking and tackle your to-do list intentionally.
Attempting to multitask is ruining your productivity. Research from the American Psychological Association shows that when we try to do two things at once, we lose about 40% of our productivity! Tackle your to-do list with intention and confront the most difficult, time consuming task first. For more efficiency, dedicate at least 20 minutes to a single task before switching to another.
5. Foster a sense of accomplishment.
Accomplishment is a strong driver of happiness at work. What is something you can do today to make yourself better for tomorrow? Set benchmarks for yourself and focus on making progress toward small goals.
6. Cultivate hobbies and interests outside of work.
People with hobbies are more satisfied with their jobs, have improved physical health, and experience less stress. Not every workday is going to be perfect and that’s why it’s important to have hobbies and interests outside of work. There may even be opportunities where your skill sets from one can overlap into the other, leading to additional personal growth.
7. Maintain an attitude of gratitude.
Start your day with gratitude. We all have a gratitude “muscle” that can be strengthened with practice. When we make deliberate and intentional efforts to note our blessings, we improve our mental health and overall well-being.
8. Laugh and have fun!
Laughter and humor in the workplace are keys to career success. These traits enhance work performance, increase job satisfaction, reduce stress, decrease burnout, and build trust. Laughter creates and strengthens social bonds, boosts morale, and can dissolve tension, making a mundane workday a little more fun!
Whatever your job situation, there are steps you can take to try to improve it. The key is that you choose to take action.
Even if you are only seeking a small difference, don’t wait for someone else to make changes or improvements for you. Take responsibility for your own job satisfaction. Your career and personal happiness will thank you!
Michelle Kelly, CEO (Chief Enjoyment Officer)