In the thousands of hours I’ve spent helping people achieve fulfillment at work, I’ve learned that employees have the biggest share of control over their own happiness.
Here are 7 things you can do to be happier at work:
Be proactive with your boss
Get on your manager’s calendar for regular check-ins. And don’t just show up — prepare for each meeting. Come with questions and ideas, and if there’s something you recently did well, tell them about it.
Keep track of your accomplishments
Start a new Google Doc each quarter and write down each of your accomplishments, no matter how small. At the end of every quarter, present these wins to your manager, along with some things you’d like to improve on next quarter. You have to be your own advocate.
Use the Start, Stop, Continue Technique
Start doing something you believe will bring value to the business that you’re not yet doing. Stop doing something that’s hindering your performance or causing stagnation. Continue doing something you’re doing well. This is a great template for jump-starting conversations with your manager.
One example: Give yourself 12 hours to do 10 hours of work. This allows you to take about 5 breaks that are each around 15 minutes so you can grab a coffee, use the facilities, or do some jumping jacks. Allowing your body to reboot will increase your productivity when you come back — and you’ll avoid feeling nervous when you do need those breaks.
Write down your goals and create a system that allows you to track your progress. Some great ways to expand your horizons: read books or blogs related to your job, take an online course, or attend a webinar.
Speak up if you’re feeling unfulfilled — and propose ways to fix it
This might mean having a discussion with your boss about which items on your plate could be removed in favor of expansion into areas you aren’t currently involved with, or it could mean deepening the way you’re involved in the projects that you already have that get you in the zone.
It feels good knowing you’ve made a contribution to something you care about. So donate to your favorite cause, mentor someone, or volunteer at an industry event.
How do you stay happy at work? Tell us in the comments, or on Twitter @InVisionApp.