Kool Derby

For far too many people, going to work is a painful experience. In fact, getting up on Monday morning to start their week is a traumatic experience. While taking a shower, they are hoping the week flies by so that Friday can get here. They dread the drive to the office knowing that work is waiting for us.

For some people, though, work is an exhilarating experience. They cannot wait until the sun rises again. The problems are viewed as opportunities, and finding a solution for them is a motivator.

Here are three ways you can be happy at work:

#1: Find the career you selected, and not one on which you settled.

Instead of backing into a job, it’s better to work in a career that you chose. I have a friend who works for the city doing mundane work. She is near completing her MBA, but she is still stuck in a dead end job. I asked her why she isn’t posting for work that meets her new qualifications, and she respond by saying, “It takes time. I’ll start here soon.” This is the same excuse she’s used for years.

#2: Make the best of your current situation.

Everyone has had a job they didn’t like. The people were rude, the pay below what they deserved, and the culture was less than professional. Even when the situation is stacked against you, you must look on the bright side.

First … stop complaining. It’s obvious that blaming others for your situation is a non-starter. You can’t expect to make things better by pointing fingers. While hard to admit, your actions (or lack of them) is the reason you are in a rut. You must take a positive approach to your work and exceed expectations. I understand this is tough to do, but essential if you are to get back on track.

#3: Ask for challenging work.

In most organizations, people settle for the status quo. They do enough to stay out of trouble. They feel that no one will appreciate their interest in taking on more responsibilities, so it’s best to stay under the radar.

The top-notch performers, however, seek challenging and meaningful work. This means they will work longer hours, and will be under pressure to deliver. In most cases, the work is outside their comfort zones, which means they need to expand their knowledge and skills. By embracing these opportunities, these men and women soon begin a steady climb upward. Most important, they have more control over their careers.

Being happy at work doesn’t mean that you must be in the perfect position. It does mean, however, that you are moving in the right direction. Getting out in front requires some risk taking, but the payoff is positive. Even if you fall short, you will gain the respect of the leadership team for giving it a try. Remember that those who are at the top of the organization took similar actions.

The important point here is that happiness is a state of mind. By engaging in positive action, you will soon find the work that both challenges and satisfies you.