Happier At Work

7 Ways To Be Happier At Work And Boost Your Career


Want to be happier at work today? A brilliant person named Anonymous once said, “Attitude determines altitude.” In today’s workplace environment, it’s more important than ever to stay positive.

Related: How To Be Successful And Happy At Work

We work in offices without walls and doors. We send and receive dozens, sometimes hundreds, of quick messages all day. Everyone knows everything about our work patterns, schedule, and mood. We are literally working in a workplace without boundaries, and we need to do everything we can to maintain the veneer of civility.

Feeling genuinely happy helps. Bosses and co-workers can read our feelings like an open book, so it’s helpful to do what we can to project a positive outlook.

Being happy on the job improves our reputation. Optimism makes us more resilient, able to adapt to new situations, and even more capable of solving problems faster. Happy employees receive better feedback from bosses and peers and enjoy more job satisfaction because work doesn’t feel boring, difficult, or unpleasant.

Ways To Be Happier At Work

Here are seven ways to smile all the way to your next raise:

1. Don Your “Rose Colored Glasses”

For every disappointment, find some aspect that makes it palatable. For example, maybe you didn’t snag the flashy assignment, but your fabulous pitch raised your profile with some people who matter.

2. Use Upbeat Language

Your words – on the phone, in e-mail, and in person – have a powerful, subliminal effect on others’ moods and impressions. Make yours pleasant and positive by jazzing up routine exchanges. For example, “I’d be delighted to!” is much better than “Sure,” and a thousand times better than the surly “Whatever.”

3. Cheer Yourself On

Write down ten statements that you’d tell your best friend if she suffered a career setback, such as, “You did the best you could, and you’ll do even better next time.” At any point in the day when you feel discouraged, pull out that list and give yourself a daily pep talk.

4. If A Complaint’s Coming On, Zip It

Complaining is contagious. It makes you feel worse, and it makes others around you feel significantly worse, too. If you can’t figure out a way to say something constructive about a problem or challenge, then keep mum. Acting cheerful in the face of challenges will boost your career and professional reputation.

5. Use “Secret” Mood Boosters

If you have a daunting workday ahead, listen to an anthem on your way to the office that puts you in a great mood and recharges your emotional batteries. Or use a good luck charm or accessory. Or wear one. Anything from a lucky suit to a lucky pen will work its magic, if it makes you feel more confident.

6. Take A “Play” Break

If you’re in a bad mood at the office, take a five-minute break to play a lighthearted game that you’re really good at, such as ken-ken, a crossword puzzle, or Wordogram on your iPhone. This will temporarily distract you from your negative mood, and enable you to experience a small win. The trick here is to get back to your work before the bad mood has a chance to resurface.

7. Be “Complimentary”

When you notice a co-worker doing something well, tell her. Sincere compliments and praise have a way of boomeranging back to you. Soon you’ll be getting positive feedback, too.

This post was originally published at an earlier date.

Related Posts

10 Reasons Happy People Get More Job Opportunities
Want To Be Happy At Work? 3 Things To Consider
4 Things You Can Do To Be Happier At Work Today

Photo Credit: Shutterstock


  1. Staying positive is very important, but I have noticed that the employees who are overly cheerful are not promoted. Sure everyone loves to have them around as a positive influence, but they are generally not considered serious leaders. Being professional and doing high quality work is what really helps people move ahead. Faking positive feelings is usually apparent, although most folks will be polite and go along with your positive comments. Being genuine and hard working gains respect from others and is true leadership.

  2. Hi Vicky,
    I believe that “anonymous” isn’t; IIRC, it was the late, great Zig Ziglar who professed that “Attutitude is Altitude”. From another tradtion, Proverbs 23:7 KJV says: “As a man (sic) thinketh in his hear, so is he.” Of course, there are many, many more; but all on the same theme, that how you think/feel infuences your attitude.

  3. “Be happy, in your work.”-Bridge On The River Qwai, 1957, staring Sir Alec Guinness(R.I.P.)

    I think your mental approach to work can very much affect your success in actually doing any. Comma, if your workplace is dysfunctional, and the people in your workplace are constantly doing whatever, you might find that you are going to end up working by yourself, in order to actually accomplish anything, which might mean changing jobs. All the world’s a stage, and we are but the players, and managers and staff alike can put on a great show on the jobsite, and harp and whine about ‘work-life balance’, and whatever else is trendy on TV, these days, and talk about their feelings and psychology and the rest of the slacker doctrine, and not accomplish a single thing. This is especially prevalent in office-type environments, where the computer does the job, and the people collect the paychecks, for the most part. Indeed, your average jobsite is trained to dysfunction, people are not taught how to communicate well, clearly, or professionally, and most places really don’t have much of a sense of urgency, and many have televisions installed, and it’s kind of a compensated babysitting-type arrangement, where many noses are crammed up managers’ behinds, and there’s little, if any evidence, of actual work being performed. Sad, but there it is. And they wonder why all the industry types are looking at China. Eventually, though, China will become just as corrupt and lazy and entitled and un-fireable as many people here in the US have become, and eventually, employers who want real work done will stop hiring people, and start building robots. Robots don’t have a lot of people-problems, and don’t bring some goofy head-trip or their personal problems with them to the jobsite.

  4. This is the reason America is trending towards mediocrity. Everybody’s right, everybody’s great as long as they are postive. But that nasty negative complainer ( the guy pointing out problems that are killing the business and the necessary changes) who is never happy with the status qoa has gotta go.

  5. Humbug! Staying positive no matter what is disingenuous at best and fake at worst. It is sad that are currently cursed with a work culture that promotes Stepford men and women among other things. In order to improve the way we do business, we have to be able to come to terms with the negative things that go on in an office. Sometimes there are no silver linings when something bad happens. It is only human to acknowledge feelings of anger or sadness and we should vent those frustrations lest they fester into something worse. What is needed is a sense of perspective in that things will not stay the same forever. The storm clouds that are presently overhead will eventually go away and the sun will come out. What does not put us six feet under will make us stronger.

  6. Staying positive is essential to success in a job search, while you are at work and even in your personal life! Nobody enjoys a complainer, half empty sad soul. I like the comedian who jokes, “Every day above ground is a good day!”

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