This article is part of an exclusive month-long program on CAREEREALISM to help readers break free of The Golden Handcuff Effect. Click HERE to learn more about the Professional Emancipation Project, a.k.a. The P.E.P. Talk.
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. 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.
The P.E.P. Talk
This article is part of our P.E.P. Talk Series. Over the next month, some of the brightest and best authors, business professionals, and coaches are coming together to share their valuable advice for breaking free of “The Golden Handcuff Effect” so you can take full ownership of your careers and experience Professional Emancipation.
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