In a perfect world, your job would provide you with plenty of interesting tasks, the opportunity to use your skills in a rewarding and stress-free way, funny and engaging co-workers and a beefy paycheck at the end of every week.
… but this version of workplace utopia does not reflect the reality of your workplace, at least not most of the time. Sure, you like your job and it helps to pay the bills, but lately you feel more stagnant than inspired and constrained rather than empowered.
Fortunately, there are plenty of tangible and effective things you can do — starting today — that will help you to feel happier in your career. Here are a few great places to start:
Consider Becoming a Part-Time Entrepreneur
In his book “The 10% Entrepreneur: Live Your Startup Dream Without Quitting Your Day Job,” Wall Street expert Patrick McGinnis offers an intriguing idea. Nurture and embrace your entrepreneurial spirit and explore ways to start your own company, while still holding onto your steady job and paycheck. By launching your own side gig, which should be something you truly love to do, you will probably feel more creative, energetic and inspired, while avoiding the financial strain that comes with getting a new business off the ground. There are plenty of low-risk ways to get a side business off the ground. Consider using gig-economy platforms like Handy, Upwork, Amway and others. Using McGinnis’ equation, strive to put four to five hours a week toward your entrepreneurial goals. In time, you may find that you can leave your current job and focus on your new career full time.
Look for Ways to be an Intrapreneur
While entrepreneurs start their own business, intrapreneurs look for ways to better their existing job and company. As Key Differences notes, for some people, being an intrapreneur can be immensely rewarding, and can definitely help boost your workplace happiness. If you have been with your company for some time and are familiar with all aspects of the business, approach your boss about taking on a larger role in improving the workplace and products. Rather than using your own finances like an entrepreneur, the intrapreneur can use the company’s resources to help fund new ideas, redesign the way things are done and make improvements.
Change When and How You Work
Depending on where you work and what tasks you must complete, you might be able to tweak your schedule and responsibilities to make your job more enjoyable. If you’re an early bird who struggles to focus after 4 p.m., talk to your boss about adjusting your shift to match your inner clock. As Work It Daily notes, if you love certain parts of your job more than others, see if you can cut back on the tasks you do not enjoy to emphasize the ones that bring you satisfaction. If you are a journalist who’s tired of writing “negative” hard news stories, you might see about switching your beat to community news or writing for a smaller paper that emphasizes uplifting feature stories.
Reward Yourself Along the Way
An effective way to boost your workplace spirits is to treat yourself for a job well done. As The Muse notes, this can be as simple as promising yourself a fancy iced coffee drink once you finish an especially boring or challenging task, or setting aside a small portion of your paychecks to spring for that new outfit, exercise equipment, electronic device or other goodie you really want.