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#Artworldgoals: How To Be Happier At Work
When you're only smiling on the inside
Career 16 Oct 2023

Lost motivation with your job? Take some advice from us to help you rediscover joy at work.


1. Define your own success
Could your unhappiness at work come from the horrid feeling that you’re not as successful as you always thought you would be? First, understand that you’re not alone, everyone suffers from imposter syndrome from time to time. Then, ask yourself: How do I define success? Is this definition really my own? A lot of the time, your ideas of what it means to live successfully are not your own and have been picked up from others around you. Think about what truly matters to you in terms of a job well done — you may find you’ve already succeeded.

2. Adapt your job into one that works for you
It is rare for people to land the perfect job; instead, they create their own. By customising and editing here and there, you can turn your job into one you can eventually love. This process does take some time, effort and positive thinking. But eventually the end result will be a job that suits you, your strengths and your preferences.


3. Be grateful
Feeling chirpier at work is not just about making far-reaching changes, there are many little activities you can do to help ease the negative thoughts. One easy exercise is to jot down new things you’re grateful for in your job. Another mood-boosting activity is to send one positive email a day praising or thanking someone. Research continues to show that altruism—helping others—actually makes us feel happier. When you prioritise lending a hand to a co-worker in need, you are actually creating a healthy mental reward system for yourself that promotes self-satisfaction.

4. Ask why?
Try to take some time to think back to the reasons of why you do your job. Why did you accept it? Who are you helping, and how does that make you feel? Finding that meaning can change your outlook in a positive way.


5. Take control of your own professional path and development
Take charge of your own career growth by investing in your personal and professional development. Develop a plan and goals for your career, then go for them. Ask for specific and meaningful help from your colleagues and boss. Look for courses that will help you achieve these goals or learn specific skills. When you feel in control of your career and can see yourself improving and growing, you are more likely to feel satisfied in your current position.

6. Stop daydreaming
Keep your focus on the task you’re doing at work, and avoid getting easily distracted, like the 30-second scroll through Instagram that stretches into twenty minutes. Instead, schedule short breaks for yourself when you can click and browse to your heart’s content as a reward for completing a task. Staying focused on the job at hand, will create better results which will in turn make you feel more satisfied with the work you have done.


7. Make new friends or expand your circle
Employees spend a lot of time at work; enjoying the co-workers that you spend time with there is one of the main factors of enjoying a positive work experience. Feeling understood and valued by a colleague can increase your happiness at work. Another way to be happier at work is by getting out of your comfort zone. Be an opportunity maker, a person who seeks out and builds relationships with people unlike yourself. Making new connections can lead to serendipitous moments, which might give you the novelty you crave.

8. Only make promises that you can keep  
One of the main causes of work stress and unhappiness is failing to keep promises. In many cases, employees spend more time making excuses for failing to keep a commitment and worrying about the consequences of incomplete tasks then getting on with the task at hand. To manage stress levels and minimize unhappiness at work, create a system for tracking your commitments and managing your schedule. Stay organized enough that you can judge quickly and accurately whether you are actually able to commit to a request or a new tasks.


 9. Avoid Negativity
Participating in a toxic work environment will make you even more unhappy, no matter how much you enjoy your job. Choosing to be happy at work means steering clear of gossip, and unhealthy work relationships as much as possible. No matter how positively you feel, negative people have a great impact on your mood and mental health. When possible, do your best to change up conversations onto more positive topics.

10. Create a playlist to boost your mood
Music can seriously boost your mood (and productivity) when you’re having a bad day. So pull together some of your favorite songs and use the fun beats to keep you going through the day.


11. Turn to the internet
When you need a little boost, there’s no shame in turning to BuzzFeed to learn what your spirit animal is or checking out the top ten cutest baby animals. Or scrolling through your favorite Instagram account for Baby Yoda memes of inspirational Paris Hilton quotes for a hot couple of minutes.

12. Hydrate and eat mood boosting snacks
Drinking water basically helps and cures everything. Keep a tall glass of H2O on your desk—it will help keep you focused and hydrated and will fight away those annoying afternoon headaches. You will feel amazing, and your office mood will be improved. And if you are feeling peckish then why not munch on a mood boosting healthy snack.

13. Give your work space a makeover
If you work in a cubicle or your own studio why not redecorate? Get creative with your space and make the most of it. If you share an area with others, get them involved too. You can treat this activity as a peer bonding experience and get to know your neighboring work colleagues better.


14. Switch up your routine
Sometimes it’s just the fact that your days seem to pass by similarly that has you feeling stuck in a rut. So, find a way to switch it up. Walk or bike to work instead of your usual commute to give your mornings a new perspective. Ask a different colleague to lunch instead of grabbing a bite at your usual spot. See if you can spend a few hours in the afternoon working your local coffee shop instead of your office. By switching up your habits it can seem like you have an entirely different job.

15. And finally remember, your job isn’t everything

The adjustment you may need to make is to your work-life balance. Do you leave the office on time? When did you last take a day off or holiday somewhere relaxing? Or even a walk during lunch? Sometimes you need to breathe and take a break before you can jump back into your job. Remember, your job is not your life!
If all the above fails, look for a job that will make you smile. You don’t need to love your job, but it shouldn’t make you miserable. If creating any happiness at work feels impossible, you may be stuck in a toxic work culture or a job that simply cannot be a good fit for you. In that case, it may be time to re-evaluate your employer, your job, or your entire career.
Good luck on your quest for happiness
All images via the @elarroyo_atx Instagram
Text by Peigi Mackillop

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Assistant Curator / Intern
LoZo Gallery - Franklin, PA
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The Armin Bar (NYC|Milan) - Milan, Lombardy, Italy
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Para Site - Hong Kong
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New Art Est-Ouest - Hong Kong