While we may not always love our actual job, there are definitely ways to make it better.
As much as the actual job contributes to our happiness, so does our attitude. Any job can be fun with the right outlook! Here are some suggestions to help make some small adjustments that may have big outcomes:
- Talk to people. Get to know the people you work with, and form appropriate relationships with your coworkers. As women, we do better when we feel we have some support and camaraderie. You don’t have to love everyone you work with, or become best friends (in fact, it’s often best not to have those relationships at work), but developing some level of relationships, and engaging in some decent conversations during the day sure can help.
- Get involved! Isn’t this one of the standards we hear about for making every aspect of our lives more fun? Life is not a spectator sport…and neither is work! If opportunities present, work on projects, volunteer for committees, and just be involved in general. If opportunities like this are limited, then perhaps you need to be the one to start coordinating events. Whether it’s the occasional (healthy) potluck lunch, getting a group together for this month’s 5K charity run, or collecting canned food to donate, little events can go a long way to improve the work day.
- Be Active! Walk during your lunch and breaks. Don’t just sit around at a desk all day…get out and move! Run the stairs, walk the parking garage levels, or simply stroll around the building when you take your breaks. The same endorphins that make us love running will kick in and help you enjoy your job. They’ll also likely make you more alert for the couple of hours that follow, which will help you personally and professionally!
- Piggybacking on #4…work with the “powers that be” to develop a worksite wellness program. While some companies offer gym facilities and fitness classes, it doesn’t have to be anything that extensive. If your company does offer this…thank them for it and participate! If not, do it on your own…Organize morning walks (have everyone meet 15 minutes before start time for a mile walk); create fitness challenges (stair climbing, total step competition with a pedometer, and healthy recipe taste tests). Challenges with silly prizes are great, but even if the only reward is a little competition and bragging rights, you’ll be surprised how much fun you can have with these!
- Last, but not least…Smile! Smiling is contagious. The more you smile, the more others will smile. Smile and say hello to people, even if you don’t know them. A smile can brighten anyone’s day. Smile even when you don’t feel like it…or especially when you don’t feel like it. Research has shown that the very act of smiling can make you feel happier. It’s kind of along the lines of “fake it til you make it”. Smile and pretend to be happy until you start to actually feel happier. I’ve had to do this, and trust me, it can work. What can be easier…just SMILE!
Those are just 5 of my suggestions. I’m lucky…for the most part, I love what I do. These ideas have certainly made some of the hard days better, and are definitely part of the reason I do love my job.
I’d love to hear other suggestions…please share your ideas on how to make work fun!