Love what you do: 4 things that will make you happier at work

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Sometimes your work can be a hard routine - but it is not always possible to leave it. So what to do to become happier in your current job ? In this article, we will present the results of studies that will help to perceive the work more meaningful and make you happier in the office.

Change your job description

Washing floors in a hospital is hardly anyone's dream job. The emptying of trash baskets in hospital wards is not felt as any special or important occupation.

But what if you had the same responsibilities and could look at your work in a wider context?

“I am helping this hospital to function better, and my work allows patients to recover and return to their families.”

The study compared workers who saw only a paycheck in their work with those who looked deeper.

And those who saw in their cleaning a contribution to the health of patients felt their work as more significant.

From the book “ Choose the Life You Want: The Mindful Way to Happiness ”:
Reznesky and Dutton followed a group of hospital cleaners and found that some of them perceived their activity as only work to get paid and described it as boring and meaningless. Another group perceived the same work as a vocation, and the hours spent at work were interesting and significant for them. This second group of cleaners did everything differently than the first group. They interacted more with nurses, patients, visitors, trying to make the people with whom they came in contact feel better. In general, they saw their work in its broad context. They not only cleaned the wards and cleaned up trash, but contributed to the health of patients and the functioning of the hospital.

How do you see your work? Is it possible to see in it something better, although without self-deception, which would make you happier?

Pay attention to the results.

Working in a call center can be ungrateful and tiring. What can help people feel better through endless dialing and frequent complaints?

A professor at the Wharton School of Business, Adam Grant, conducted a study trying to motivate university call center staff. He managed to dramatically increase the motivation of employees without promotions, promotions, bonuses and salary increases. How?

He showed them letters written by grateful students who received scholarships thanks to the efforts of the call center team. (We recommend reading a useful article on why great achievements will not make you happier .)

What prompted their motivation? Conversations with those students.

From the book “Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success” (Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success ):
When the employees of the call center talked personally with the recipient of the scholarship, they showed even more enthusiasm. On average, an employee doubled the rates for calls and minutes per week. Due to more diligent work, employees reached more graduates, which resulted in 144% more donations from graduates for each week. Even more strikingly, revenues increased fivefold: on average, they were $ 412 before meeting with the recipient of the scholarship and more than $ 2,000 after.
Are you cut off from the results of your labor? Is there a better way for you to keep track of exactly how work helps customers?

Use your strengths

You are likely to take a number of actions at work, and some of these responsibilities could be shared with other team members.

Do you have the opportunity to choose what tasks you solve and what your colleagues can take up? If so, you can be much happier.

Do not choose tasks that are done quickly or easily. Take on everything that you are good at.

Research shows: doing what you are good at is the key to happiness:
Americans experience more positive emotions the more they use their strengths. The more hours a day adults use their strengths, the more they are energetic, feel relaxed, contented, smiling, learn something interesting and feel self-respecting.

Work that allows you to use your talents makes you consistently happier in the office:
The more personal effort was put into the workplace, the greater the positive experience at work. The study showed that strength of character means a lot in any professional environment.
Daily use of your strengths can make you noticeably happier for a long time.

From the book “The Advantage of Happiness: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work ”: The seven principles of positive psychology that spur success and effectiveness at work :
When 577 volunteers were offered to use one of their strengths in a new way every day for a week, they became significantly happier and less depressed than the control groups. And these advantages were lasting: even after the end of the experiment, a month later, their level of happiness remained high.

What responsibilities you are weak could someone else take on? What could you do to make good use of your strengths?


You can learn a lot about loving your work by looking at furniture from Ikea. Seriously.

Why is this furniture so popular? Studies show that we love things more when we invest in ourselves.

You have assembled a side table with your own hands. This is your creation.

This is the mysterious power of Swedish furniture.

In my interview with Professor Dan Ariely, author of Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions, he explained:
“This is a great example of something irrational, but wonderful. We discovered that the moment you put a particle of yourself in something, you begin to overestimate it. My personal experience began with Ikea furniture, so we called it the Ikea effect. It turned out that I was not particularly good at assembling furniture, and it took me a lot of time. I made all possible mistakes. But I found that after the assembly of the piece of furniture was of rather mediocre quality, I was incredibly proud and continued to transport it with me from city to city, although objectively this was not justified. ”

If I bring a random child to your house and tell you to keep him, you will not agree.

If it were your child, you would support him, and moreover, your happiness would depend on his well-being.

As Dan explained, investing in something, we care more about it.

Invest more in your career and you will find that you love your job.

PS We recommend another article on the topic - How to stop being distracted at the workplace: 6 effective ways.

Translation by Vyacheslav Davidenko, founder of MBA Consult

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