How Your Work Can Bring You Joy

By Mel Sim

Make the office your happy place

Entering into the endemic stage also means going back to work on a more regular basis. Which is something to look forward to after two years of endless lockdowns, Zoom calls one after another, and argh, isolation. It’s high time we have some joy in life again!

Going to work can bring you that joy. Sure, it may mean facing the traffic once more and ok, endless physical meetings but it also means fulfilling your aspirations and having colleagues to have lunch with again! Joy at work is different depending on individual wants and needs but ultimately, it’s all about finding what sparks your joy.

Here are some ways work can bring you joy…

#1 It gives you a sense of purpose
Monday to Friday, 9 to 5. Sounds like a chore but if you really think about it, it’s this routine that gives you some sense of purpose in life where you are working your way closer to realising a dream, whether it is to earn more money, pick up new skills or maybe even to expand your horizon and meet new people. Whatever your purpose is for work, finding it and focusing on making it happen will bring you joy when you see how closer you are at achieving it. This gives you total control of your career and when you can see you’re improving and growing, you are more likely to feel satisfied. And that feeling of accomplishment? Priceless.

#2 You get to try new things
Variety is key to happiness. It makes life more interesting and gives you inspiration in life. A research found people tend to be happier when they have a greater number of new and diverse experiences. And where’s the best place to try new things? Work, where opportunities are all around! If your work lets you explore new ideas, try out new equipment, think of new solutions all the time, it’s bound to meet this joy aspiration. Consider too the little things – work events you can go for, new people to meet, or maybe your office is located in a place with cool cafes all around so that’s plenty of lunch ideas! Seek variety in big and small ways.

#3 When your boss validates your progress
One thing that makes us uncertain about work is not knowing if we are on the right track. But if the future is clear to you, that’s bound to make you feel accomplished and give you joy. The most importantly way to judge your progress at work is feedback. Whether it is positive or negative, it at least lets you measure the quality of your work and know how to improve so your success can ultimately bring you joy. Of course, if the feedback is good, then it can turn your work day into a very productive and happy one. Another way to validate your progress? Have a mentor! Knowing that there is someone looking out for you and someone to aspire to will give you a greater sense of purpose.

#4 Your colleagues are great!
That’s a given. When you spend most of your day with people you can connect with, it’s bound to boost morale and make you happy. Colleagues make a difference in how happy work can be. If you work in a toxic environment, obviously work is going to be miserable but if your colleagues – and the work culture – are a perfect match, it creates a bonding environment that lets you work closely, almost like family! In turn, it creates a stronger, more encouraging workplace that will fuel your joy.

But to have great colleagues, you also need to do your part! So play nice and be an awesome teammate yourself.

#5 Money, money
Despite what you may think, a high salary doesn’t automatically guarantee your joy at work. Sure, a certain salary level can make your time at work more worth it and is critical to your quality of life so make sure your salary is aligned to your contribution at work (being underpaid while overworked is one way to feel depressed about work!). But try to look beyond your salary and see it as just one element that brings you joy, and not the total sum of your happiness at work.

Tell us what brings you joy at work at Twitter @Graduan.

Photo by Mimi Thian on Unsplash

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