8 small changes that can help you love your job

Simple steps that can help improve your job satisfaction.

by Catherine, published 03/13/2014

8 small changes that can help you love your job

The economy has left a lot of workers stressed and plenty of people feeling like they’re stuck in jobs they don’t love. Moreover, “many clients tell me that they love the work itself, but the politics and personalities at their job drag them down,” says Paula Thompson of Foresight Coaching & Consulting.

If any of this sounds like you, here are eight small changes that can help you love your job.

  1. Fight the urge to obsess. Thinking about negative interactions keeps your stress hormones high, Thompson says. “If you find yourself dwelling, allow ten minutes to purposefully replay the event in your mind, identify what you can learn from the experience, and then move on.”
  2. Work from home. “The Gallup organization found that employees who spend one day a week working at home are the most engaged with their job,” Thompson says. “It allows time to be autonomous and productive, while maintaining workplace connections the other days of the week.” Check with your manager about the possibility of working from home.
  3. Identify accomplishments. Describing the brain as “naturally skeptical,” Thompson says we often give more weight to the bad things that happen in our daily lives. “To counteract this, spend a few minutes at the end of each work day identifying what you accomplished. This small act of keeping successes in mind will help you feel better about your job.”
  4. Figure out what’s bothering you. Gail McMeekin, author of “The Power of Positive Choices,” says keeping a stressor log for a couple of weeks can help you identify what’s causing you stress. “Once you have identified the specific culprits, then you can make decisions about whether or not you can avoid them, modify them, or if you are stuck and need to change your attitude about it or start making steps to leave or renegotiate your situation.”
  5. Talk to your boss. Things probably won’t change unless you agitate a little, so McMeekin recommends coming up with examples of what you want and taking them to your boss. “If your boss is trustworthy and you have come with concrete conclusions for your work situation, sit down with her and make a strong case for how these changes can benefit you and the organization.”
  6. Focus on the positive. “When you focus on what is right and good about your job instead of what is wrong or broken, you can better define your role and where you can best contribute,” says Jill Haseltine of Deliberate Nation. “If you’re constantly doing your best even when things are not ideal, you may actually begin to love your job because you have now taken charge. You’ll also be amazed at the opportunities that will come your way because of it. People are watching and they will notice.”
  7. Change your hours. Look at ways to modify the routine and see if that helps, says Joanne M. Deck. “Even a 30-minute shift can change the traffic you encounter (and your drive time) on the way in or home, give you a few more minutes of sleep in the morning, or allow you to get to the gym after work, all of which make going to work more enjoyable.”
  8. Make a friend. Having a friend at work can help lighten your mood. “Someone you can confide in and laugh with and look forward to seeing each day can make a huge difference,” Deck says.
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