Humanist advice for finding more happiness and satisfaction at work.
1) Do your best. Just deciding to focus on your personal ethics, has a huge impact on how satisfied you feel as an individual. Even if the people around you aren’t ethical, the fact that you are making it a priority to be good will help you withstand and cope with the stress of a difficult workplace. It isn’t a panacea, but it really does help.
2) Make sure you balance work and life. No one can balance your work and life for you. You have to make it your responsibility to find a balance that works for you. You have to respect your limitations and understand that the need for personal time to recharge helps your business. Not all managers will see it this way, but you have to do this for you. These are the boundaries you have to set for yourself. Not that you aren’t willing to go the extra mile when called upon. It is more that if your company is always in crisis mode, it isn’t being managed very well. Studies show that working longer hours does not translate into higher productivity. You actually can get more done in less time and at a higher quality if you limit the time you allow yourself to work.
3) Be honest with what is possible and reasonable. This ties into the work life balance thing. Don’t lie and say you can get something done just to be a team player. Management is better served by you if you are honest about the amount of time it is going to take to get it done and what resources are needed. Whenever I was asked by a manager to do something ridiculous or stupid or was not provided with adequate resources or time to get it done I would laugh and then say “seriously, when do you need this done by.” I always did this with a smile on my face and was never fired for being so brazen. The only way to have a rational conversation about what was really required to accomplish a goal is to insist that the conversation be rational. Of course, having done this, make sure you over deliver; otherwise your credibility will be shot.
4) Be nice. It is very easy for conflicts and disagreements in the workplace to become personal. Don’t let them be personal. You are working with a variety of personalities. They all have experiences you can’t even imagine that go into forming their behavior, interests, personalities and more. Allow everyone to be who they are and don’t expect them to conform to your ideas of who they should be. Most interpersonal conflicts arise because we try to control other people or they try to control us. Instead, view all your co-workers as your partners. Celebrate the differences because together as a workforce you can do so much more if your combine your strengths instead of focusing on what you perceive to be a weakness. Everyone there was hired for a reason. They have something valuable to contribute. Let them.
What advice do you have to make work happy?