10 Habits You Must Quit to Be Happy at Your Job – Part I

Would you like to be happier in your job? business-woman

I’m adapting Angel Chernoff’s 10 Habits You Must Quit to Be Happy  to show you new habits you can put in place to be happier at work.  As we know, how we feel in one area of our life spills over into the others. Being happier at work can definitely influence the amount of happiness you have in your life.  So here are the first 5 habits you need to quit to be happier in  you job …

1.  Quit Procrastinating on Your Goals.  You may find that your current job just doesn’t cut when it comes to making you happy.  You want to go to work and feel good about what you’re doing.  You want to use your talents and skills and you want what  you’re doing to matter, to fit who you are.  When you can’t take the frustration of being in a job 5 days a week that doesn’t suit you anymore you get fed up and start looking for another job.  But, a few days later, everything has smoothed out and you decide you can live with it; it’s not so bad after all … that is, until the next flare up.

The worst thing about doing nothing is nothing changes.  The last thing you want to do is be unhappy and put off exploring a career change or waiting until your desperate, or until you have been laid off, to decide you’re going to change jobs or careers.  If you’re unhappy now, stop procrastinating and create what I call your “Love it or Leave it” plan.

Finding a new job in this market is not easy.   If you’re wanting to change from one career to another, it can take even longer.  It’s easier to find a job when you’ have a job.  Read the signs and if you’re unhappy more than you’re happy at work, start getting a good plan and exit strategy in place now.  Just knowing you’re working on it will ease the pain.

2.  Quit Blaming Others and Making Excuses.  When you’re unhappy at work there’s a whole host of characters you can blame – your boss, your co-workers, and “them”  (the organization you work for and how it’s run) for your unhappiness. As Angel so aptly points out in her article when you blame others you give your power away.  Making up excuses shifts the responsibility for making changes, when the responsibility is all yours.  You can’t change someone else only yourself.

Decide what you want and what you can change.  Put new strategies in place to carry out those changes.  Once you start empowering yourself and make some changes, those around you will change too and before you know it, you’ve shifted your work environment.

3.  Quit Avoiding Change.  Like it or not we live in a world of constant change.  You go to work one day and find out your company has merged with another, or you’re going through a reorganization and the job you know doesn’t exist anymore.  You’re expected to be agile and responsive to anything that comes your way, or get more work or people to manage assigned to you overnight so you’re able to avoid being laid off.

Today’s workplace requires flexibility.  Do your best to anticipate or be ahead of the changes coming your way so you can be proactive.  If you get caught up in a change you didn’t expect go with the flow until you can make adjustments without abandoning who you are or your principles.  If you see no way of going with the change, get going on your Love it or Leave it Plan.

4.  Quit trying to Control the Uncontrollable.  If you work for someone else you probably feel like you don’t have much control or freedom over your workday.  If it’s clear you’re going to have no control over what you’d like to change about your job, the only choice you have is to change the way you’re looking at your situation, change your attitude about your situation, or change the situation by quitting.

Just because you don’t feel in control of something at work that doesn’t mean you’ve lost control over your destiny.  Watch how you react as there may be things going on behind the scenes that you may have no idea about.  It may be helpful to speak to a coach, mentor or friend to brainstorm some creative ways to speak up or make requests.  You’ll want to come up with some strategies and solutions so you can feel more in control of your situation and your destiny.

5.  Quit Talking Down to Yourself.  If your unhappy it’s easy to start taking it out on your self.  If you feel any self-doubt do your best to monitor your self-talk.  Thoughts are things and they have a big impact on your reality.  Do your best to stay positive, which is hard to do if your work environment is negative, I know.

Instill practices in your workday that can help you stay in the positive flow of energy and can support you in positive self talk.  This can be as simple as going outside for a walk and breathing some fresh air when things are getting to you so you can get a fresh perspective.   Take some time out to de-stress.  Smile as much as you can as a smile can instantly alter your mood and can affect the mood of others.  This is another area where a coach, mentor or friend can help you come up with some positive practices or can help you put some positive energy into your office to offset the negative vibes you’re dealing with every day.

Just think, if you only work 40 hours a week (who works that little anymore?) on average you spend about 91,250 hours working (calculated by Dave Timlinson, in his article How Many Hours Will You Work In Your Lifetime). That’s a long time to be engaged in habits that keep you stuck in a negative environment, feeling out of control or unhappy.  Decide today to take control of our work life by putting new habits so you can be happier at your job instead of feeling miserable, unfulfilled and dissatisfied.

In Part II of this blog post we’ll cover the remaining 5 habits you must quit to be happy at your job.  And, if you’d like to know how to create a love it or leave it plan, find a job that fits who you are, or get some strategies for being more positive and empowered at work, contact me.  Ask for your complimentary Career Breakthrough Session where you’ll get a clear on what you need to do to be happier at work and gain more control of your work life destiny.

Be sure to comment.

Linda Hardenstein, MPA, PCC is a Career Strategist, Executive Coach and Creator of the THRIVE Formula.  She combines practical tools and customized strategies with optimizing your environment so you can find the work that you love or improve the work situation you’re in to thrive in your career.