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Make Your Job More Enjoyable in 7 Easy Steps

Make Your Job More Enjoyable in 7 Easy Steps

Did you know that if you work a full-time job for 50 years, you’ll punch the time clock for roughly 4,333 hours over the course of your life? That’s more than 10% of your life if you live to age 80. While every job you have may not be the dream job you imagined yourself doing as a child, going into work every day with a positive attitude makes the time go by much faster. Showing that you can embrace even tough jobs with zeal and enthusiasm can help you move up the career ladder faster.  Bosses love to see someone with a can-do attitude who takes initiative. Make your job enjoyable and you may even find yourself looking forward to the sound of your alarm clock each morning.

Challenge yourself to reach new levels

No matter where you are, there is always room for improvement. If you’re an employee, challenge yourself to move up the corporate ladder in a given amount of time. Give yourself a deadline, and then investigate what you need to do to reach it. If you’re upper management, challenge yourself to take the business to a whole new level.

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Get involved in a project that inspires passion in you

You can make your job more enjoyable by embarking on a passion project. For example, if you’re passionate about the environment, start a project to convince all your coworkers to use reusable coffee mugs. By using your job to make a difference in a cause that matters to you, you’ll actually look forward to going to work every day. Just make sure your passion project doesn’t violate company standards. If you work in a factory that produces paper coffee mugs, your reusable coffee mug project may not go over so well.

Commit random acts of kindness

Doing something nice for those you work for or with can go a long way to boosting your own job enjoyment. Buy a cup of coffee for the guy in the cubicle next to you. Bring in a cake for your favorite client’s birthday. Kindness is contagious. When everyone is smiling, your work will be more enjoyable.

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Start your day with laughter

Going in to work with a grumpy attitude will make the day drag by. Make your job enjoyable by getting yourself in the right mood before starting the day. Spend a few minutes on your favorite humor site when you wake up, watch a funny sitcom while you’re getting ready, or even just share a joke with your neighbor on the train.

Form bonds with coworkers

You can make your job enjoyable by making friends at work. You’re all in the same proverbial boat, more or less. You don’t have to become best friends with everyone at your job. Find something you have in common with your coworkers and use it to create a connection. It can be anything from kids in the same school to a distaste for the coffee in the break room.

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Participate in job functions

In grade school, kids get points for class participation. While you won’t earn shiny little stars for participating in job functions, you will earn a little notice from the higher-ups. Even better, you’ll make friends and memories with your coworkers, which really helps make your job more enjoyable. You don’t have to show up to every office holiday and birthday party, just make an effort to put in an appearance at a few each year.

Leave the job behind at the end of the day

Perhaps the most important thing you can do to make your job enjoyable is leaving it behind when you punch out for the day. Go home and relax. Spend time with family and friends. Even if you dealt with the worst client of your career that day, leave it at the office. Anyone can get through a shift if they know it eventually ends.

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Remember, attitude is everything when it comes to making your job enjoyable. Focus on the positive aspects of your position and the negative won’t seem so dreary.

Featured photo credit: Alex France via flickr.com

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Last Updated on March 29, 2021

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

When I left university I took a job immediately, I had been lucky as I had spent a year earning almost nothing as an intern so I was offered a role. On my first day I found that I had not been allocated a desk, there was no one to greet me so I was left for some hours ignored. I happened to snipe about this to another employee at the coffee machine two things happened. The first was that the person I had complained to was my new manager’s wife, and the second was, in his own words, ‘that he would come down on me like a ton of bricks if I crossed him…’

What a great start to a job! I had moved to a new city, and had been at work for less than a morning when I had my first run in with the first style of bad manager. I didn’t stay long enough to find out what Mr Agressive would do next. Bad managers are a major issue. Research from Approved Index shows that more than four in ten employees (42%) state that they have previously quit a job because of a bad manager.

The Dream Type Of Manager

My best manager was a total opposite. A man who had been the head of the UK tax system and was working his retirement running a company I was a very junior and green employee for. I made a stupid mistake, one which cost a lot of time and money and I felt I was going to be sacked without doubt.

I was nervous, beating myself up about what I had done, what would happen. At the end of the day I was called to his office, he had made me wait and I had spent that day talking to other employees, trying to understand where I had gone wrong. It had been a simple mistyped line of code which sent a massive print job out totally wrong. I learn how I should have done it and I fretted.

My boss asked me to step into his office, he asked me to sit down. “Do you know what you did?” I babbled, yes, I had been stupid, I had not double-checked or asked for advice when I was doing something I had not really understood. It was totally my fault. He paused. “Will you do that again?” Of course I told him I would not, I would always double check, ask for help and not try to be so clever when I was not!

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“Okay…”

That was it. I paused and asked, should I clear my desk. He smiled. “You have learnt a valuable lesson, I can be sure that you will never make a mistake like that again. Why would I want to get rid of an employee who knows that?”

I stayed with that company for many years, the way I was treated was a real object lesson in good management. Sadly, far too many poor managers exist out there.

The Complete Catalogue of Bad Managers

The Bully

My first boss fitted into the classic bully class. This is so often the ‘old school’ management by power style. I encountered this style again in the retail sector where one manager felt the only way to get the best from staff was to bawl and yell.

However, like so many bullies you will often find that this can be someone who either knows no better or is under stress and they are themselves running scared of the situation they have found themselves in.

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The Invisible Boss

This can either present itself as management from afar (usually the golf course or ‘important meetings) or just a boss who is too busy being important to deal with their staff.

It can feel refreshing as you will often have almost total freedom with your manager taking little or no interest in your activities, however you will soon find that you also lack the support that a good manager will provide. Without direction you may feel you are doing well just to find that you are not delivering against expectations you were not told about and suddenly it is all your fault.

The Micro Manager

The frustration of having a manager who feels the need to be involved in everything you do. The polar opposite to the Invisible Boss you will feel that there is no trust in your work as they will want to meddle in everything you do.

Dealing with the micro-manager can be difficult. Often their management style comes from their own insecurity. You can try confronting them, tell them that you can do your job however in many cases this will not succeed and can in fact make things worse.

The Over Promoted Boss

The Over promoted boss categorises someone who has no idea. They have found themselves in a management position through service, family or some corporate mystery. They are people who are not only highly unqualified to be managers they will generally be unable to do even your job.

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You can find yourself persistently frustrated by the situation you are in, however it can seem impossible to get out without handing over your resignation.

The Credit Stealer

The credit stealer is the boss who will never publically acknowledge the work you do. You will put in the extra hours working on a project and you know that, in the ‘big meeting’ it will be your credit stealing boss who will take all of the credit!

Again it is demoralising, you see all of the credit for your labour being stolen and this can often lead to good employees looking for new careers.

3 Essential Ways to Work (Cope) with Bad Managers

Whatever type of bad boss you have there are certain things that you can do to ensure that you get the recognition and protection you require to not only remain sane but to also build your career.

1. Keep evidence

Whether it is incidents with the bully or examples of projects you have completed with the credit stealer you will always be well served to keep notes and supporting evidence for projects you are working on.

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Buy your own notebook and ensure that you are always making notes, it becomes a habit and a very useful one as you have a constant reminder as well as somewhere to explore ideas.

Importantly, if you do have to go to HR or stand-up for yourself you will have clear records! Also, don’t always trust that corporate servers or emails will always be available or not tampered with. Keep your own content.

2. Hold regular meetings

Ensure that you make time for regular meetings with your boss. This is especially useful for the over-promoted or the invisible boss to allow you to ‘manage upwards’. Take charge where you can to set your objectives and use these meetings to set clear objectives and document the status of your work.

3. Stand your ground, but be ready to jump…

Remember that you don’t have to put up with poor management. If you have issues you should face them with your boss, maybe they do not know that they are coming across in a bad way.

However, be ready to recognise if the situation is not going to change. If that is the case, keep your head down and get working on polishing your CV! If it isn’t working, there will be something better out there for you!

Good luck!

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