How To Be Happy At Work

Are you unhappy at your work? Do you feel dissatisfied with your work? Do you feel demotivated? Do you feel like your office hours are too long? Are you ready by 4 p.m. and can’t wait to get out of doors? Do you hate your boss? Do you not like your co-workers? Do you feel like your career is not going anywhere? Do you feel like your professional growth has stopped?

Well, there is good news. You're not alone. As a matter of fact, you are like most of us out there. Only 19% of employees are satisfied with their jobs and 70% of U.S. workers hate their job.

“Only 19% of employees are satisfied with their jobs”

The answer to your problem may be very simple. As simple as closing your eyes.

The Real Reason

So, you’re not happy at work. Do you even know the reason behind your unhappiness? It may not be the one you think. You may think you hate your boss but your boss may have nothing to do with it. You may think, the office clock is slow, but the clock is just fine. You may think, you’re underpaid, but salary may not be the real reason.

So, what is the real reason for your boredom?

The real reason for your unhappiness at work may not be the one you think. There is an article published on Yahoo Finance, Real Reason You're Unhappy at Work, that explains that, depending on what you say, you can learn what the actual reason is and how you can solve that problem. Here is a list of a few reasons.

I'm Bored at Work

The Real Reason: You’re bored at work because your efforts have been unrecognized.

The Symptoms: You feel unmotivated. You seek out diversions to real work, such as updating social media or shopping a flash sale.

The Solution: Seek out feedback.

The Hours are Too Long

The Real Reason: You're overloaded with responsibilities but are afraid to push back and say, "No, I can't take on more."

The Symptoms: You're the first in and/or the last to leave, and even when you're not at work you have a Pavlovian response to the "ding" from your smartphone.

The Solution: Talk to your boss about suggestions on ways to better organize and prioritize your workload.

I Hate My Co-workers

The Real Reason: The problem might not be the people but rather the culture of the organization.

The Symptoms: You feel ganged up on or left out, or you find yourself arguing -- a lot.

The Solution: If the culture isn’t the right match for you, you should consider moving on.

I’m Underpaid

The Real Reason: You feel stifled and unfulfilled.

The Symptoms: Simple–you look at your paycheck and grumble.

The Solution: Find out what opportunities exist for you not only to get promoted to a higher-paying job, but to contribute more to growing the company.

Look Into My Soul

Image Source: Ghost Rider, the movie

Let’s dig little deeper into your soul and see what exactly is the reason behind your unhappiness at work. You will be surprised.

Most likely, you're just bored with your job!

You’re bored simply because you’ve been doing the same job for a long time. There is no excitement in your job. Your job is not fun anymore. And just because you’re bored, you naturally but unintentionally look for excuses to think, you hate your job, your company, or your boss.

I’ve been a programmer (or developer or whatever you call a coder) for 19 years now. I like to read people. I like to read developers. I manage people. I advise and mentor startups. I’ve watched C# Corner community grow from 0 to 3 million members. I’ve communicated with thousands and thousands of people over the time in my career. I’ve observed young students grow into professionals and run their own companies. During my involvement in the community, I learned a lot about people.

I’m a true believer of Maslow’s needs theory.

Maslow’s needs theory:

Maslow's hierarchy of needs is a theory in psychology proposed by Abraham Maslow in 1943 and was fully expressed in his 1954 book Motivation and Personality. In this theory, Maslow breakdown human needs into a pyramid-shaped form. According to the theory, every human has basic needs: physiological, safety, and love. The Esteem and the Self-actualization are two top (but bottom) needs in Maslow’s theory.

Image Source: Wikipedia

As Maslow proposed, I believe esteem and the self-actualization are needed for humans to be happy and content at work.

While having a good paying established job may give you a sense of security and financial stability, you may be missing the bottom two needs. You may be lacking the confidence, achievements or creativity, spontaneity, and problem solving parts.

“You may be lacking Confidence, Achievements, and Creativity”

I personally think the main reason behind the success of Social Media (Facebook and Twitter for example) is that people are bored. People are bored with their lives. People are bored with their work. People are bored in relationships. They are looking for something fun. They are looking for some excitement in their lives.

Let me ask you this. Do you go on Facebook or Twitter when you are watching your favorite Cricket match? Or a movie? Or a TV serial? How about when you are on a date? Unless your date is boring, I can certainly say, you don't even think about Facebook or Twitter.

The Verdict

We talked about the problem. We discussed some possible real reasons behind it. We analyzed and debated the real reasons.

You need to see where you are in your career. If you’re just starting your career and do not have enough money to pay your bills, your obvious need is getting a better paying job. That will make you happy.

If you’re not healthy anyway, your goal is to seek help from a health expert, exercise more, and eat healthy. If you’re not financially secure and don’t own property, you may want to focus on that.

If you’ve a good job, good health, and financially secure but don’t have a partner (a girlfriend, wife and so on), you need to find a partner. A true partner who you can share your intimacy with. If you don’t have close friends, you need to focus on that. Without close friends and a partner, you will be miserable.

Once your basis needs are fulfilled, then comes a need of higher achievements as discussed in the esteem and the self-actualization parts of the pyramid.

You’re not happy at work, you may simply be bored. All you need to do is, do something different.

Change your job. Change your routine. Change your habits.

These are some things I try personally.

One solution is diversification. I know this is not possible for all of us but a project can be learning something new. A project can be teaching somebody something or code review or testing other applications.

If I am bored, then I also try to take advantage of my creativity. I will go on a whiteboard and start drawing the workflow or logic.

Meetings are another way to change the mindset. If you have a group, then you can have a group meeting when people feel bored. In a group discussion, it can be work and casual. It can be new ideas you're trying to build.

You can also learn something new, prepare a paper on that and speak in front of a group. This is one of the best ways to learn something new, improve your speaking and boost your confidence.

Note: This article may apply to others but it is written in context of software developers and my personal experience in the software development field.

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