How to find joy at work | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

How to find joy at work

Immersing our full selves in work that we excel at and enjoy is one of the deepest joys one can experience. This will increase quality of work we produce, make us feel good about ourselves and allow us to contribute more to a bigger goal and vision.

Some people find this in hobbies that they get a chance to do during spare time. Others have created businesses out of these passions. Many of them have professions that are aligned with their calling, where they feel that they are doing exactly what they’re meant to do. Doctors, lawyers, teachers and writers are among those who would resonate with this experience.

There are the lucky ones who feel fully engaged in their full-time jobs that they have made a career out of. And then there are many others who feel stuck in a job that gives them so much stress, they would leave in a heartbeat if they could afford it.

Many of us would partly fit in many of these lists, and maybe even swing from one to another depending on what the days bring.

What many don’t realize is that the joy they find in what they do is highly dependent on them—how they think, the meanings they attach to work, how they see themselves and how they show up in their work environment.

Highest meanings

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi coined the term “flow” to refer to a state where one is so fully engaged in an activity that the world goes away, and time passes by unnoticed. He refers to it as the intersection of one’s skills and the level of challenge one can rise up to. Michael Hall takes this further by saying that associating our highest meanings with any activity could get us “in the zone.”

While it’s best for us to choose a livelihood that is in line with what we are naturally gifted with, we can create passion and joy in anything and everything that we do.

Here are some of the fundamental things to shift to find joy at work:

1. Know who we are at work. What we believe about ourselves will show up in how we express ourselves. Think of how you see yourself at work. Do you want to be there? Do you think you are contributing to the team? Are you being your authentic self? Be a person you want to be, and people would want to work with.

2. Make your tasks meaningful. Think of how even the most mundane tasks for you could impact someone else positively. Maybe it helps make their lives easier, and their jobs faster to accomplish. Mentoring someone means helping someone build a career, which will impact one’s family and future. The more we can connect small things with big meanings, the more valuable it will feel in our bodies.

Positive relationships

3. Care about the vision. What is your company’s vision? How can you be a part of that? If we care about what we do, our minds and body connect better to produce results. Caring puts more energy into anything. It will also be seen in our facial expressions, heard in our voices and felt in our presence. If we’re concerned about the people we work with, they feel it.

4. Increase your skill level. Excelling at something worthwhile sparks excitement and fulfillment within us. Being better at what you do will increase your satisfaction. It will also take less time to do more quality work. It’s efficient and life-giving.

5. Foster positive relationships. One of the elements in employee engagements in companies is being with people you want to be with. Looking forward to having coffee with a colleague could be the one thing that makes you want to go to work on stressful days. Having positive relationships in work settings increases the joy in the workplace. Tough times are also a lot easier to bear in a safe and supportive environment.

6. Have a purpose connected to your work goals. A purpose is an intention for doing something. Have a personal goal that aligns with your role. It could be as simple as adding humor to meetings with serious teammates. Something personal like learning a skill, extending patience or becoming a better leader could be a great motivator. It could also be bigger goals like changing the culture in your company and changing the industry.

When you find yourself in a slump, these different elements may have been depleted and need refueling. If you don’t have them, adding them to the work that you do daily will instantly shift the experience of doing the same things. How we create joy or despair depends on how we manage the thoughts in our minds. Manage them wisely. —CONTRIBUTED INQ

The author is an executive coach and an organizational development consultant. You may reach out to her through [email protected].

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