5 Small Things You Can Do To Make Your Job More Enjoyable & Be Happier At Work

Happiness in your job will lead to more happiness in your life overall.

How To Be Happy At Work For A Better Quality Of Life unsplash / Brooke Cagle

If you want to know how to be happy, it's time to focus on one aspect of your life that you didn't think can bring you happiness: your job.

Do you hate showing up to work in the morning? When you show up to work, do you feel anxious and frustrated? Do you count down the minutes until 5 p.m.? This is no way to live life.

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Chronic unhappiness will infiltrate other areas of your life and ultimately lead to widespread anxiety and depression.

Some jobs stem from enjoyable hobbies but, sometimes, even a job you love can wear you out.

While it may seem impossible right now, there are actionable steps you can take to ensure you’re happier at work on a daily basis.

So, if you want to be happy at work, here are 5 steps to take.

1. Start off on the right foot

According to one study, how you start your day directly impacts your level of happiness and performance for the remainder of the day. While the study looked at customer service reps, the same logic applies to professionals in any industry or occupation.


"Reps who started out happy or calm usually stayed that way all day, and interacting with customers tended to further enhance their mood," explained Nancy Rothbard, one of the study’s leaders. "For the most part, people who were already in a terrible mood didn’t really climb out of it, and felt even worse after interacting with positive customers."

In short, happy people who start their day feeling positive about their work will have a great day.

2. Streamline the mundane

Nothing is more frustrating than spending time completing tasks that you don’t enjoy. And while some tasks are unavoidable, there are certain things that can be streamlined and automated with the help of various tools and services.

Take customer support, for example.


If part of your job involves answering the phone and responding to customer emails, you may be overwhelmed by negativity and the feeling that everyone is always angry at you. As a result, you end up dreading your job. Could you use a customer support solution to automate some of these processes?

It’s not just customer service, though. From marketing and advertising to accounting and HR, thousands of tasks can be streamlined so you can spend more time doing the tasks you enjoy.

3. Smile at people

Have you ever tried to trick yourself into being happy? It can actually work in some instances.

One of the best things you can do is smile at people.

When someone pops into your office, give them a smile and ask them how their day is going. When you’re walking down the hallway, smile at anyone you pass.


This tends to work because people reciprocate smiles. When you give a smile, someone smiles back. As a result, your mood elevates and you automatically feel more positive about your surroundings.

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4. Start with your most difficult task

Nothing can get your mood down quite like having a difficult task or responsibility hanging over your head. So, why not knock it out first thing in the morning?


When you tackle the most difficult task first — and save easy tasks for later on — you put yourself on a positive trajectory. Suddenly, everything gets easier, as opposed to harder.

As a result, you’re more apt to keep pushing through.

5. Develop work friendships

Are you the kind of person who puts your nose down, gets the job done, and then heads home? While this allows for productivity and efficiency, it isn’t always the healthiest approach. You need work-friends.


"Employees report that when they have friends at work, their job is more fun, enjoyable, worthwhile, and satisfying," Christine Riordan told the Harvard Business Review. "Gallup found that close work friendships boost employee satisfaction by 50 [percent] and people with a best friend at work are seven times more likely to engage fully in their work."

So, how can you make it a point to be happier at work? You make finding happiness in your everyday life a priority.

The 5 techniques above should definitely get you pointed in the right direction and before you know it, you're a happy person who enjoys your job and your life. Try at least one or two of them out this week and see what you think.

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Paula Mooney is the author of several books (most written under pseudonyms to protect the guilty). Her essays and articles have been featured in national print magazines such as Writer's Digest, and in major online publications like Yahoo, Examiner, and more.