How to take responsibility for your own happiness at work


There are a multitude of circumstances which can make us feel unhappy at work. From a lack of autonomy or feeling undervalued through to boredom, lack of balance or simply feeling like a round peg in a square hole! Some may feel too big and difficult to change. However, I recommend the first, simple step you take is to recognise the power you have within yourself to change your situation and, then, start small. In this article I share some simple ideas for you to start taking responsibility for your own happiness at work.

In 2010 I took responsibility for my own happiness at work. It was a big step leaving the financial security of the corporate world to establish my own business, but I made the leap with confidence and safe in the knowledge that remaining in my job would give me neither career nor personal happiness and fulfilment.

You too can find happiness at work. There’s no single, simple way to find happiness at work; there are a number of approaches that may work for you but only you can shift the happy/sad balance in your career. Taking responsibility for your own happiness at work is the first step. From here you can try a number of tools, techniques and approaches, that I have experienced either work for me or for the many people I have career coached.

6 ways to take responsibility for your own happiness at work

Here are a few ideas for taking responsibility for your own happiness at work:

1. Realise that you have a choice and that you have the power to change your current situation

2. Ask yourself: if you had a magic wand, what one thing would you change at work which would make the biggest difference for you?

3. Start to value yourself and your own contribution more rather than waiting for others to value you first

4. Take more breaks – even just 5 minutes away from your desk or taking some deep breaths and relaxing your body when you can feel any tension creep in

5. Use your imagination to visualise what you do want rather than focusing on what you don’t want or what’s not working for you

6. Ask for what you want – be that a new role, a promotion or a pay rise.  Be brave.  Don’t be held back by fear.  Most employers like to see this initiative and confidence. 

Start with one small, simple step – you don’t have to embark on a full-scale career change overnight! Recognise that your unhappiness can be your catalyst for transformation.

If, after taking these steps, you still seek happiness and fulfilment through your work, consider using a Career Coach to help. 

Accessing Career Change Coaching support

I appreciate that not everyone wants or has the means with which to pay for one-to-one coaching. My dream has always been to make coaching more accessible and so I have created something which is as close as I can get to the experience of having a Career Coach.

Launched during International Week of Happiness at Work (21 – 27 September 2020), The Conscious Career Change is a 12-week online career coaching course designed to move you through your career crossroads and kick-start your transformation to finding true happiness and fulfilment from your work. It delivers both a practical and holistic approach because work and life are so intrinsically linked. The combination of video, text and workbook content gives you the experience of having your own Coach but in a way which is more accessible and convenient for you.



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