It’s what you’ve known or hoped deep down all along. According to psychologist Gavin Sharp, being outwardly happy at work can be the difference to success in your career. We’re talking about more than pasting a plastic smile (or grimace) on your dial, what’s required is a genuinely positive demeanour, a ‘silver-lining’ kind of approach to the day and life in general. He reckons it’s all about how you “manage and interpret what’s going on around you. It’s about being positive and friendly to others, helping colleagues and doing the best you can”.
To get the good karma flowing you can read his ten ideas below (originally published in SMH) to get you started and for what it’s worth we’ve added an eleventh.
1. Organise a daily coffee run.
The short walk to the cafe may be just the way to build better relationships with your workmates. Take the chance to get a breath of fresh air, a chat and a hit of caffeine to start the working day.
2. Secretly smile to yourself as often as you can.
Smiling is said to relieve stress, so do it whenever you can. But try to keep your smiles genuine or risk looking a little unhinged.
3. Let the music play.
“I use music to help energise or relax myself,” says Ore. “I select music to energise me for the trip to work and to relax on the way home, it makes me very happy.”
4. Change it up.
If you aren’t happy at work, something needs to change. It might be your working hours, where you work from, who you work with or simply the job itself. Be brave enough to make the changes needed to be a happier individual, says Rennie. “Love it or change it, this is my internal mantra,” he says.
5. Spring clean.
It may be a tough ask for office slobs, but a thorough desk tidy will keep unhappiness at bay by helping you feel more organised and in control of your workload.
6. Say thank you.
Is there someone at work who really deserves praise? Buy them a gift or a card to acknowledge your appreciation of their help, Sharp advises. You’ll find workmates are more likely to work co-operatively if they know their efforts are valued.
7. Learn something new.
Don’t let your skills become out-dated and irrelevant. It’s a sure-fire way to feel left behind and unhappy. Learn the favourite hobby of the person sitting next to you or something more complex such as enrolling in that course you’ve always dreamed about.
8. Have lunch or coffee with someone at work you don’t know well.
No one’s saying you have to be besties, but a short chat with a colleague while you sip your latte could have personal and professional benefits.
9. Do a quiz with your workmates at lunch.
A time-honoured lunchtime tradition at many an Australian workplace. You’ll get to know your workmates a little better, improve your general knowledge and take a short break from work. What’s not to like?
10. Write a profile on yourself.
You never know when the company or a client may need a short bio about your expertise and experience. It’s an easy way to feel good about yourself.
11. The world is your mollusc.
Never has this been more true, your future is in your hands. Treat every day, every task, every brief as an opportunity to learn, grow and be better at what you do, and not being afraid to share your successes (not in a shouty, chest beating way, but there’s no point being a shrinking violet either). It really is up to you to create your own destiny, and be happy too.