Career Trends: 5 ways to experience more joy in your job

4 min read

Edition: July 24th, 2021
Curated by the Knowledge Team of ICS Career GPS


Happiness is fuel for career growth. (Image Credits: Getty)

Now is the time to ensure you’re happy in your career. During the last year, chances are your work patterns have been significantly disrupted. This gives you a great opportunity to look with new distance and objectivity at your job, your colleagues and your company. This is a valuable moment to reassess, reset and reinvigorate your career.

It’s the perfect time to make choices that create the conditions for your happiness at work, whether you decide to seek new opportunities with a different organisation or infuse more happiness into your existing work.

Happiness in your career and your job are worthy goals. A large number of studies have shown when you’re happier at work you tend to:

  • Have better physical health
  • Perform better
  • Make better decisions
  • Set bigger goals
  • Seek greater learning
  • Pursue growth and development more enthusiastically

In addition, you tend to be more likeable.

These are all very good things if you want to progress in your career. They will make you super valuable to your employer and bring you joy as well.

Also, remember, no matter what job you’re in, you won’t be happy every single minute. But you can strive for a mostly-positive experience.

Making work more joyful

As you seek to create greater happiness at work, here are some science-backed tips to help you make a difference for yourself and others:

1. Find meaningful work

  • You will be happier in your work if you feel it is meaningful, according to a study.
  • Consider how your job connects to a bigger purpose or how you make a contribution to your community.
  • Also remind yourself about how your talents are unique and the ways you make a difference are special.
  • Appreciate yourself and how your efforts ladder up to something greater than your individual role.

2. Explore

  • You may have been told that your best bet for a career is one aligned with your interests.
  • While being in tune with your interests can be insightful, your interests are only one aspect of satisfaction with your job and less important than we tend to believe. 
  • Find work that is generally a match to your interests, but when opportunities emerge with great colleagues, terrific leaders or especially effective company cultures, welcome them and be open to exploration and expansion.
  • Pursue roles which may be slightly less aligned with your core interests when other conditions are positive.

3. Help others

  • People tend to be happier when they are generous and have strong relationships.
  • There is a scientific correlation between helping others and your own contentment.
  • No matter what kind of work you do, you can apply this knowledge by seeking to help others.
  • Focus on the ways your everyday tasks matter to the people around you.  

4. Try new things

  • Variety is important for our brain health. Seek variety in big and small ways. 
  • When we feel stimulated and inspired, we are more likely to thrive. 
  • Seek work that allows you to explore new areas and solve challenging problems.
  • Join groups where you can interact with people who have diverse experiences and new perspectives.

5. Take control

  • You will also tend to be happier with your career when you have more control, according to a study.
  • Empower yourself to work in ways that work best for you.
  • Organise your day to accomplish different types of tasks at particular times of the day.
  • If you prefer to do more intense, concentrative work in the morning, block out time to do that.

A word on pay

  1. Despite what many believe, wages are not a guaranteed pathway to happiness.
  2. Of course, a certain salary level is critical to your quality of life and health.
  3. It is important that your wages are aligned with the value of your role and your contribution.
  4. Seek fair wages, but also pursue other elements in order to accomplish happiness.

When you’re happier, you’re more likely to find a great job. So embrace your positivity and set a course to find work or influence your work in ways that will make you happy.


(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in the above mentioned article are those of the author(s). They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of ICS Career GPS or its staff.)

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