Even under the best of circumstances, working for a living can suck. They say if you’re doing what you love you will never work a day in your life. And I get that, but let’s be real—even if you’re doing what you love, you still have to do it every day until retirement.
I don’t know about you, but I can think of a lot things I love that aren’t a job. Things we love don’t typically come with an inflexible 9-5 schedule, or cause us to worry about taking a day off when we get sick—just sayin’.
I go to work to pay the bills, because I’m an adult, and that’s a thing adults have to do, but I would much rather spend my days reading, traveling, and truly enjoying every moment of life—not just evenings and weekends. But alas, there are those damn bills, so employment it is.
We all have our own ideas of a dream job. For me, it would be working from home—being able to put my kids on the bus each morning and watch them run down the driveway when they come home each afternoon. As it stands, I commute to work each day, and my babies go to a before- and after-school program. It’s not my dream job, but I have enough job satisfaction to keep returning each day.
Even if you aren’t currently holding down your dream job, there are certain things that make working 9-to-5 a little more tolerable. And let’s face it, if you have to work into your 60s, happiness and job satisfaction are kind of a big deal. If you want to be happy in the workplace make sure your job includes these 5 key factors.
1. Having a boss that values you, and knows your worth.
No one wants to work for someone who doesn’t appreciate them. Feeling appreciated is so important when it comes to job satisfaction. A simple “thank you” or “great work” can go a long way for morale. Feeling under-appreciated or undervalued by your boss can kill productivity and creativity.
2. Having awesome co-workers.
I know it’s not always possible to like everyone you work with, but clicking with your teammates can make even the toughest jobs enjoyable. Most of us spend 40 hours a week at work, sometimes more. Co-workers can make or break a good gig. Colleagues who get along with one another, and work well together create a relaxed environment where it’s easier to work and be successful.
3. Feeling accomplished.
It’s important to feel like you’re making a difference. I mean, what’s the point of going to work every day if you’re just spinning your tires? Feeling accomplished is the number one driver of happiness in the work place. Seeing the results of your hard work and dedication makes your job feel more rewarding.
4. Having a little autonomy.
No one likes to be micromanaged. Having even a small amount of autonomy in the workplace gives us the feeling that we have a say-so in what we are doing—that we are an important and respected part of the team. Given a little space and freedom to do your work without having someone constantly checking on you makes people feel trusted and valued, which leads to higher job satisfaction.
5. Doing something that makes you proud.
Being a part of something we are proud of matters. Whether it’s an individual project or simply taking pride in the company you work for, it can make a world of difference for your happiness and job satisfaction.
So, did you check all the boxes? If you didn’t, don’t worry. It’s hard to find that perfect job—even the best jobs have their downfalls. And sometimes our circumstances don’t allow us many options when it comes to employment—that’s how life works. But, if and when it’s possible to obtain the items on this list, go after them. You won’t be sorry you did.