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Do You Have a Happy Job? No? Change these Three Things About Your Work

Updated on October 6, 2010

Many people are discontent with their jobs these days. However, with the employment situation being as bad as they are, most people don’t want to leave their jobs even though they might not like them. What should you do if you find yourself in this position? If you don’t want to wake up every day dreading the hours that lie ahead of you then you really need to start thinking about what might cause you to like your job more. If you are aware of the fact that there are three important factors that affect happy job satisfaction then you can begin working on changing those three things so that you are happier with your job. The three things that most directly affect how happy you are with your job are your work values, your attitudes and your mood. These things vary over the course of your career but can be altered starting today to improve your level of job satisfaction.


Work values are the most stable and unchanging of the three main behaviors affecting job satisfaction. That’s because they consist of those qualities in a job which we have determined over time are important to us. If we are able to pay attention to the fact that we are getting some of our work values met in our current job situations then we may become instantly more satisfied with our jobs than we have been to date. Unfortunately, if our work values are being compromised by our jobs then this is going to be the most difficult area of change.

You should know first and foremost that there are both intrinsic and extrinsic values which affect job satisfaction. Intrinsic values are those benefits we receive from a job which are important to our sense of ourselves, such as that we enjoy the work we do, finding it interesting and challenging, and that we feel we are contributing to work which is of social value to us. Extrinsic values are the rewards we receive from a job which are important to us, usually money, benefits and status as well as social networking opportunities.

Take the time to figure out what your work values are. Do you want to make a lot of money? Is it important to you do to work that makes others happy in their lives? Write down both your intrinsic and extrinsic work values. Then make a list of all of the things that your job currently allows in terms of meeting these work values. Hopefully there’s at least one thing. Make sure that you focus on that daily, doing affirmations or whatever you need to do to create this focus, so that you are aware of the fact that your job does meet some of your core values even if the job isn’t perfect. This awareness will lead to an increase in job satisfaction.

Also ask yourself if there are things that you can alter at work to make your job align better with your work values. For example, if what you want in a happy job is having a challenging job but the one that you are doing bores you then come up with ways to make it more challenging. Talk with your boss about taking on new duties or challenge yourself to come up with creative ways of doing your work.

If you can tackle the tough area of aligning your job with your true work values then you’ll really succeed in increasing your level of job satisfaction since this is the toughest of the three areas discussed here to change


Our work values are the things that seem to hold true for us no matter what. Our attitudes are a little bit more transient. Attitudes are the feelings we have about how to behave in the workplace. For example, you may have the attitude that your workplace should be a place where you can socialize. Alternatively, you might believe that your happy job should be something that challenges your intellect. If you believe these things but then end up at a job where you sit alone at a desk doing busy work then your job doesn’t align with your attitude. This causes you to be discontent at your job.

Ask yourself what your general attitude is about work and the way that you should behave there. Be aware of the fact that your attitude can change a lot depending on what type of organization you currently work in. Try to get honest with yourself and really assess what the ideal working situation would be for you. What would work provide you with if you could design your perfect workplace?

Then think about ways to make this happen in your job. For example, if you believe that work should be a place to socialize then start planning lunches with your co-workers. Ask your boss if you can plan some retreats or company parties. See if you can set up a teamwork project that would benefit the company and satiate your desire to be more social in your job.


The thing that is probably easiest thing to change and yet the thing that is most likely to affect our job satisfaction is our moods. This refers specifically to the feelings we have about the job we are doing which we have while we are actually doing it. Moods are affected by individual personalities, experiences on the job and things happening in one’s life unrelated to work. Moods may be positive or negative and may vary throughout the day. They can definitely be affected by the moods of the people that we work with.

You already know about how a bad attitude can make work seem unbearable. It’s time to do something about it. Start working on exuding positive energy at work. Stay away from coworkers who constantly vent their frustrations about the job. Focus on figuring out what you do like at work – even if it’s just the steady paycheck – and then let the rest drop away. By focusing on improving your mood on a daily basis you will eventually feel more happy job satisfaction.


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    8 years ago

    Changing your attitude is probably one of the top things we have control over. We can start each day saying work is going to suck, or we can start each day saying we will find one great thing about our job and focus on it.


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