Last week, a somewhat disheartening Gallup Poll revealed that “only 30% of American workers are engaged, involved in, enthusiastic about, and committed to their workplace.” Translation: Of the vast majority of us working stiffs, about 70% of us are miserable at our jobs.
Even more surprising: The younger and smarter the individual, the unhappier they feel. Millennials and baby boomers, for example, are more likely to be “actively disengaged” than other age groups. Employees with college degrees are also more likely to disengage from the tasks at hand than employees without them. So why are the younger and smarter among us feeling the most miserable? It just doesn’t add up.
These numbers got us thinking: Not only does a lack of engagement have a negative impact on the economy and society as a whole, but it also means that negative energy—which can greatly outweigh the positive—is bringing us all down, whether we personally feel miserable at work or not.
So, what can we do to make our workplace situations a little more bearable? To get some answers, we enlisted professional workplace adviser Alison Green, who’s also a writer and blogger for career site Ask A Manager, to share 3 easy ways to be happy at work.
1. Quit your moanin.’
“Stop complaining about your job! It’s easy to get caught up in complaining about your work, your boss, or your coworkers, but constant complaining does have a way of making unhappiness worse. Resolving to stop complaining can actually make you happier at work. And if your job is really so bad, focus instead on finding a new one.”
2. Know what’s in your control.
“Get clear on what you can change and what you can’t. When you’re frustrated with your boss or your workplace, sometimes just knowing what will and won’t change makes things easier to deal with, and that shift in mindset can leave you pretty content with things that drove you crazy when you were focused on battling them.”
3. Stay in tune with how you’re doing by asking questions.
“Ask for feedback. Too many managers don’t offer up useful feedback, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t ask for it. Ask your boss what you’re doing well and where you could improve. If you secretly wish you could work on a particular project or get promoted to more responsibility, ask what it would take to get there. Then act on the feedback.”
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