5 Guaranteed Ways to be Happy in Your Job

6 min min read
Updated on February 28, 2021
5 Guaranteed Ways to be Happy in Your Job

Some of us want to advance in our careers.  But all of us want to be happy doing what we do. However, the irony is that we are happiest when we are most productive, and when our contribution is appreciated by others. In fact, the one thing that matters most to all of us is to be appreciated for whatever it is we are holding out to the world.  If you pride yourself on being an organized worker, that matters a lot to you. Whatever you care about, you want to be appreciated for. How can you be happy in your job?

To be appreciated, you must bring value; that’s something that you can control.

So, here are my suggestions on how to live, thrive, and survive wherever you work, and to find happiness in your role.

My suggestions are:

  1. Score yourself based on four questions
  2. Work for challenge, not money
  3. Focus on being great at your job, not advancing your career
  4. Learn to manage your own emotions
  5. Specialize in creating solutions, not in analyzing problems

Score yourself based on four questions

Question 1: Would your boss enthusiastically re-hire you if she could do it all over again? If you’re the owner, would you enthusiastically rehire yourself in your position, or would it be better to have someone else in your seat?

Question 2: Do you take away your boss’s stress? Or, if you’re the owner, do you cause stress to the team members around you?

Question 3: If you were to resign, how would your boss feel? How hard would she try to keep you? How would your team members feel if they heard you were leaving and they were going to get a new boss?

Question 4: What if everyone in the business was just like you? Would it be a better or worse place?

Happiness at work means that you would answer a strong “YES!” to questions 1 and 2.

For questions 3 and 4, you want to know that your boss would feel devastated to hear you were leaving and that you bring the average of your team up.

Work for challenge, not for money

Taking a job only because it pays well is usually a mistake. The best reason to take a job is because it will develop skills around your natural area of talent. The same goes for leaving a role. The time to leave is when the challenge is gone, not when you can find someone else to pay you more money.


Ironically, when you work in areas of your natural genius, money will follow your passion; and the more you love what you do, the better you’ll be paid for it.

Happiness at work is mainly about feeling challenged by doing something you’re naturally good at.

Focus on being great at your job, not on advancing your career

Consider this quote by Bill Gates, Microsoft founder: “Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your grandparents had a different word for burger flipping: opportunity.”

If you’re asking yourself how to make more money or how to get a promotion, you’re asking the wrong question. What you should be asking is, “How can I be amazing at what I’m doing right now? How can I focus more on the parts of it that I love?”

Once you are clear on what your unique genius is, work hard to find where that genius can best be used. Then find a role that will shape and develop that natural talent and turn it into a skill so that it can be put it to its best use. You’ll get better and better at the things that you’re already talented at—and what’s more, you’ll love doing it.

Focus on blooming where you’re planted, and opportunities will present themselves naturally to you. People always notice (and want) Star players.

Star players are usually happy in their work.

Learn to manage your own emotions

One of the top reasons that businesses stop growing is because the leader doesn’t want to deal with any more draining people problems.

If you become known as a person whose presence consistently lifts the energy in the room rather than lowers it, you’ll be noticed. If you’re one of those people who needs to “vent” to those around them, plan on staying in your current job for a while, or maybe being demoted or moved laterally, far enough away that your current colleagues don’t have to listen anymore.

Your emotions can be your own worst enemy if you let them manage you. Don’t allow this to happen. Remember, your emotions are a servant of your will, not a victim of your circumstances.

Specialize in creating solutions, not in analyzing problems

Problem analysis is a highly over-rated skill. Most people can already see what the problem is. What they need to know is how to solve it. Even more than that, they need to know who is going to solve it.

Make it a practice to come prepared with two or three possible solutions to any problem that you or the team is facing. And when you see a miserable, unpleasant problem that no one else wants to touch, speak up and volunteer to be the one to fix it. There is always, always, a need for the person who says, “Leave it with me, I’ll get it done.”

You’ll be appreciated for this approach, and you’ll also be much happier in you role.

In summary:

We all want to be happy in our work.  If you follow my advice, you’ll be appreciated by everyone, and you’ll be much happier too!

  1. Score yourself based on four questions
  2. Work for challenge, not money
  3. Focus on being great at your job, not advancing your career
  4. Learn to manage your own emotions
  5. Specialize in creating solutions, not in analyzing problems

Additional resources

Thanks for reading this article on ‘5 guaranteed ways to be happy in your job’  Below are additional resources from Getting People Right, the global provider of online human resources and leadership tools:


Trevor Throness is a speaker, consultant, and author of “The Power of People Skills.”  He is also co-founder and senior instructor at gettingpeopleright.com https://gettingpeopleright.com/

Find more about “The Power of People Skills” here: https://www.amazon.com/Power-People-Skills-Dramatically-Performance/dp/1632651068


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