Thursday, 24 January 2019 23:00


you can be happy at work if you make it a priority

The year is already in full swing, with the end of January almost here. After the mad rush of Christmas and the sultry heat of Summer holidays, getting back into work mode can be a challenge even for the most conscientious worker bee.  

As the beginning of the work year gains momentum now is a good opportunity to set some work life goals for the next 12 months as well as reassess if the way you spend your working day is actually aligned with your life and career goals. 

Does what you do fulfil you? If not, what changes can you make to your working life to ensure you are fulfilled. It could be a matter of looking at why you first decided to take a job at your current place of employment. Do those reasons still attract you or is it time to spread your wings and seek a more fulfilling role elsewhere?

A job doesn’t have to be your ‘dream job’ to be fulfilling, but it does have to be enjoyable at least some of the time. If you have at least a couple of colleagues who you enjoy spending time with, a boss who you respect and a sense of purpose within your role, this will often be sufficient to keep you satisfied. Or perhaps you are ambitious and have high expectations of yourself within your working life and want to work toward a senior role or perhaps move into an industry which fuels your interests and makes you more excited.

So many people stick with the same job for most of their lives because they don’t mind the office culture, get on well with most of their colleagues (and hopefully their boss), and resist the unpredictability of change. And if that’s you, that’s ok! But if you aren’t actually happy in your current role, you don’t have to stick it out, even if you have bills to pay and commitments to carry out. You are allowed to look ahead and decide what it is you want for your future, which may well be staying where you are (and perhaps improving your work conditions and tweaking your role into something you do enjoy), or getting well away from your current work situation. If it is the later, day-dreaming about ‘one day’ leaving, or putting up with a miserable work life (while grumbling about it) without putting into place an action plan to move on isn’t going to magic up a new career for you. However you CAN magic up a new career if you clarify what it is you want and then take steps toward making that a reality.

Ask yourself what is it you want out of your working life? What are your values and ideals? What causes do you care about? If you could go back in time, would you still pick the same path you’re currently on? Get clear on what you want to be doing with your life and set yourself some actionable goals to make it happen.

Short to long term solution:  Improve your daily work life while staying at your current job

Medium to long term solution: Find a new role elsewhere

High risk but potential long term solution: Start up your own business  


Your happiness is ultimately up to you! 

At the end of the day, (and actually even more important at the beginning of the day!) YOU get to decide if you are going to enjoy your day or not, not your boss or colleagues. Regardless of what you do for a job, whether its cleaning toilets or managing a team of 50, you bring to your work experience your own perceptions and lense of experience based on your attitude. So while seeking out changes to your current work life will certainly help to improve your job satisfaction, you are responsible for how you respond to what happens during your day. Choose to be positive in the workplace, kind to your colleages, and find things to be grateful for within your working life. It will turn a mundane job into something enjoyable and an enjoyable job into a 'dream job'! 

Alison Gallagher is a freelance writer, resourcefulness expert and entrepreneur. She has been featured in various publications including Stellar Magazine, Australian Health and Fitness Magazine, and Cleo Magazine. Alison is particularly passionate about sharing practical tips on how to live simply, sustainably and seasonally.