5 ways your job can actually make you happier

When you report to your doctor (or your partner) that you’re feeling stressed, overwhelmed or anxious, one of the first places to source your angst is your job. Since the average person will spend a whopping 90,000 hours at the office, if this area of your life is pressure-filled or toxic, it can wreak havoc on every aspect of our lifestyle. On the flip side, for those who feel inspired and fulfilled by their profession, a career can actually make your day-to-day happier.

This usually happens when your personal values match the type of output you’re producing, or when the structure of your routine matches with your productivity levels. In other words: creating the ideal harmony will not only result in good vibes but easier upward mobility and track toward the kind of success you’ve only dreamt of. Here, some super-cool ways your gig can make you a better person — and why you should start looking for the right job ASAP.

You have the structure you need

Sure, the concept of ‘funemployment’ seems appealing for a week or so, but if you actually enjoy your day-in and day-out, after a while, you will feel listless. After all, according to career expert for TopResume Amanda Augustine, many people thrive on having a regular routine. When you’re in a job you like, most of the time, you will look forward to getting back to the office, filing away deadlines and firing emails.

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“Even if you’re someone who enjoys a bit of chaos, experts agree that there are many health benefits to following a daily routine, such as reduced stress levels and an increased sense of security,” she continues. “Not only can your work schedule help structure your days, but its routine makes it easier for you to incorporate other healthy habits into your day, such as exercise, meditation, and a regular bedtime — all of which add up to a happier, healthier you.”

You feel appreciated and rewarded

When your gig is part of your long list of reasons you’re thankful for your life, it’s probably because you feel cherished by those around you. No matter if it’s a high-five when you land a great client, or consistent, positive feedback from your manager, these pats on the back — literally or figuratively — do wonders for your self-esteem. As career branding expert Wendi Weiner shares, those who feel valued at work will actually go above and beyond in terms of performance.

“In a work environment where you are consistently shown appreciation, you will also feel happier at work,” she continues. “Rewards can come in various forms: pay increase, merit bonus, a day off, or even positive affirmations. These types of things can help boost employee engagement and employee retention. When employees are rewarded in these ways, they will be encouraged to stay with the company longer, and will give more into the work they do.”

Your job gives you room to grow

One of the biggest sources of fatigue within the professional setting is not having a purpose. Or, being stuck in one role when you know you’re worthy — and deserving — of an increase in salary, title or responsibilities. However, Augustine says when you have a good job with the right boss, you’ll feel challenged (and excited!) to step outside of your comfort zone, try new things and learn new skills.

“You’ll feel happier when you’re encouraged to take risks and given an opportunity to learn more about your interests, passions, talents, and weaknesses,” she shares. “With every achievement make, you become more confident, knowledgeable, and skilled.”

You connect with the culture

Though not everyone needs validation, friendship or support from office culture, many people rate camaraderie fairly high on their list of ‘must-haves.’ If you happen to be this type of social team player, finding the right match in values and habits amongst your colleagues and c-level staff will make a difference in how happy you are. As Weiner explains, some companies will put an emphasis on this part of the business, hosting internal events, retreats, and functions that boost morale.

“This, in turn, creates a bonding environment for the employees to learn more about one another and engage with each other on a more personal level. The ability to feel like a family in the work environment can also increase personal fulfillment as you spend a large amount of time in the office and can truly create a stronger, more cohesive atmosphere,” she notes.

You could meet the love of your life

Sure, you probably shouldn’t accept a job offer because there are a plethora of single people on staff — but it could be the cherry on top. Augustine points to research that found 36 percent of professionals have dated a co-work, and 31 percent of those ended up marrying their date. It makes sense: you have shared interests, you spend tons of time together and well, you probably desire the same future.

Beyond a potential romance, it’s also likely you will develop lifelong friendships when you are at a job you love. Working alongside other professionals as you deal with clients, deadlines, manager and everything in between brings you closer, and can extend beyond the life of the job or office walls.

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