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7 Steps to Greater Professional Happiness

Wow, 8,312 of you have read this.
It’s a sad truth that many people aren’t happy in their job or career, so they endure rather than enjoy what they do for a living.

This was starkly revealed in a Gallup poll at the end of last year, which found that there are twice as many employees who are ‘actively disengaged’ than those who love their job. In fact, nearly a quarter of all people worldwide pretty much strongly dislike what they do for a living. At the same, another survey of British workers by Investors in People, the UK’s people management accreditation body, showed that almost 50% of them were considering moving jobs in the next year, fed up with what they currently do for a living.

But, when you spend so many of your waking hours at work, does it have to be like this?

If you’re unhappy at work, it’s a question you need to ask yourself, but sadly few of us do. It is easier to stick with a way of life that may be financially rewarding, but in many cases is far from fulfilling.

Take advantage of the freedom you have to choose, and start generating some professional happiness for yourself.

So do you have to ‘keep on keeping on?’ Or can you ‘choose’ the degree of happiness you experience in your professional life?

I believe you can, and here’s my seven point plan for doing just that.

1. See happiness as a choice.

Believing you can choose to be happier is the essential first step to making the changes needed to make that happen. The alternative is to stick with your current perception that you’re at the mercy of others when the reality is that you are the one who is in charge of how you run your life.

2. Review the past to create a new present.

Recognise that where you are today is mostly the result of historic decisions you made many years ago, which don’t necessarily reflect the person you are today, and what you want out of life now. You can start to take greater control of your life by taking a fresh look at the decisions you once made and the circumstances that led you to make them. Are they still valid and relevant? What needs to still be part of your life? And what needs to go?

3. Make happiness a journey.

Reprioritise your life and do more of what makes you happy. There’s a saying, ‘Don’t sweat the small stuff’. Start by doing simple things that increase your happiness levels. Take a walk or look at a sunset. These are free happiness ‘resources’ that can immediately give you a boost and show you that being happy isn’t dependent on others or ‘big’ things.

4. De-clutter your life.

Identify small daily irritants that habitually make you unhappy, then start removing them from your personal or professional life. And yes, this does include relationships which you feel are more ‘draining’ than energising. Simply cutting down stress adds to your general wellbeing and increaseshappiness levels.

5. Open your mind to new opportunities.

Become more imaginative about what you could do instead of what you are doing. To break free from unhappiness, you’re going to have to start thinking differently. It could mean looking for a new job elsewhere, making a career change entirely, starting work for yourself as a freelance, or setting up a business. Each can give you back more control of your life and therefore greater happiness. It’s good to explore options outside the box!

6. Make friends with change.

Accept that if you want to be happier, you will have to make changes at some point in your professional life. They don’t have to be irrevocable life-changing decisions right now, unless you want or feel you have to, however it is a smart move to start the planning process. The good news is that it’s a really good time to look for a new direction. Not only is the economy on the up, but new technologies mean that if you want to work for yourself you can set up almost anywhere at low cost and sell to markets worldwide, doing something you actually enjoy.

7. Get ROI in yourself.

Get support from others who will help you make the necessary changes. And don’t rely just on family and friends. Find an experienced, specialist coach or some other mentor who can point you in the right direction and give you the confidence to take the first steps.

…nearly a quarter of all people worldwide pretty much strongly dislike what they do for a living.

Take advantage of the freedom you have to choose, and start generating some professional happiness for yourself.

Author Bio

Maite Barón is the multi-award winning author of Corporate Escape: the Rise of the New Entrepreneur. Passionate about courageous leadership, wellbeing and lifestyle, she is also co-founder of The Corporate Escape, which specialises in helping professionals escape the rat race, rekindle their passion for life and reinvent themselves. She’s an international speaker, co-author of ‘A World Book of Values’ and ‘Successful Women in Business’ (UK Edition), and a regular contributor to the influential Huffington Post, Global Banking and Finance Review (GBFR) and Entrepreneur.

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