Consider strategies to improve job satisfaction

Regardless of why you work, there are strategies that can help breathe new life into your job. For example:

  • Create new challenges. Take on a project that can motivate you and give you a sense of control. Start small, such as organizing a work-related celebration, before moving on to larger goals. Working on something you care about can boost your confidence and job satisfaction.
  • Mentor a colleague. Once you've mastered a job, you may find it too routine. Helping a new team member or an intern advance his or her skills can restore the challenge and the job satisfaction you desire.
  • Expand your skills. If you're feeling bored, ask your supervisor about cross-training. Perhaps you could train for new or additional tasks. If your company is launching a new project, volunteer for the team.
  • Learn from your mistakes. Don't let setbacks erode your job satisfaction. When you make a mistake at work, learn from it and try again. If you receive a less than stellar appraisal, ask about attending seminars or taking classes to improve your performance.
  • Stay positive. Use positive thinking to reframe your thoughts about your job. When you catch yourself thinking your job is terrible, stop the thought in its tracks. Remember, everyone encounters good days and bad days on the job.
  • Be grateful. Gratitude can help you focus on what's positive about your job. Ask yourself, "What am I grateful for at work today?" If it's only that you're having lunch with a friendly colleague, that's OK. Find at least one thing you're grateful for and savor it.
  • Nurture your passion. If your job satisfaction has waned, but seeking a new job isn't a realistic option, you might consider your current job as a welcome paycheck that allows you to focus your energy on interests outside of work. Sometimes work is simply a means to enjoy those things you're truly passionate about.

More job satisfaction can mean less stress

Whether your work is a job, a career or a calling, you can take steps to restore meaning to your job. Make the best of difficult work situations by maintaining a positive attitude. Be creative as you think of ways to change your circumstances — or how you view your circumstances. Doing so can help you manage your stress and experience the rewards of your profession.

Dec. 08, 2012 See more In-depth