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"Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions." —Dalai Lama

Studies have shown that people who derive meaning from their profession or feel commitment towards their organization's mission are people who are much more resilient and satisfied in their economic environment. Average career professionals will work approximately 90,000 hours in their lifetime, so finding happiness and satisfaction is critical.


The good news is that life doesn't have to be perfect for you to find happiness at work. Below are seven ways women can achieve happiness and satisfaction:

1. Discover The Five Cs

Woman smiles while working from home

You must maintain high levels of confidence, commitment, conviction, contribution, and choose a cultural fit.

With the five Cs, you will have a feeling of recognition, pride, and trust in your company.

2. Find Purpose In Your Work

Woman finds purpose in her career

Too frequently, we get caught up in the day-to-day grind of our jobs and forget to look at the big picture—the "why" or the reason that motivates us to work.

Tapping back into the true purpose of your job will make your daily tasks and accomplishments more meaningful. Discover ways that your work can improve the lives of other people.

3. Challenge Yourself

Professional woman at work

Challenging yourself is one way to intensify your "joy" factor. Why not offer to step in where you normally wouldn't be accountable? Why not ask your boss if you can shadow a colleague in another department to learn how various aspects of the company work?

This will create variety in your work (making it inherently more interesting) and you will score points for being a proactive employee who's ready to take on new challenges. It might even land you a promotion and/or raise.

4. Look Beyond The Corporate Ladder

Older woman happy in her career

Studies indicate that eight out of the 10 jobs that make people happiest in America are not on the corporate ladder. Instead, they were positions with perks like flexible hours or positions that offered high levels of independence.

These facts suggest that choosing work that aligns with your values—even if those values take you further off the beaten path—is a good foundation for career satisfaction.

5. Work Toward Your Goals

Happy woman works towards her career goals

San Francisco State University's Ryan Howell co-authored a study last year and found that working hard to improve a skill or ability may induce greater stress in the moment but also guarantees greater happiness on a daily basis and in the long-term. "No pain, no gain," he says.

If tasks aren't enjoyable in the moment, the sense of accomplishment when the task is over changes that perspective. Howell found that reaching the goal isn't even necessary to increase happiness—the process of trying and stretching yourself is enough.

Learning new skills may make you happier, but it also makes you more valuable to your current and future employers.

6. Develop A Social Circle

Group of happy women at work

Having a strong social (professional) network is key. It's easy to hate your job when you don't know your co-workers and it is even easier if you continue to avoid them. If you hate your co-workers, the situation isn't going to change.

Don't let another day go by without learning about your co-workers. Reach out to them and be curious about their lives. Two people can't become friends without one of them starting the conversation.

7. Look For Opportunities For Growth

Young woman happy while working from home

If you feel like you're always on the defensive in your job, then take a deep breath and look for an opportunity instead. Take joy in the fact that there is always a new project to start in the workplace. It doesn't matter what you do or where you work, there is always something new that could be done.

Instead of punching the clock and settling into the same routine, take some time to search for new opportunities. Constantly defending yourself is draining for everyone involved. You'll find it much easier—and much more pleasant—to look for opportunities to grow instead of making excuses.

Most of us are happy when people say good things about us. When you do good things for other people, you create happiness for them and set the stage to receive it in return. For example, compliments are so simple to give that we often forget about them, but they are so powerful that we should always find ways to recognize others. Try spending a day giving compliments instead of criticizing.

Download Work It Daily\u2019s free job search checklist

Gaining respect and happiness in the workplace is easy to accomplish when goodwill is abundant. Finding happiness is as much about the decisions and actions you take as it is about having good things happen to you. Try some of the above strategies and put yourself in a better position to achieve happiness.

Remember, if you are not enjoying your life...change it! Doing the same thing today will create the same results tomorrow.


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This post was originally published at an earlier date.

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