Monday, August 15, 2022

Take Control of Your Career

It sounds simple, but one of the best ways to take control of your happiness at work is to take control of your career. Seek out opportunities to improve your performance, take on new responsibilities, or otherwise engage in work that is rewarding and fulfilling. Investing time and energy into your career growth and development can result in greater workplace happiness. 

Take Control of Your Professional Development

Set goals for yourself:new skills to master, new roles to try, or new positions to work toward.  Seek out opportunities for new training or education, and enlist your manager’s support. Create a professional development plan for the next year or even five years, and actively seek ways to implement it. 

Seek Frequent Feedback

Seeking frequent feedback is another way to take control of your career happiness. Being aware of what we are doing well and what we can improve helps us as we set professional goals. Draw on your support team to seek out feedback regularly. Rather than relying on yearly or quarterly reviews or waiting for a supervisor or colleague to come to you with feedback, ask for feedback on the completion of projects, after presentations, or when collaborating with others. Make an agreement with members of your support team that you will regularly ask for their feedback and that you will listen carefully to what they have to say. When you receive feedback, listen respectfully rather than preparing to respond. Then decide how best to act on feedback, both developmental and positive.

Practice Professional Courage

Professional courage involves directly and productively addressing conflicts, advocating for yourself and others on your team, and dealing directly and proactively with potential problems. Professional courage helps to promote open communication in the workplace. It also assures that resentments and grudges do not fester. Learning to practice professional courage is a leadership skill which can help prepare you for more responsibility. It helps you stand out as a leader who wants to promote successful workplace.

Seek Mentoring, and Seek to Mentor Others

Mentoring is a key aspect of professional development. When taking charge of your own professional development, seek mentoring. You might choose one mentor or several, depending on your development needs and your goals. Spending time with a mentor and getting their feedback can increase your professional growth and demonstrates that you take your professional development seriously. Having a mentor to help guide your professional development also helps create a positive, beneficial relationship. Seeking out opportunities to mentor others is also a way to take charge of your professional development, build leadership skills, and share your knowledge and development. Mentors and mentees can be valuable parts of a support team and can create personal connections in the workplace.

Until next time ...

 




Sheryl Tuchman, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

Sunday, August 7, 2022

Make the Most of your Time at Work

Build Friendships

Building friendships at work also helps keep you focused on the positive. Having strong friendships at work gives you a built-in support network. Seek out colleagues and coworkers who share your interests, who make you smile or laugh, or who appear to share your goals and values.

Gym or Health Club Memberships 

Studies show that exercise is one way to increase serotonin, the feel-good hormone. Many workplaces include gym or health club memberships or discounts. Gyms and health clubs may also offer yoga, massage, saunas, and other services which promote overall physical, mental, and emotional health. If you have access to such benefits, use them. You will benefit from the greater physical and mental health that results from exercise, and knowing that you can schedule a treat such as a massage or pedicure for yourself can also give you something to look forward to after a long week at work.  

Use Your Vacation and Paid Time Off

Many people feel guilty about taking vacation or paid time off.  They may take it all in one chunk for a big vacation or cash it out when they leave a job. Studies show that people who take time off throughout the year are happier at work because they look forward to the breaks which provide time to reset, refresh, and relax. Be sure to take your paid time before any expiration date.

Employee Assistance Programs

Many workplaces have Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs). These programs offer referrals to counseling services for employees in crisis as well as information on other mental and psychological health services. Your EAP may also offer legal advice, information about resources such as gyms and health clubs, and other key resources that foster employee well-being. Many people only draw on their EAP when they are in crisis, but the EAP can be leveraged even in the best of times.

Explore Other Benefits

Employee benefits extend beyond health insurance and the EAP. Many workplaces offer membership to a credit union, direct deposit, automatic savings deposits from your paycheck, discount memberships at wholesale clubs, and more. Your workplace may also have access to travel discounts and other services which you can use to make your life easier. Using your benefits to save money, time, and stress can contribute to greater overall happiness at work. In addition, knowing that your workplace values its employees and seeks to better their lives can make you feel more positive about the organization.

Until next time ...

 




Sheryl Tuchman, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

Friday, July 29, 2022

Don't Be Negative and Set Boundaries

Limit Your Negative Interactions

Limit your negative interactions when possible and avoid office gossip. It’s understandable to want to vent frustrations, but, if possible, you should find a way to turn this into a positive interaction. If there are people in your workplace who are consistently negative and with whom you have to interact, keep your interactions with them professional and pleasant but brief.

Set Boundaries

A lack of boundaries can be a major contributor to unhappiness in the workplace. When we do not set boundaries, we may find that our time is not our own, our plan for our day gets derailed, or we spend too much time dealing with other people’s problems. We may also take on too much, which can lead to resentments and conflicts. Learning to set good boundaries around your work and your time is a key skill to fostering happiness in the workplace. Strong boundaries can also help alleviate conflicts and other problems which can undermine everyone’s happiness!

Until next time ...

 




Sheryl Tuchman, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

Monday, July 18, 2022

Be Positive!

Accentuate the Positive

It’s hard to feel happy at work when we focus on the negative. Making the small shift to accentuating the positive can go a long way toward greater happiness at work.  Positive thinking is a choice.

Use a Daily Affirmation

One way to start your day off on a positive note and to focus on positivity throughout the day is to use a daily affirmation. Affirmations are simple, positive statements that you repeat either mentally or out loud. A simple affirmation is, “Today is going to be a great day.” You can write your own or use affirmations written by others. You might use the same affirmation each day or choose a new one every morning, week, or month. Some people find it helpful to print out or write their affirmation and keep it somewhere visible. There are beautiful pieces of art with affirmations available.


One way to stay positive is to surround yourself with positive people. While you may have to interact with people who are less than positive in order to accomplish tasks at work, you can choose to surround yourself with positive people whenever possible. This doesn’t mean choosing people who will never tell you hard truths or who never have a bad day, but it does mean choosing people who attempt to find the positive in even difficult situations, who act with compassion, and who seek to lift others up rather than bring them down.

Until next time ...

 




Sheryl Tuchman, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

Monday, July 11, 2022

Make Your Workspace Happier!

Clear the Clutter

One of the easiest things you can do to create a happier workspace is clear the clutter -- any unnecessary or distracting items in your space. Your space doesn’t have to be bare; things just have to have a place, and unnecessary items should be removed. An item is clutter if it distracts you or you have to constantly move it to get to things you do need. Every person has a different level of preference for clear spaces. Keep inspirational items and items that make you smile as well as those things you use every day. Then find ways to organize what you have left.

Bring in Personal Touches

When you’ve removed the clutter from your workspace, bring in some personal touches. Bring in only things that make you smile or otherwise evoke pleasant feelings. This might include pictures of your family, a favorite coffee mug, awards that you have received, or a piece of art that you enjoy. If your workplace allows, you might even be able to bring in some color with paint or wallpaper, for example – but be sure to obtain permission first.  You could also bring in personal touches that are functional – a type of pen that you prefer, or notepads in a soft pastel shade work just as well as less personal options. Given the amount of time you spend in your workspace, taking the time to make it reflect you and your personality is an investment in your overall happiness. A personalized workspace also helps your colleagues connect with you.

Add Some Green

Studies show that green is a color that promotes happiness. One of the easiest things you can do to promote happiness in your workspace is to bring in some green. Green plants literally bring life to a space; in Feng Shui, they are thought to bring positive energy. If your workplace allows and you have enough light or can bring in a grow light, bring in a potted plant or two. Having a live plant in your workspace gives you something to care for as well, and plants create oxygen, which contributes to your overall health. If you can’t bring in a live plant, even silk plants add a touch of life and green to your workspace.

Until next time ...
 




Sheryl Tuchman, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Your Happy Place

Go to Your Happy (Work) Space

No matter what steps we take towards happiness, if our workspace is uninspiring or depressing, it can bring us down. There are many simple steps you can take to create a workspace that promotes happiness. While you must keep in mind your organization's rules about workspaces as well as take into account any colleagues with whom you share space, you can personalize your space and make it part of your happiness plan.

Does your workspace make you happy? What steps could you take to improve it? Think about what changes you could make to create a happy space for yourself.

Build Your Support Team

Having a support team at work is key to success and happiness. A good support team is made up of people you can turn to for advice, help, feedback, or just a kind word. As you build relationships with your coworkers, consider who you want on your “support” team (and to whom you can offer support). You might include your manager or supervisor, people with whom you often collaborate or cooperate, and/or colleagues who you have built more personal relationships with. Check in with your team often.

Until next time ...
 




Sheryl Tuchman, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

Monday, June 20, 2022

Relate to Others and Smile!

Even if we work well independently, it is important to take time to relate to others in the workplace. Building work relationships helps us feel less isolated and creates a support network. Relationships also help us feel part of a team or workplace community which can promote happiness. When we have strong relationships with our coworkers, we may even look forward to going to work. Instead of being a place where we are disconnected, work can become another place where we connect with others.

Remember to smile. Even when you don’t feel like smiling, the act of using your muscles to smile releases happy chemicals into your brain. And as the saying goes, when you smile the whole world smiles with you. You’ll see smiles in return, which can improve your mood. You don’t have to always be jolly when you’re at work, but remembering to smile when you interact with others or even just for yourself can improve your mood. Smiling also makes you seem more approachable which means you may be able to more effectively connect with others.  It might help to have a mental list of things that make you smile so you can think of these throughout the day.

Until next time ...
 




Sheryl Tuchman, SPHR, SHRM-SCP