Ways to make your job more enjoyable: Asking for flexibility and forming friendships

Ways to make your job more enjoyable: Asking for flexibility and forming friendships

New year, same job?

It can feel a little difficult to get inspired about new beginnings and goal setting when you don’t enjoy your job.

While some people love their jobs, many of us begrudgingly try to make just enough money to survive.

But there are a few things you can try to make life at work a little better.

Ask for flexibility

Could more flexibility at work be the key to feeling happier about your job?

During the pandemic, flexible working arrangements have become more common.

But if your boss has yet to get on board with your requests such as starting work a little later, or perhaps working fewer days, we have some tips.

First, you need to come to them with a clear proposition – and be prepared for what they might push back.

Here’s how communications advisor Damien Stannard successfully negotiated with his employer to work full-time over four days rather than five. And Hannah Furst on how she was able to negotiate reduced hours.

Handle a return to the office (or ask to stay home)

If you’re struggling to return to the office, you’re not alone.

You may be worried about being around people again, leaving anxious pets behind, or have a general lingering fear of COVID-19 – just to name a few.

It can be helpful to simply acknowledge that returning to work and the commute will bring a series of new demands on your time and energy, as well as noticing the positive aspects.

Of course, continuing to work from home may be a better fit.

Much of the evidence shows that people who work from home are more productive and have job satisfaction

We have some tips on how to ask for such an arrangement, as well as what your legal rights are. (Beg: An employer must process any request, and as with the Fair Work Act, can only refuse on reasonable business grounds).

If all else fails, this comic about going back to the office might at least give you a giggle.

Build relationships

The people you work with have the potential to make or break your job.

Forming friendships can be a great way to make the workday more bearable. Just ask Celia Pacquola and Luke McGregor, who have been working together for almost a decade.

They have lots of tips for making it work, including being honest when things bother you.

But before you get too deep, like adding coworkers on social media, there are a few things you might want to consider first, like limiting how much your teammates can see.

If you suspect you are being bullied, knowing what is and is not classed as bullying can help you know what to do. This can even happen when you work remotely, for example being excluded from video meetings.

Take a break or find something new

Sometimes you just have to GTFO.

We recently spoke to 27-year-old Shupiwe Chongwe about her career break from nursing, as she dives into the art of Zambian ceramics.

For some, committing to a time frame like one year can help you figure out what you might need to make it work. Get inspired by these three Aussies, who talked to us about their “adult gap year”.

If it’s not possible to take time out of the daily grind, it might be to change careers.

It can feel overwhelming at first, but it doesn’t always have to be a huge leap.

If you need some inspiration, Alison switched careers from travel agent to something more creative, while looking after four young children. Samuel Jeyaseelan switched from dentistry to building design. And Lou Dingle left a career in aviation to become a nurse.

Ultimately, if you’re stuck in a job you hate, finding somewhere else might be your best bet.

It could be taking up a hobby like art classes or doing a course – whatever it is that allows you to express yourself.

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