Solutions

How to improve your work attitude

If you've been feeling down at work, adjusting your attitude can help you overcome your job blues and boost your performance.
 

First, do this quiz…

Job satisfaction
1. Do you enjoy your job and its responsibilities? YES NO
2. Are you happy with your work environment? YES NO
3. Are you getting the salary you expect? YES NO

Workplace socialisation
4. Are you getting along with your boss and co-workers? YES NO
5. Can you talk to someone at work? YES NO

Other factors
6. Do you enjoy the commute to work? YES NO
7. Are you enjoying a good work-life balance? YES NO
8. Are you treated fairly at your workplace? YES NO

Even if your answers are mostly ‘no’, it doesn’t mean you have to quit your job. These suggestions from Chook Yuh Yng, country manager of Jobstreet.com for Singapore and Malaysia operations, could help you enjoy your job better.

YOUR JOB AND WORK ENVIRONMENT
When you feel that you’re getting complacent, challenge yourself, says Yuh Yng. “Going above and beyond your responsibilities can help you feel invested in your job again. For example, if your deadline for an assignment is 4pm, aim to clear it by 2pm. And don’t hesitate to bring up ideas or solutions to your superior.”

YOUR SALARY
Here's how you can renegotiate your salary. “Research what others in a similar position are drawing – some websites, like Jobstreet.com, list the approximate salaries for each industry as a benchmark. When you speak with your supervisor, arm yourself with a list of your achievements, and be open about coming to a compromise.”

YOUR BOSSES AND COLLEAGUES
“One of the surest ways to improve job satisfaction is to foster friendships at work – these have the potential to become a strong support network. If your workplace relationships are hostile, you may experience burnout sooner than you think,” notes Yuh Yng.

Take steps to get to know your co-workers better, by greeting them every morning, and asking them out for lunch to connect on a personal level. You’ll be surprised BY how easy it will be progress to after-worK outings.

If your colleagues are the reason you’re unhappy at work, look for common ground to bond over. If that fails, talk to your superior about changing departments.

YOUR COMMUTE TO WORK
says Yuh Yng: "If you’re spending too much time getting to and from work, you’ll have less personal time before and after work, and might even need to wake up earlier and leave later than your colleagues.” All this affects your workplace happiness. 

If you do enjoy the commute but dislike the morning jostle, leave home earlier to beat the crowd, suggests Yuh Yng. “Arriving early allows you to build a reputation for being punctual and committed about work, and gives you time to settle in before the first task of the day.”

YOUR WORK-LIFE BALANCE
Here’s how to decide if you’re enjoying a good work-life balance: You should be able to meet the personal plans you’ve made beforehand, and not have to compromise your personal time. Working overtime, or on weekends, should also be rare.

“Put your heart and soul into work during office hours, but respect your time away from it. If you feel burdened by your workload, talk to your superior about it, and propose suggestions to help you cope with your responsibilities,” advises Yuh Yng.

Set aside time at work for daily personal goals – like finishing one chapter of a book during lunch or taking a 10-minute break to plan your next holiday – to help you feel like you’re living every day to the full.

FAIRNESS IN YOUR WORKPLACE
You should never feel like you’re being discriminated against at work, says Yuh Yng. “Credit should always be taken and given fairly; your workplace should also be creating equal opportunities for all employees.”

If you feel you’re not being treated fairly, speak to your superior about your concerns, or seek advice from the human resources department. If that doesn’t work, it may be time to move on, she adds.

This article was originally published in Simply Her January 2015.

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