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Strategies to Make Your Job More Rewarding

Bored with your job? Thinking about quitting or looking for a new job? What if you could make your current job more rewarding? Check out these strategies.

Change your work habits

There are three steps to making a change:

  1. Recognize the need to change
  2. Make a commitment to change
  3. Take action

By recognizing how your current behaviour is affecting your employment and wanting to do something about it, you’ve already completed the first stage of change.

Some work habits are yours. Some are required for your job. See if changing some of your work habits can enrich your work:

  • Change your routine. For example, try to think of a better approach to a regular task.
  • Do the least interesting tasks first. When you can look forward to your favourite tasks, you may be more motivated to finish the boring ones.
  • Compete with yourself. See if you can improve your last day's performance by doing things better or faster.
  • Ask your employer if you can make your surroundings more personal. Add photos or plants to your desk. Put up posters, pictures or wall hangings. Rearrange the furniture or switch work areas with a co-worker.
  • Make your lunch break a real break. Meet a friend, get some exercise, play cards or other games with your co-workers, catch up on your reading or personal networking. Do something you enjoy.
  • Help to organize staff functions and activities (fundraisers, sport events, staff parties, etc.).
  • Use your positive attitude to give others a boost. See how many people you can encourage to smile.
  • Celebrate your successes. Even if your supervisor and co-workers don’t notice, you know when you’ve done something well.

Make your work meaningful

When your work reflects your values and interests, recharging and recommitting to your job is easier. The following suggestions may require time and resources, so you’ll probably want to talk with your supervisor before trying them:

  • Look for ways to do more of what you enjoy. For example, if your organization needs an orientation manual and you enjoy writing, why not volunteer to write it?
  • Take on a project that will require you to grow in some way, such as learning a new skill or working in a different part of the organization.
  • Build a relationship with a mentor or become a mentor yourself.
  • Keep learning on the job. Work with colleagues who can teach you new things. Sign up for training opportunities.

Help your employer

When you look for ways to add value to your employer, you can help yourself. A project that increases profits, or benefits your employer in another way, may not only impress your supervisor but also challenge and engage you:

  • Find out about your employer's goals and priorities.
  • Brainstorm ways you can help your employer achieve those goals. For each idea you like, find out the:
    • Steps needed to put it into action
    • Advantages and disadvantages
    • Timelines and costs
  • Talk to your supervisor about your ideas:
    • Be prepared for any concerns your supervisor might have. For example, if you already have a fairly heavy workload, enlist a co-worker who is willing to share the work involved in the project.
    • Point out the benefits to the organization.
    • Describe how the project will benefit you personally, provided you think your supervisor will see that as a plus. For example, the project might include the opportunity to work with new people or develop more varied and interesting responsibilities.

Enjoy the pay-off

When your work is interesting, you’re energized. Being energized improves your attitude and productivity, which increases your value as an employee. If you develop new skills, you may be able to move into other positions in the company. If you take on more complex duties, your employer may be willing to change your job description or your job title. You may even be able to negotiate a raise.

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