How to Find Satisfaction at Your Current Job

peaceful at work in chaos
You can stress less and enjoy your job more with these simple steps. Westend61/ Getty Images

If you’re overstressed and at risk for job burnout, you may feel that a major life overhaul is necessary for you to be able to enjoy your job and avoid burnout.

Before making major changes, try some minor adjustments. They may help you enjoy your work and give you food for thought on whether major changes are truly necessary.

Be Clear About Job Requirements

It’s nearly impossible to do a good enough job at your work if you don’t know what the requirements are. Unfortunately, sometimes it’s difficult to know all of the requirements at a job when those in charge are poor communicators.

Some bosses and supervisors are vague with expectations, assign new tasks with little advance notice, request new tasks without providing training, and inadvertently set workers up to fail in other ways.

While you can’t prevent things like this from happening altogether, you can gain a clearer view of what you need to do and help your situation quite a bit with assertive communication skills.

Learning to speak up for yourself in a respectful way can help improve your work life and decrease your risk for burnout.

Find Rewards and Recognition

We all need to feel recognized and rewarded for what we do. If your job doesn’t have built-in opportunities for recognition, or if rewards are infrequent, you may need to add rewards and recognition to your own life. Giving yourself rewards has even been found to increase intrinsic motivation.

You may decide to take yourself to a movie, have a home spa experience, buy yourself something nice, or give yourself other small but nurturing rewards when you complete a project or complete another month of hard work.

You can also team up with a supportive friend and agree to listen to each other’s successes and provide support to one another if you don’t get that support and recognition from your job.

These things can nurture you emotionally and remind you of the importance of the work you do, especially if you work in a job or field where these rewards are sparse.

Maintain a Balanced Lifestyle

Keeping balance in your lifestyle is important; if it’s all work and no play, you may find your ability to work beginning to wane. In order to maintain balance in your lifestyle, the first step is to take an overview of your current lifestyle and see which areas are out of balance.

Do you have enough time for relationships, hobbies, sleep, self care, exercise, healthy eating, and other important features of a healthy lifestyle, in addition to your work responsibilities? If not, the next step is to look at your priorities and make some changes so that your lifestyle reflects them better.

Think Positively

You can usually change your experience of your current circumstances by changing your attitude about them. Developing an optimistic point of view and changing negative self talk patterns can go a long way toward helping you see the glass half-full, as well as actually making you more productive and less stressed.

Assess your current state of mind, and make some changes in yourself so that you see things in a more positive light, and you may just find you’re much happier where you are in life.

Know Yourself and Work With Your Personality

Certain features of your personality make some jobs a better fit for you than others. If you’re in a job that’s not well-suited for your personality, you may be putting yourself under unnecessary stress every day you go to work.

The following are some good questions to ask yourself:

  • Do you like to work toward deadlines, or do you like your tasks to come in a relatively steady stream?
  • Do you like to work as part of a team, or independently?
  • Do you like things to be structured and routine, or loose and variable?
  • Do you enjoy being a ‘big fish in a small pond’, or would you like to be a ‘small fish in a big pond’? (Meaning, would you like to be a small part of a large company or a large part of a small company, or something else?)
  • Do you believe in what you do, and is it important to you that you do?

These questions and others can give you a better picture of what kind of work would be best for you. If you find you’re not in the type of position that’s ideal for you, you can see if you can make additional changes in your job’s structure to make it fit better with your needs, or you might think of what jobs might be better suited for you and see if working toward a change in jobs is a good idea for you.

2 Sources
Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Woolley K, Fishbach A. It’s about time: Earlier rewards increase intrinsic motivationJournal of Personality and Social Psychology. 2018;114(6):877-890. doi:10.1037/pspa0000116

  2. Solberg Nes L. Optimism, pessimism, and stress. In: Stress: Concepts, Cognition, Emotion, and Behavior. Elsevier; 2016:405-411. doi:10.1016/B978-0-12-800951-2.00052-2

By Elizabeth Scott, PhD
Elizabeth Scott, PhD is an author, workshop leader, educator, and award-winning blogger on stress management, positive psychology, relationships, and emotional wellbeing.