career fulfilmentAre you 100 percent happy with your job? If your answer is “no”, you are in great company. No one is completely satisfied in their chosen field all the time. Although that may always be true, there’s a lot you can do to increase your sense of fulfillment in your work.

It may sound simple, but you can decide to be happy and take the necessary steps to get there. Implement these strategies for the next week and see how much happier and more fulfilled you feel in just this short period of time:

Set realistic expectations. Focus on enjoying what is happening at the moment rather than what you think should be happening. If you set unrealistically high expectations, all you will receive is disappointment. Author Jill Nystul explains it this way in her book, One Good Life: My Tips, My Wisdom, My Story, “Managing expectations is about eliminating the gap between what we expect and what actually happens, and it will save you time, energy, anger and frustration.”

Managing expectations may not be easy, but doing so will make your life happier and more fulfilling. Examine areas of your job that are frustrating to you. It is highly likely that a major cause of your frustration is unrealistic expectations. In the future, be conscious of your thoughts and expectations. Keep reminding yourself to stay in the moment and be thankful for what is currently going on.

Laugh often, with others and at yourself. Laughing lowers stress and makes you overall healthier, according to the Mayo Clinic. According to the study, laughter can also make it easier to cope with difficult situations. It also helps you connect with other people, makes you more positive and helps you have a better outlook.

Don’t beat yourself up over past mistakes. Laugh at yourself. Don’t beat yourself up over your mistakes. Instead, laugh it off and learn from the past. Don’t obsess over every short term setback or problem. Chances are that tomorrow will be better. Give yourself grace and you will find yourself more fulfilled.

Have interests outside of work. The saying goes that we should work to live, not live to work. To that end, it is important to not make life solely about your job. Have some fun outside work everyday. This can be something like exercise, a call with a friend or watching a movie.

Taking on a hobby or interest outside work can make you healthier as well as happier. Physical activity has been found to reduce stress and boost your mood. For some people, finding meaning in religion can add an important extra dimension to their lives. Joining a group can be fulfilling. Join, or better yet, start a book club, bunko group, quilting club or a volunteer group.

Create a support system of family and friends. Whether family, friends or a combination of both, having a group of people you can count on no matter what is important. It gives you a sense of security and makes you feel more stable through even the most tumultuous work situations. Research has found that we need social support to be happy.

Chances are that you already have a group of family and friends outside of work. You also need a support system at your office. Develop relationships with coworkers you have something in common with. This will give you the same type of support at work you do at home.

Let’s end with this quote from Mahatma Gandhi, “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” Decide to be happy and fulfilled with your work.