Many of us grow up wanting to be something specific when we’re older. You might have spent your childhood dreaming about being a doctor or a teacher. You might have always wanted to be a photographer or an artist. We spend time picturing ourselves working in our chosen profession. Learning about our jobs, meeting new people and helping those around us. You might have thought about the money that you’d make or the qualifications that you’d need. One thing that you might not have considered is how happy the career of your dreams would make you.

We assume that something that we have always wanted to do will naturally make us happy if we ever make it. We don’t worry that we might spend years, and a fortune to qualify only to find that the job that we’ve always dreamt of makes us miserable and doesn’t fill us with the passion we had hoped it would. The reality is, it might not. Being happy at work doesn’t automatically happen just because it’s a job that we’ve always wanted. There are five things that we all need if we’re going to be happy at work.

Balance

If you want to be happy at work, you need to let yourself have a life outside of it.  Even if you love your job, if you find that you are working all of the time, and that you don’t have time for anything else, or that the hours that you work are wholly unsociable, and it’s affecting your relationships, you might not love it for long.

Balance means different things to different people, and you need to find the work-life balance that suits you and your lifestyle. It’s also important to remember that as your life changes outside of work, the flexibility and balance that you need from your job will change too.

Stimulation

Like balance, stimulation is different for all of us. You might be stimulated by academia and research. You might love learning about dna purification or, you might be stimulated by people. You might dream of spending your days chatting with customers and building loyal relationships. Whatever you do, you need something that stimulates your mind.

Pride

You don’t need to be out there saving lives every day to take pride in your work. But, you do need to take pride in what you do to be both good at it and happy doing it. If you are ashamed of what you do, you’ll never be happy.

Fulfilment

We all have bad days at work. That’s only to be expected but the good days should outweigh them. Even when you have a bad day and your job hasn’t made you feel happy, you should still feel fulfilled and have that sense that it brings a different dynamic/challenge to your life.

Relationships

You don’t necessarily need to be best friends with your workmates but if you want to be happy at work, you do need to have some good relationships. You need to at least like the people that you are around for the most part of your day.