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Happiness at work? Are these two achievable at the same time? Can you work and still be happy? This is an important question because while happiness is an emotion, a state of mind; work is an activity either physical or mental.

There is a school of thought that scoffs at the idea of being happy at work i.e this shouldn’t be a concern and that these two are mutually exclusive. You know begin the week looking forward to Friday and starting the cycle all over again. Basically people who hate their jobs and keep at it.

So is it important to be happy at work? Is it even a thought worth considering? Why should this even be necessary; after all we work to make a living?


I believe the concept of work has evolved over the decades and while at a certain time, work largely meant going to the factories or fields and spending the hours doing basically manual labour; well such jobs still exist but it’s no more predominant.

At that time there were few major factories and everyone almost worked at the same places, and there wasn’t so much of a real choice as to the conditions of labour and the wages one earned.

These days people work by applying their mental prowess at solving one problem or the other. They get paid for the application of their skills and more people have choices as to what they earn and where they work to earn this.

That means you have a greater shot at being happy today. But does this actually mean you are happy?


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The first thing would be the culture of the place you work at, how do people work here? Do you feel appreciated? Are the work conditions good enough for you? It’s important to like where you work? And while you don’t necessarily have to like everyone at work, it’s at least worth it to work in a supportive team.

If you are being treated unjustly and are not allowed to fully express yourself at work, chances are you may eventually grow to dislike where you work.

Then the next is the type of work you do; most of us made career decisions at an earlier point in our lives and while some stay on the path, for some others those career decisions are not actualized due to economic or some other reasons.

When you work at a job that is not fulfilling, the chances of happiness are really quite slim, it could be this job does not fully tap into your innate abilities or perhaps the job requires a skill you are barely good at, in which case you would be constantly  plagued with this feeling of inefficiency.

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This happens when one works at a city one doesn’t like, while this factor really has nothing to do with the job itself it still rubs off because they grow to be inter related. You don’t like the city? Maybe it’s the food, the traffic, or anything else; it’s likely you won’t like anything else in the city especially when you commute to work from another city.


I shouldn’t forget to mention remuneration and benefits; this counts as well because it is tied to the job, if your 9 to 5 job doesn’t provide you with enough to cater to your basic and maybe not so basic needs, then there is a problem; you would likely not be happy at work.

Then of course benefits like a nursery for mothers, adequate insurance, leave allowances and things like that, availability of these could make you happy at work.



Do you have adequate work tools; this includes training provisions; all those things that aid you to do your work more efficiently. Safety material come in here as well, there are standards for each industry; safety standards that must be met like appropriate clothing for the job, eye or ear guards and other stuff like that.


This is a basic need, if you do not feel safe going to or from work or at work itself then this poses a threat to your personal well being, and fear and happiness just don’t go together. It could be the neighborhood isn’t safe or something along those lines; this is definitely not going to foster happiness.


Some jobs require you stay back late and depending on your preferences this might not be what you want. It may perhaps be okay some days to meet those deadlines but when it becomes a norm rather than an exception it may be a cause of concern.

The thing about long hours is it isn’t the best for a good family life, as you have less time to spend that quality time with them.


Well the exact opposite of the above! But really let’s begin with:


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Choose a job that matches your skills and needs, this may require that you be more choosy about those job offers, ask the important questions before taking that job. You may begin by asking yourself some questions to really gain clarity about what you want as against what you are willing to settle for when it seems “you are really in need of a job, any job.”

If you are already at a job that is a source of unhappiness, you should discuss with your boss or someone from HR depending on your organization. Perhaps you need to change your line manager which means changing your department. Ask for a raise if you have to, with justification.


This could help you find happiness at work, pictures of your family, or other memorable keepsakes that make your workstation comfortable. Do you need music? Get quality headphones for this purpose; just remember to keep your voice down when you decide to sing along!


If all else fails; then you may just have to change your job, for your happiness should not be sacrificed on any altar.

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  1. Riaz Shah Reply

    Loving your article Abayomi,
    I’ve been stuck at my work place for years now and I’ve beginning to feel depressed and not at all happy with the negative energy surrounding me daily. Do you think if I change my office layout put make more interesting stuff to decorate it maybe add some scent to it, it’ll be better? 😀

    • Abayomi Disu Post authorReply

      Thank you Riaz for your comment, you know I understand that feeling of being stuck because I have experienced that before too. Yes that negative energy can be a daily feeling just like you said and it’s not a good feeling at all. I believe the solution to a problem varies to the degree of the challenge you face. So some scent would definitely not cut it!

      My diagnosis is that the solution to this problem lies at the core of your reason for doing this job, the “why”. Do you sense any purpose when you get up each morning to get to work? From my experience of what you described the answer is probably “No”. The feeling of being “stuck” really summarizes your situation. 

      My advise which by the way is only based on my assessment of what you have described, and is simply my opinion of what you should do; you have to make the decision that suits you best. 

      1. Decide what you were born to do on earth, everyone has unique talents and abilities which can be polished to a business. 

      2. Look around you and note problems around you in society that your talents can solve. These days you can even solve a global problem thanks to the internet

      3. Draw a plan of polishing your talent to the point of solving these problems with commercial value.

      4. Begin offering services on a part time basis either by yourself or as a freelancer to other companies.

      5. Then when you see your efforts above are of enough economic value and potential, you may consider leaving 

      the job you feel stuck in; and experience the freedom of spirit you truly deserve.

      All the best Riaz, and do keep me updated on your progress.

  2. TG Reply

    Thanks for writing this article. Most people seem to hate their jobs. The concept of being happy while working a job is often a foreign concept. This leads to stress and all that it causes. It is great to find tips on avoiding the trap of being unhappy at work. I love the white board video as well. It adds life to your post. Thanks

    • Abayomi Disu Post authorReply

      Thank you TG for your great feedback. Yes, like you said it is often alien to many to be happy at a job. I believe another great thing to do is to get a job that resonates with what one enjoys doing, while this may not always seem possible; it is worth looking out for.

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