How satisfied are you at work?

While many employees today are grateful to have a paycheck in a tight economy, that doesn’t mean job satisfaction is off the charts.

Management may have little time or inclination to bolster your satisfaction levels; it’s sometimes up to you.

So here are five ways to help move you in the right direction:

Improve Your Environment

A disorganized work environment makes every task more difficult.  And looking around at dull walls do nothing for anyone’s mood.

So start to improve your day-to-day enjoyment of your job by making your environment as pleasant as possible. If you have a cubicle or office, clean and organize the entire area. Get an attractive desk set as well as shelf organizers and baskets. Even if you work in a retail establishment or restaurant, you can organize your general area to make it a more efficient work space.

Become a Mentor

Recapture that excited feeling you had when you first started your job by becoming a mentor at work.

Find a new employee or trainee and volunteer to take him under your wing. Make it your project to turn this neophyte into a great team member.

Teach him all the little tricks you’ve taken years to learn, and clue him in on the corporate culture and ways to rise in the company. You’ll get a sense of pride for a job well done by watching your trainee improve on a weekly basis.

Practice Gratitude

It’s not always easy, but finding the little things about your job that make you happy can go a long way. There are good things all around you, if you work at noticing them.

Start every morning searching for gratitude and keep that feeling throughout the day.

Your job may be dull or stressful, but at least it’s paying the bills, allowing you to indulge in hobbies and down time and offering social occasions with fellow employees.

Whether it’s a fun group you eat lunch with every day, or a customer who always gives you a sunny smile, there is something good about every job that can make you feel a bit better about being there. You just have to find it.

New Challenges

If you feel that your job is dull and boring, it may be because you’re not challenged any more.

Few people are bored when they first start a new job. There is too much to learn, too many new skills to master.

But now, you may be feeling complacent because nothing new ever happens in your workplace. Give yourself a new challenge in your job. Volunteer to learn a new skill or job rating. Take on the task of organizing the company picnic or holiday party. Put together a company weight-loss competition. Get involved with something new and completely different from your daily tasks to perk up your interest in your everyday work.

Make It Less Important

Unless you’re working at your ultimate dream career, your job is sometimes just a means to an end. You might choose to spend your time working at a job you don’t enjoy because it’s just a stepping stone to something better.

If you feel this way, try to to focus on the good things that the job brings to your life outside the office. While you should always do the best job possible, it’s not necessary to make the job the most important part of your life.

Do a mental downgrade and start focusing on what you truly enjoy. Look at your daily tasks as a way to earn money for vacations, or the ticket to getting those flying lessons. Or even as a necessary stop before going on to crafts with your children. Take the importance out of your job and the stresses may seem less important.

The most important thing to remember is that you play a big role in your job satisfaction levels. You’ll be happier and healthier if you change your actions and attitudes, making your day run as smoothly as possible before getting on to the truly important parts of your life.

Dunya Carter is a marketing and recruitment specialist from Brisbane, Australia. She writes on topics related to business and career development for several websites and blogs. She is currently working for Ochre Medical Recruitment as a consultant.

Image courtesy of Glen Wright.