‘Job crafting' can make even the most boring job fulfilling, happiness researcher says: Here's how to do it

Hinterhaus Productions | DigitalVision | Getty Images

It can be extremely difficult to land a new job right now, but if you're feeling unhappy in your current role, that's where "job crafting" can come in.

Job crafting is a concept coined by psychologists Amy Wrzesniewski and Jane Dutton.



Watch NBC10 Boston news for free, 24/7, wherever you are.


Get Boston local news, weather forecasts, lifestyle and entertainment stories to your inbox. Sign up for NBC Boston’s newsletters.

"Essentially, what they argue is that you can take the job you have and turn it into a job that brings you happiness," says Stephanie Harrison, a happiness expert who has researched the feeling for 10 years.

"There are times in your life where you can't change jobs, it's not accessible to you [or] you have other priorities," Harrison adds. "Finding ways to make your work more enjoyable and [focusing on] small moments can make a big difference."

But there are some practical ways you can tailor your job to be a better fit, Harrison says.

"Studies have shown that job crafting not only can make you happier and reduce your stress, but even make you better at your work, even though you're not doing exactly what you're 'supposed to do,'" Harrison wrote in her book, "The New Happy."

3 ways to start crafting your job for your happiness

1. Craft your tasks

One of the first things you can do is think of creative ways to approach your daily tasks. Harrison suggests using this equation: a specific task that you do at your job multiplied by your unique gifts.

For example, if you're naturally funny and are a teacher, try weaving in some of your humor into lectures, she says. Your lessons may resonate with your students more if they can be tied back to jokes that they'll want to remember.

In this instance, the equation translates to: "teaching a class" times "humor." Consider this approach for other aspects of your job as well.

2. Craft your relationships

Perhaps your tasks at work are so mundane that you don't know how you can make them more interesting. You can always try developing connections with your co-workers.

"You can strive to create positive and meaningful relationships with the people who you work with. And that has a huge impact on your daily experience at work," she tells CNBC Make It.

In her book, Harrison shared an example of her friend, Maria, who works in data management and wasn't enjoying her daily tasks. Maria "decided that every time she got up from her desk, like to go to the bathroom or get a drink of water, she would stop and say hi to someone else."

As time went by, "Maria became the 'go-to' person at the company," and started enjoying going to work to interact with her colleagues. "While my daily tasks haven't changed, it feels like a completely new job," Maria told Harrison.

3. Craft a project

Having a passion project at work can generate some excitement for you, Harrison says. You can work closely alongside others or take on the task solo.

Harrison suggests asking yourself these three questions if you're looking to start a new work project:

  • If I was in charge of this company, what project would I launch?
  • What project would make my work more fun or meaningful?
  • How do I think we could better support the people we serve?

"Make your work work for you," she wrote. "And everyone benefits."

Want to be a successful, confident communicator? Take CNBC's new online course Become an Effective Communicator: Master Public Speaking. We'll teach you how to speak clearly and confidently, calm your nerves, what to say and not say, and body language techniques to make a great first impression. Sign up today and use code EARLYBIRD for an introductory discount of 30% off through July 10, 2024.

Plus, sign up for CNBC Make It's newsletter to get tips and tricks for success at work, with money and in life.

Copyright CNBC
Contact Us