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The thing about work is that it takes up an inordinate amount of our lives. If we actually realised as kids just how important those option choices were, we would all potentially have chosen with more wisdom and worked with more vigour.

Of course, by the time many of us arrive at work, we find ourselves more concerned with paying our bills than chasing the dreams we may have once held. Even if you haven't got your perfect position, work can still be a fulfilling place to be. Here's how to make the most of your career.

Make friends: Passing your work day with people you like can make a mundane or stressful position feel good.

Make an effort: Not just with your boss, with everyone! Whoever you work with or visits your place of work should feel valued. If you make sure you offer a sense of belonging and respect to each and every person you meet, you can literally transform your workplace.

Don't join in the negativity: The worst thing I see is people bitching about their jobs or each other. Instead, ask people to think of solutions to their situations. This silences the snipers and encourages the radiators.

Take your lunch hour and get outside: It’s so important to get some fresh air along with some sunlight on your skin. This makes for a healthier and happier you.

Be proud of your achievements: Research suggests that we rarely get good feedback from our work accomplishments, so instead of looking to others to remind us of our worth, we need to remind ourselves.

Have professional courage: Creative and meaningful conflict is great for the workplace. If you see people being treated unfairly then speak up, and if you feel that you are being treated unfairly refuse to stand for it. This way, you become confident and positive in your position, and prevent others from feeling they have the power to harm you.

Take care of yourself: Take all your breaks, refuse to take work home with you, and know your worth. This way you will never feel overwhelmed by your workload and you'll be in control of your work-life balance.

Have fun: It doesn't matter what you do, if you can inject a sense of humour into the workplace then everyone can benefit.

Finally, if you are really unhappy with your job, then take the hint. Imagine spending fifty years doing your current job. If this fills you with dread, it's time to get creative, go back to the drawing board and plan some exciting changes and challenges to ensure you get what you want from your future.

Psychologist Emma Kenny is working with Royal Caribbean International to launch its exciting blogger-on-board opportunity, putting its ‘happiness at work’ formula to the test.  For more information on this once-in-a-lifetime experience, click here.

Image credit: Thinkstock


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