Work Rules

Laszlo Bock is the author of "Work Rules!" and the head of People Operations at GoEric Laurita

Having your dream job is a luxury most people don’t have, but that doesn’t mean you have to spend your eight hour shift miserable, counting down until happy hour. If anyone knows a thing or two about making work fun, it’s Laszlo Bock, the head of People Operations at Google. Here are a few of his tips:

Assume the best in people
If you think your boss is a jerk or one of your coworkers has a bad attitude, Bock says it helps to remember that everyone has stuff going on in their personal lives and he or she could be projecting that at work.

“If someone comes into a meeting angry looking angry and drops their bag, we tend to think ‘well, that person is a real jerk.’ We don’t assume maybe their dog is sick or he or she has all these stressful things going on,” Bock says. It’s certainly better than the alternative, assuming everyone is a terrible human being. “Assuming the best in people is a much nicer way to live,” Bock says.

Focus on the few things you do like
Bock suggests “job crafting,” making a list of everything you do at work and shifting your time to focus on the things you most enjoy. “Even if [realistically] you aren’t able to change your job, the simple act of making that list makes you more aware of the things you enjoy and that will make you happier and more productive,” he says.


Express gratitude
It turns out, acting happy at work even when you aren’t, and being nice to your coworkers even if they secretly annoy you, can make you actually feel happier. Bock says even devoting just a few minutes a day outwardly expressing gratitude will really lift your mood.

“It can be as simple as writing thank you emails or sitting and reflecting on things you enjoy and things you feel happy about,” he says. “Just focusing on the few [parts] of the day you’re grateful for or thanking other people has a positive effect.”

Realize no one loves their job all the time
Bock says even he has days when his job is not fun. “There’s no job that will make you deliriously happy all the time. That’s why people get paid to work,” he says. “Especially when you are early in your career, it’s important to remember that. And it gets better.”

How to get a job at Google
Over 2 million resumes cross Bock’s desk each year from people hoping to work at Google. Some do pretty crazy things to stand out. “I got a robot in the mail the other day,” he tells us. It turns out, you don’t have to go to extreme lengths to get his attention. Here’s what he looks for when going through resumes:

Spellcheck. “It sounds basic, but make sure you don’t have any mistakes on your resume. It’s too easy of a way for a recruiter to reject you.”
Be specific. “Describe what you accomplished, why and how it was measured. Instead of just saying you were employee of the month, say ‘I was awarded employee of the month as a result of high customer satisfaction’ or ‘I ranked 10th out of 50 top associates in the first six months of the year.’”
Play up your experience. “Several years ago, [recruiters] focused on where you went to school and your grades, but we stopped caring about that stuff because none of that has actually proven how you’re going to perform.” Instead, use your resume to show what you’ve done related to the job you’re applying for.

Follow Emily on Twitter: @EmLaurence

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