19 Small Work Wins You Should Be Celebrating

While you may not think they’re a big deal, it’s important to celebrate your small wins. Small wins help you change your habits and keep you motivated at your job. They emphasize setting goals so you can feel the joy of your accomplishments more often. It’s time to start celebrating these small wins at work.

1. Gaining Acknowledgement

If you get praised for a job well done, that’s something you should be recognizing. While it isn’t something you should go around bragging about at work, tell your significant other or best friend over happy hour. Promotions or pay raises deserve a full-on dinner or party!

Save the email or write down what was said to you as well. It’s something you want to be able to look at if you’re having a down day in the future.

2. Being Productive

There are some days at work where you just struggle to be motivated. But on the days when you know you got a good, productive day in, it’s good to take note of that. Maybe jot down what you did that day so you can replicate it again. Let yourself relax a little when you get home — you deserve it.

3. Keeping Your Cool

When work gets hectic, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and have a meltdown. It happens to the best of us. When you manage to get through an extra stressful day without letting it get the best of you, it’s time to treat yourself. When you get home, pour a glass of wine and watch an episode of that show you’ve been meaning to catch up on.

4. Giving That Big Presentation

You’ve been preparing for weeks, and all that hard work is finally paying off. Presentations can be nerve-wracking, so it’s especially important to celebrate if you’re someone who struggles with them. Encourage your future self — put a reminder on your online calendar so next year on this day you’ll remember it happened, and you know you’ll be able to get through the next one.

5. Helping out Someone Else

The act of helping itself could make you feel good, but you should also celebrate going out of the way to help others. Assisting someone with their project or something they’re struggling with is a great thing to do. If you helped someone be successful in the office, take them out for lunch or do something to commemorate it. That way, you both get the advantages of a small win.

6. Fixing That Difficult Problem

You’ve been trying to fix that issue in your assignment for weeks, and you finally cracked it! Write an interesting blog post about your process and how you fixed it. That way, you can share it with others and also have it written down in case you run into the situation again.

7. Learning a New Skill

Learning should always be celebrated. Show off that skill and be proud that you’ve learned something new and don’t have to ask for help to do it. You can celebrate this by building on what you’ve learned. Practice a new, fun skill outside of work that you’ve always wanted to learn.

8. Making Yourself Heard

Too often, we don’t give our input during the latest conference call or office meeting. Speak up and share your ideas with the company — you might have something they haven’t thought of. Celebrate with a little jam session at your desk (with headphones of course) after you go back to the regular workday.

9. Handling That Problem Client/Customer/Coworker

Unfortunately, we can’t completely avoid difficult people at work. It may not always be easy to handle them gracefully, which is all the more reason to reward yourself when you do. Go for a jog or do a workout and get all your pent-up frustration out over dealing with them. The real reward comes when you treat yourself after.

10. Accomplishing a Long-Term Goal

If you have a list of goals you want to accomplish, it’s a big deal when you finally reach one of them – even if it is small. Give yourself a little break after this. You deserve a breather.

11. Standing up for Yourself

While you have to follow the rules of the higher-ups, there’s no reason to be treated like a doormat. Standing up for yourself and commanding some respect takes a lot of courage. Treat yourself to a mini spa or relaxation day after you come down from the adrenaline high of taking charge.

12. Coming in Early — by Choice

Some of us can barely get out of bed to get to work at the normal time. If you can get up, get ready for the day and head to work early, you deserve major props. If coming in early means you get to leave early, use that extra time to do something you’ve been meaning to do but haven’t had time for.

13. Being Excited About the Work You’re Doing

70% of Americans are unhappy with their jobs. That’s a lot of people. If you’re one of the few who are actively engaged and happy with your job, then you should relish every minute of it. Celebrate the fact that you really enjoy what you’re doing. Bring in donuts for your department or suggest a lunch with your team and show that you appreciate them.

14. Getting a New Office/Cubicle/Desk

Whether it’s from a promotion, redoing the office or someone leaving, getting a new workspace is exciting. It helps break up the monotony of a typical day. Use the opportunity to decorate the new space completely differently from the old one so you can mix things up.

15. Landing an Awesome New Client

Whether you were instrumental in getting the client to choose your company or just get to work on their project, landing a new client can be something to be happy about. If a new client gets you excited, it’s a safe bet that the work you do for them is going to be engaging and epic. Share the news with those closest to you so they can share in your excitement.

16. Finding a New Technique

We’re always looking for more efficient ways to do things. If you found a feature hidden in software that makes tasks super easy or coded a new program that runs things better, that’s always a big deal. Use one of your vacation days and take some time off, you know, now that your work takes a bit less time.

17. Making It Through a Mountain of Tasks

If you came back from the weekend with a giant pile of files on your desk to deal with, it’s going to feel pretty overwhelming. But, when you finally make it through all that work, it’s going to feel amazing! Hit the mall after work for that shirt you’ve been eyeing to put the cherry on top of the day.

18. Getting a Cool New Coworker

Working with someone you really mesh with is incomparable and usually pretty rare. Invite them to the group happy hour your department usually has on Friday nights so they feel included and can get in on the tradition.

19. Someone Catering Lunch

There’s nothing better than going to the break room for those leftovers you’re dreading and seeing that your boss bought lunch for the day. Even if you’re dieting, indulge. Make that your cheat day. It’s something you have to take advantage of!

Sometimes, the little things can mean the most. Are there any small wins that you love celebrating? Comment below! For more career posts to make your workday happier, be sure to subscribe to Punched Clocks!


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Sarah Landrum is the founder of Punched Clocks.

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