Understanding the solutions available to you
When You're Dissatisfied with Your Job
by Alex J. Coyne
It's commonly said that if you love your job, you'll never have to work a day in your life. But, what if you don't love your job? Gallup measured that as much as 70% of the country's workforce reported in 2014 that they hated their jobs. Considering a career forms a bulk of one's life, that's a pretty big number. Are you unhappy with your job? Here's how you can start fixing it.
Identify the Problem
The first step is to identify exactly what is making you unhappy. Is it the job itself, your co-workers, management, the environment? Once you figure out why you are unhappy, you can start to fix it.
Hating a Job vs. Loathing a Career
Not everyone who is unhappy with their job is unhappy with their career choice. Do you hate what you do for a living, or do you hate the company you are doing it for (or, for that matter, the people you are doing it with)?
If you hate your career choice entirely, you're looking at making a more drastic change for happiness. You are looking at a career switch.
Hating a job, on the other hand, can be fixed by changing up the work environment. If you hate where you work, it's okay to start looking for something else or ask to be transferred. If you find yourself disagreeing with your superiors or co-workers, it's fine to sit them down and talk to them about it upfront.
A good job can be a matter of perspective. If you change your attitude, you may make it better for yourself. This includes small things, like personalizing your work environment with little personal touches that make things easier. A Bugs Bunny tie might be slightly against the dress code, but if it makes you work with a smile, then that's great!
Always be wary of burnout and overworking yourself. Yes, both are possible. Even the most ambitious employee can turn into someone who hates having to get up for work.
Changing your attitude can be as simple as a wake-up ritual of a couple sentences of positive affirmation in the mirror every morning. How many people swear by morning coffee to put them in a good mood for their work day? It can also be useful to take a break and step out of the work environment for a while.
When to Move On
My friend Henry's experience with his employers has been less than pleasant, and that's saying the least. He said, "The last two months have been fraught with problems." These problems have included being shuffled around different positions and red tape that's turned everything into a practical nightmare. He admits that sometimes it's just better to move on.
When things aren't going to get better or you find yourself wanting to go into a different direction entirely, it's better to move forward. There's no need to do anything drastic like quitting your job on the spot. Instead, take the time to examine your options and their consequences a couple of months down the line. Once you're prepared, then it's time to move on.
An Employer's Responsibility
Diana places some of the responsibility in the hands of the employer when she told me, "Employers have to realize that their work force is carrying out their vision and giving it wings." Diana feels that it's within the power of an employer to inspire (or abuse) employees. "At the end of the day, the only practical solution is to find a middle-ground where both are happy."
Keep a good relationship with your employers and don't be afraid to lay your cards on the table face-up. An employer won't necessarily know that you're unhappy if you never sit them down and tell them. Many times, a little bit of work and some careful negotiation are all that's needed to turn job unhappiness upside down.
Reviewed March 2018
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