Most of us spend a significant portion of our days at work so itâs no surprise that a lot of people also find themselves dissatisfied, bored, or in the worst cases, miserable at work.Â Of course, there are those who are fortunate to truly love what they do and enjoy every second of it.Â While quitting and finding something new is the easiest way to deal with an unpleasant work situation, itâs also not always the most rational choice.
If you find yourself unhappy in the workplace and arenât sure what to do â here are a few tips to help you better understand what it is thatâs bothering you and how to cope with your discontent.
Determine Why you are Unhappy
First and foremost, itâs important to understand what about the job is hard to cope with.Â Sometimes it is as clear as a difficult boss, long hours, or unchallenging work.Â However, it becomes more complicated if it feels like perhaps you are in the wrong field.Â Assess your values when it comes to work and whether or not they are being met in your current position. Itâs also important to figure out whether aspects of the problem can be changed.Â For example, if you are under or overworked, a simple conversation with your superior may be beneficial. Try to be proactive and take control of things that you have the power to change. If the field itself is feeling uncomfortable, it might be time to explore your other interests and strengths as they apply to work.
Assess Your Work Values
Often, we are unhappy when we are not acting in accordance to our values.Â This is true of both our personal and our professional lives.Â Clarifying your work values can help you to understand why you are unhappy at work and make better decisions regarding your future career path.Â Work values can be both intrinsic, relating to the actual work you do and the meaning you derive from it, as well as extrinsic, which relates more to the rewards or recognition that may be associated with it. Some examples of values are: opportunity for autonomy, helping others, monetary gain, sense of achievement, collaboration, creativity, challenge, and so forth.Â Take the time to assess your work values and prioritize them.Â Determine which ones are being actualized and which are being neglected in order to better understand your unhappiness and make changes wherever possible.
Be Flexible and Realistic with your Expectations
Remind yourself that no job is permanent if you donât want it to be.Â The stage youâre at in your career may dictate the amount of flexibility you have in your position.Â Itâs important to keep an open mind if youâre able to see that the position you are in now may lead to better opportunities in the future. Take the time to assess the expectations you have when it comes to work, determine which ones are âdeal-breakersâ, and which ones you are willing to compromise for the sake of experience and strong connections.
Try to Find (and Maximize) the Positives
Identify the things about your job that you do enjoy and do whatever you can to increase the frequency of them.Â Perhaps you like your coworkers.Â If thatâs the case, try your best to create opportunities to work with them more frequently or plan work-related activities. Or, maybe youâre gaining experience to build your resume and create strong networking connections. It is difficult to find the perfect job but try to focus on the aspects that you do like and it will be easier to get through the day. Remind yourself that whatever the position is, there is something to be gained even if it is only patience and tolerance!
Create a Rich Life Outside of Work
One way to buffer the negative effects of a workplace you arenât particularly happy with is to create a rich and meaningful life outside of work.Â Create balance between your work and personal lives whenever possible so that you arenât consumed with the negativity of your position. Make time to nourish the different parts of yourself and donât let a bad day at work taint your evening at home (and vice versa!)
Actively Job Hunt and Seek Professional Help if Necessary
Set job-searching goals for yourself.Â Explore interests and possible careers paths that may be enticing and exciting to you.Â Itâs important to understand the job market and potential options before making any drastic changes.Â A career counsellor can be extremely helpful in helping you to explore and understand your career preferences.
A Final Thought
A bad work position can be incredibly overwhelming.Â It can be demoralizing and discouraging, but donât give up! The best way to cope is to have a vision that extends beyond the work day. This means creating plans for your future and figuring out how your current position may help you get there.
Â By: Catherine Kamel