How to Make a Positive Change If You’re Unhappy at Work
The Monday blues are a common phenomenon. After a lovely weekend doing whatever takes your fancy, being back at your desk can bring you hurtling back to reality with a thud. That being said, usually, as the morning goes on (and after a strong cup of coffee), you’re soon back in the swing of things. But what about when the Monday Blues hang around all week and you generally feel unhappy at work?
Everyone has had ‘one of those days’; the boss is on a rampage, the phone won’t stop ringing, deadlines or targets are looming and you feel like early retirement in the Bahamas is the best idea you’ve ever had. Don’t worry, it’s only natural and bad days, sometimes bad weeks, are going to happen. However, some people can find themselves stuck in a rut and feeling unhappy at work day in, day out.
Being genuinely unhappy at work can have a knock-on effect on every aspect of your working life including your motivation, concentration and interaction with your colleagues. If things go wrong or a get a little stressful, they’re a lot harder to take on if you’re really not enjoying your work. Happiness at work is directly linked to success. so if you want to make it, you can’t do it without feeling positive. Your personal life and even your health can suffer, too, so it’s time to make a change!
The first thing you need to do before you can make any positive changes is to take the time to consider why you’re so unhappy at work. Here’s a list of some of the most common reasons people aren’t happy in their jobs:
Money, money, money
Even the least materialistic of people can feel unhappy at work when they’re on a low salary. If employees feel like they’re underpaid, it’s tempting to feel that all their hard work is unappreciated, meaning their motivation and positivity can disappear. Or if their home life is struggling due to an unjustifiably low salary, they’re bound to feel a little short changed.
When recruiters look for new employees, they need to find the person that is right for the job. However, sometimes, job seekers can be lured in by benefits, salaries or companies that appeal to them, but the role might not be the right fit for who they are. Everyone’s skill set, personality and interests are different and these have a profound effect on the type of work that is suited to an individual. Being in the wrong line of work or industry can leave you feeling uninterested, unsatisfied and under-stimulated – meaning it’s very difficult to be happy.
Who you work with
The colleagues you share your workday with can have a massive impact on your happiness at work. If you don’t gel with your colleagues, if there are bullies in the ranks or if your work environment is too quiet/loud for your taste, you’re bound to feel a little isolated and fed up.
Do you feel like you’re running into a brick wall at work? If you’re working hard and seemingly getting nowhere, frustration will soon kick in. No one likes to feel stuck in a rut or like they’re just stagnating, if progression feels impossible despite your best efforts, how can you expect to be happy in your job?
Lack of stability
Does it feel like someone gets the sack every other week? Are there whispers around the water cooler that the company isn’t doing so well? Has the word ‘cutbacks’ started to creep into meetings? Do you feel that, for some unbeknown reason, your manager’s got it in for you? Whatever the reason, a feeling of insecurity in their job can leave anyone feeling anxious and uncomfortable at work.
So, ask yourself – why are you unhappy at work? Identifying the reason/s will help you figure out what to do next.
Are there things that you can change? For example, can you try a little harder with your colleagues? Could you try different ways of working? If not, the next thing to consider is what can your employer do for you? Have a chat with your Manager about what options you have to make things better – you never know, there could be a project or promotion going that you had no idea about. Or your Manager might be able to give you some areas to work on to help you get that pay rise.
However, in some cases, there is nothing that either you or your company can fix. In this instance, it may be time to start job hunting. A new start might be just what you need! Just try not to fall into the same situation again; consider roles, industries and companies that will be right for you. Even if it’s a complete career change, your future success and, more importantly, happiness, are in your hands!
No matter how stuck you feel, there’s always room for you to make that positive change – is now the time?