Unhappiness at work is a common problem. Unhappiness makes us less productive, less healthy and miserable in general. All of us have felt unhappy at one point or another at our jobs and a surprising number of us are chronically unhappy in our current positions. When you feel dissatisfied and unhappy at work, it can be tempting to start looking for a new job, send in your resignation and dash for the exit as rapidly as possible.
When you realize why you’re unhappy, you can start taking meaningful action to improve your circumstances, but before you say goodbye, I need you to think: is it possible that you don’t need a new job, but instead a new mindset? Let us consider these important factors before you make that call or write the resignation mail, especially if you don’t have another offer right away.
Pay: You feel like you’re working harder than you’re getting paid for. When you suspect there is a dissonance between the amount of effort you’re putting in and the amount of reward you’re receiving, it’s natural to feel like your job is a waste of time or that you’d be happier elsewhere.
Flexibility: The less flexible your job is, the unhappier you’ll become. You can’t take off early to pick your child up for school, you can’t go for your lunch dates and you can’t turn down any assignments that fall outside your range of expertise.
Future: You’re okay with your position today, but there isn’t much room for advancement. Raise requests are almost always turned down, and there’s no room for promotions.
Stability: You might worry about being laid off or fired, or you might worry that the entire company is going under or perhaps you noticed behaviors, patterns, and decisions that lead you to believe your job is unstable.
Demands: You’re expected to do too much in too little time on your job, so you’re tired of the high-pressure environment because you never get to focus on the quality work you’d like to be doing or create a healthy work-life balance.
Other people/colleagues: The social aspect of work makes a big impact, yes you don’t like the people you work with, or you simply aren’t working with enough people that you admire, get along with, or respect.
What to do if you are unhappy
First, recognize that there’s a difference between acute unhappiness (moments/sudden of unhappiness) and chronic unhappiness (ongoing/reoccurring unhappiness). Be honest with yourself and try to look at the circumstances objectively. Are you truly unhappy in your work, or are you just having a bad week? If