We spend a lot of our time and energy on our work. As a society, our jobs are one of the most important things in our lives. They provide for us, and they’re also a great source of fulfillment and happiness for those who enjoy their work. For those who don’t, however, work can be a chore. However, that doesn’t mean it’s time to quit. You might still be able to get enjoyment out of your job. If you’ve been finding yourself unhappy with your job lately, consider asking yourself the following seven questions.

1. Are you experiencing issues in other areas of your life?

If you’re having health trouble, if a relationship isn’t going well, or you’re stressed because of something totally unrelated to work, it might be that you’re carrying your problems around with you. It’s best to get these issues sorted out before you jump to conclusions about how you feel about your work. It is possible that your job will be enjoyable again once you sort everything else out.

2. What short-term steps can you take?

Before doing something drastic like quitting, think about what you can do right now to make your job better for you. If you find something that you find will help you immediately, you’re more likely to slowly come around to enjoying your work. In any case, you won’t probably feel better about your work until you find a more enjoyable alternative.

3. Can you remove yourself?

If you can keep your effort at work and your feelings separated, it might be for the best. You should still continue to do your best, but don’t get too disappointed if something goes wrong with your work. While it’s good to be emotionally invested in your job, too much emotional involvement can lead to stress and anxiety. Try pulling back a bit.

4. Can you talk to someone at work?

It can be incredibly helpful to have someone to talk to about your problems. Not only do you get to express your ideas out loud, but you can also get some great advice along the way. It may be that your coworker knows exactly how you feel and went through the same thing recently. Or, maybe your boss understands and is able to give you a new project that you enjoy. It all depends on your work and your relationships.

5. What are your career goals?

Are you set up to achieve them at your current job, or can you see them slipping away? If your future plans are getting derailed by your work, it might be time to rethink things.

6. What were your initial expectations for this job?

A temporary gig just to get a salary might not be very fulfilling. And that’s okay. You certainly wouldn’t be the first person to take a job simply because you needed the money. However, if this job is something that you initially hoped to do for a long time, you might still be able to make it enjoyable again. Try to remember what attracted you to the job in the first place. It might help you regain that fulfillment.

7. What are you willing to do?

Do you want to go back to school? Learn a new set of skills? Take it upon yourself to turn your work around? Make some extra effort at the office? Change other things in your life? Search for a new job? It’s ultimately up to you. You are the only one who can decide if you can be happy with your work or not. While others can help, no one knows better than you do.

Featured photo credit: Sybren Stuvel via flickr.com

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