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Last Updated on January 14, 2021

8 Reasons Why You’re Unhappy at Work (And What to Do)

8 Reasons Why You’re Unhappy at Work (And What to Do)

Work isn’t great right now. Do you remember when you were so excited to get this job? But now, the excitement of change and accomplishment has worn off, and you find yourself in a general state of unhappiness at work…

Why are you really unhappy at work? There are plenty of reasons to be unhappy in your job role and it is easy to place blame on other people or things out of your control. What is the real reason, underneath your excuses and the feeling of just knowing you aren’t happy?

And why don’t you just quit? That is always the go to move, isn’t it? You don’t like your job, quit it and find another. But after a few jobs, you find that the problem isn’t the job, it is like no matter what dream job you get, you end up back here. Unhappy. Even if this job was your dream before, the crushing reality that it is not all you thought it would be is setting in. And in reality, not all of us can just quit our jobs and flit off and get their dream job, we have lives and responsibilities.

So I compiled a helpful list of all the top 8 reasons people are unhappy at work and what to do about it to help you move forward towards a happier life in your current job role.

1. You Hate Your Boss

Your boss, thou who decides thy fate doth hath the uncanny ability to rub you up the wrong way. Not everyone likes their boss, we all dream of this perfect boss who doesn’t micro manage and isn’t incompetent. But nobody is perfect, not even your dream boss.

Your boss controls your work environment, they organize work, define your job role and is your support network and back up if you reach a problem. If you have an issue with your boss, it’s time to take some responsibility and do something about it. You are not responsible for your boss’ behavior but you can control your reactions, actions and attitude moving forward.

If you walk into the office every day committing to hate your boss, there is no room for growth or amending fences. You need to decide to find a way to make this work, here are the 3 things you can do to help you take control of your happiness at work:

  • Discuss your issues with your boss and find a way you can both work together. Team up and create a plan so that you can both work and not vex each other.
  • Improve your communication skills with them. We all communicate in different ways, you need to find a way to see eye to eye. Find out how they communicate and learn to communicate in that way so that they will respond to you better because they feel heard and understood.
  • Step up. If you can’t reason with your boss and they keep shutting you down, find a way to work around them so you don’t have to rely on them. Take on more responsibility.

2. You Hate Your Co-Workers

We ALL have co-workers we do not like, they drive us up the wall in ways you couldn’t even imagine. Your happiness is dependent on your environment and, if you spend 40+ hours of your week in an environment that doesn’t make you happy, you will be unhappy.

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Co-workers play a huge part in this, as social creatures, we crave social interaction and we are forced to socialize with our co workers simply by proximity. If we are surrounded by negative people who don’t make us feel good about ourselves, unhappiness and a drop in self confidence follows.

What can we do about this? We have two options when dealing with annoying co workers:

  • Change your attitude about them. Realize that the things your co-workers are doing that annoy you are just reflections of your own inner judgement. For example, Brenda from accounting tells lots of white lies and it drives you mad because you hate lying. That is an issue with your experiences with lying and not something you can control. You can’t control their actions (the white lies) but you can control your reactions (your very obvious eye roll and comment). Instead of responding negatively to them, change the narrative to a more positive judgement and release the negative one. Re-write who you think they are and see the other side of the picture. So when Brenda tells a small white lie, think about how she does it to make someone else feel better, even if she doesn’t believe it herself, she’s compassionate and focus on the good.
  • Avoid them. Some people are just incompatible, it can’t be helped and if you can’t change them or accept them for who they are, simply avoid them at all costs. Requests to move desks if you have too, find a way to not be around them if they are causing you this much pain and stress.

3. Your Job Isn’t Fun or Rewarding

Your job isn’t always going to be fun and games; and when it no longer becomes rewarding, you are going to feel unhappy. Human beings thrive on rewards and entertainment and we love competition. By making your work environment fun and rewarding, you will start to enjoy going to work.

How can you make your job more fun and rewarding?

  • You can try creating games for yourself to play, friendly competitions with your co workers (if you like them!)
  • Create a rewards system so if you hit a target or goal, you get a coffee from Starbucks or another small treat. An example of this would be, if you close 3 files by 5pm, you get to have a cocoa nib; or if you win today’s sales target, you get to have the victory trophy on your desk for the day.

4. You Don’t Believe in the Work That You Are Doing

This one is one of the core reasons you’re unhappy in a job role; you are living out of alignment of your core values.

If your job role doesn’t match up with your core values, then you will be miserable. If you value helping people and you work in program coding, you will struggle to be happy, unlike someone whose values problem solving.

It isn’t impossible to enjoy your job if your values don’t align with your work. You could reason that by doing program coding, you are helping someone, be it your co-workers or the people who will eventually use your project. You can always flip your perspective.

Learn what your core values are and find a way for them to align with your job role, in doing so changing the motivation that drives you to do your work. For example, to help people or to problem solve.

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And if you can’t, maybe it is time to start to consider a career change into a job you have always wanted to do secretly, deep down.

5. You Feel Stagnant in Your Job Role and You Are Bored

Your job isn’t going anywhere and you feel like you are wasting your time on this earth, feeling utterly unfulfilled. We love being safe and secure but we also love progression, we get bored of the same ol’ same old, we want new challenges and things to do. If you are just pushing through papers, day in day out, you will become unhappy so what can you do about it?

  • Apply for a promotion or ask for new challenges from your boss.
  • Mix up your attitude, find ways to make it more fun and exciting.
  • Shop around for a promotion at another firm.

6. You Are Underpaid

You feel underpaid for the work that you are doing and it is making you feel unhappy because all the hard work you are putting in isn’t being appreciated enough. If it was, you wouldn’t feel underpaid.

Let’s ask the hard question, are you really being underpaid? Or do you just feel unappreciated or overworked? Maybe it is because you have taken on additional responsibilities and you feel like you aren’t being rewarded accordingly.

People who are unhappy because they feel underpaid are stressed about money, they are working hard and it is going unnoticed and unappreciated.

The key component at play here is stress. Increasing bills and expenses in their personal life, general life stresses, more and more work is coming in and it is being unrewarded and you feel like you need a reward for handling all this stress. And you do, but you have been purchasing stress relief for a while and you need more money to pay for more stress relief, as more stresses get dropped into your inbox each day.

If you feel underpaid, it is because you don’t love your work and it’s is not worth the amount of stress for your salary. Have you heard that famous quote:

Working for something you don’t care about is called Stress. Working for something you do care about is called Passion.

Here are things you can do to spark happiness when you are feeling underpaid

  • Reignite your passion with your work, find meaning in it and see the results that you are creating. Every day you come in and you make a difference somehow, start to see how it’s affecting other people, and start to appreciate yourself for doing it.
  • Ask for a raise. Simple but often never done option.
  • If you are being underpaid and if there is no room for a raise (and you have asked), then I suggest finding ways to reduce your stress levels. Trying things like guided meditations, exercise or stress relieving hobbies can reduce the feeling of being undervalued because your life is suddenly so much more than just working for money.

7. You Are Overwhelmingly Overworked

We all get burnt out from work sometimes as work comes in flows of business. And at some point, you crack and the pressure and stress gets to be a little too much; especially since you have sacrificed your personal life just to try and keep on top of this ever increasing workload.

If you feel overworked, you need to learn some self-care so you can keep on top of the burnout:

  • Stop helping out unnecessarily, at least until you feel under worked. Start saying no to anything that isn’t vitally important.
  • Find a way to automate or reduce your workload. Delegate, hire new staff, get programs into to automate parts of your job role.
  • Keep on top of your mental health, make sure you are doing the necessary things to keep it in check, whatever your process is (or find a process and implement it).
  • Set boundaries. Work shouldn’t be your life, if you say you are clocking off at 6, you clock off at 6. Set hard boundaries because this technologically advancing modern world will push them. If you finish work, don’t check your emails, leave the office, go do something recreational to help you relax and rest, I advise going on a walk to let your head relax.

8. You Are Feeling Really Unappreciated at Work

One of the core driving elements in humans is our need for recognition and if it goes un appeased, you will feel unhappy. You can try and force appreciation out of your co-workers and bosses, like a child with their 10th crayon drawing sticking it under their parents noses and gladly proclaiming what they have done. But that is never as satisfying as it seems and the validation received is not authentic enough, it feels hollow and empty.

So what can you do about it since you cannot control anyone expression appreciation of your hard work?

Be the change you want to see in the office. Create an initiative to show everyone else they are appreciated, I bet that half of your office feel unappreciated.

Start a culture of appreciation and gratitude, start thanking people and noticing their hard work. Go out of your way to make someone else feel appreciated, the more you do it, the better your environment will become.

With all things, Expectation equals Manifestation. If you treat everyone with appreciation and make an effort, they will most certainly make an effort to appreciate you back. Someone just has to start the chain, why shouldn’t it be you?

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All of these issues can also be resolved by you quitting your job and finding a greener field. Sometimes your job just sucks, your boss is just unworkable, no matter how positive you are, people are always unappreciative and negative and you really are underpaid.

What If You Hate Your Job But Can’t Quit?

There is a difference between being unhappy in your job role and hating your job which makes it much harder when you want to quit and you can’t. Not everyone can just quit their job whenever they feel like it, even with some savings hidden away, you have bills to pay, a social life to maintain (when you can get one!) and people who rely on you. But you HATE your job, you wake up in the morning and you really wish you could wake up as somebody else in an alternate timeline.

Here are our top 3 things to do when you really hate your job and can’t quit.

  1. Change departments or job roles within the business. Shop around, see if there is another role that would be more suited to you or that you would actually find more interesting.
  2. Change your attitude. You attitude controls your reality, if you wake up and decide that you hate work, you are not going to have a good day. Change your mindset from negative to gratitude. Make a list of all the reasons you are grateful for your job, it may take a while, but the more reasons you find the be grateful, the easier it is going to work will become.
  3. Apply for other jobs, there is nothing stopping you from quitting your job if you have another solid job lined up and if it’s making you THAT miserable. No amount of money is worth the struggle to your mental health.

Final Thoughts

Remember that happiness is completely within your control. How you handle outside influences trying to wreak havoc on your happiness by putting you down and making you feel unworthy is completely up to you.

You can’t always let every comment bounce off you like water off a duck’s back, but you can control the environment you are in, the attitude in which you face adversity, and you control what you think. Make an effort to learn to see things in another way because even if you quit and go to a greener grass, not everything will always be “perfect”.

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Featured photo credit: Mimi Thian via unsplash.com

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Jade Nyx

Qualified Life Coach

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Last Updated on January 12, 2021

The Real Reason Why You Hate Working (And How to Turn It Around)

The Real Reason Why You Hate Working (And How to Turn It Around)

Have you ever asked yourself, why do I hate working? Is it the people, what I do, or is it something else entirely? Studies show that people are becoming less happy with their jobs and personal life. According to the General Social Survey,[1]

On a scale of 1 to 3, where 1 represents “not too happy” and 3 means “very happy,” Americans on average give themselves a 2.18 — just a hair above “pretty happy.”

While that may not sound bad to some, it is considered a significant decline from the happiness levels of the early 1990’s. When you dive into the numbers further, spending time on the internet, listening to music alone, and using social media are all activities correlated with unhappiness.

Interesting enough, these are all activities found on your computer or cell phone. Another interesting point is the fact that these activities are all things that most people perform while working.

Here’re 3 questions to help you reflect why you hate your job and what you can do to turn things around:

1. Are You Focusing on the Negative Only?

I can say for me personally, the podcasts I listened to would cause me to hate working. As I listened to other entrepreneurs talking about their journey and the success they found, I started to question my own commitment. Was I interested in living my dream life or did I just want to talk about it?

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The same can hold true for someone surfing social media or listening to music to pass the time. As you experience the successes and emotions of others, you immediately start comparing that to the life you are living. When you see someone taking a vacation, purchasing a new vehicle or growing their family, you start to feel inadequate.

What you may have noticed is these activities usually cause you to focus on what you do not like about your job. In my case, I did not like the fact that it was keeping me from starting my own business. For you, it may be the same, or it could be something completely different.

However, if you want to start loving your work again, you are going to need to focus on the things you love.

By focusing on the positive, you allow yourself to remember why you took the job in the first place. If the pay was 10% higher than the pay at your previous job, then that is something you should remind yourself when you face difficult situations. If you took the job because of the proximity to your home or the work-life balance, then focus on that aspect of your career.

By continually reminding yourself about what you dislike about your job, you are only going to further hate working.

When you focus on the negative, you may ask yourself:

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  • why do I stay in this job
  • why is my career stagnant
  • why do the worst people keep getting promoted
  • do I really need to deal with this nonsense

The answer is usually because you feel stuck in some way. As much as you hate working, you hate the idea of not working even more.

Fear of failure is something each of us encounter. However, avoiding failure is almost always going to lead to regret.

2. Are You Staying with an Indifferent Employer?

Who you work for and the culture they help create plays a decisive role into whether you enjoy or hate working. Studies show that 92% of employees are more likely to stay with an empathetic employer.[2] Now think about this for a moment, 92% of people do not enjoy their jobs. 92% of people are not satisfied with their career advancement or salary, but they are more willing to stay at their job anyways.

Empathy is nothing more than someone’s ability to understand and share the feelings of another person. Nevertheless, the reason that empathy is so vital to whether you hate working is because everyone wants to feel accepted and appreciated.

When you tell your supervisor your dreams and ambitions, it is nice to have someone who wants to help you achieve them. Even if they are not always successful in their endeavors, it is nice to know they care. A recent Gallup survey said that 37% of employees would consider quitting their current job if their new job allowed them to work remotely part-time.[3]

There are plenty of reasons working from home is enticing to so many professionals. If you have a family, then working from home could allow the flexibility to attend to families matters in a more effective way.

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If you live in a city with a lot of traffic, then working from home could help you to avoid sitting in rush-hour every morning and evening. Wouldn’t you hate work less if you weren’t stuck in rush-hour traffic everyday?

Empathy helps employees feel valued. When you express concerns or difficulties and someone is interested in helping you to alleviate that pain, it feels good. Once more, the end result is not always as important as just knowing that someone cared enough to ask you how you are doing. Feeling valued in your work is a sure way you can ensure someone enjoys their work, even though they may be dealing with the same office politics in other aspects.

If you find yourself in a work situation where empathy is lacking, then I encourage you to start volunteering and helping others. Helping others is a great way to prevent you from hating work because it forces you to focus on the needs of others. And if you volunteer through initiatives that take place in your office, then you will be able to connect with coworkers. These relationships could add a dimension to your work life that helps you to enjoy your working.

If your company does not have any volunteer opportunities, then this could be a great occasion for you to start one. In addition to you getting to spearhead a project that you are passionate about, this is a great chance for you to showcase your leadership abilities to the company. As you build relationship through these opportunities, you will be able to position yourself for new openings within the organization.

3. Are You Not Doing What You Truly Love?

The equation to go from, “I hate working” to “I love working” is based on doing more things you love and less things you hate.

Finding what you love is not an easy task. You have likely left your first love back in your adolescent days. Once you became an adult, you figured all your decisions should be based on being a responsible adult. While this sounds good for a lot of people, this is ultimately what causes so many people to hate working. They are doing what they think everyone else is doing, and in a way they are. The problem is they are getting the results that everyone else is getting.

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If you want to change your results, then take a moment and think about your dream job. Write down as many things as you can about what makes this your dream job. This can be anything from the location, salary, responsibilities or industry.

Next, take a few moments and list anything your current role has in common with your dream job. While it may not seem possible, you are going to find that your current job does have some things in common with your dream job. Once you list the commonalities, see if there are any opportunities to do more things you love in your current position.

This can include anything from shadowing other groups, changing departments, or just shifting your focus in your current role. If your job is 60% client interactions and 40% administrative work, but you do not enjoy interacting with clients – see if you can adjust your schedule so that is 60% administrative work and 40% client facing.

It is important to speak with your supervisor about your dream job and see if they can assist you in making your dream a reality. If you discover you are not qualified for some of the responsibilities you want to take on, then work with your supervisor to create a plan that closes the gap.

If you feel your supervisor is not necessarily the best person to help you grow your skill-sets, then reach out to someone in your network. This could be a coworker or a friend from a previous employer.

Final Thoughts

The goal is to grow your current job into your dream job so you can enjoy working again. While this may not be accomplished overnight, by committing to making these small changes in your mindset and action, you will find yourself turning hate back into love and contentment.

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Featured photo credit: Muhammad Raufan Yusup via unsplash.com

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