No matter how much you love your job, there’s almost no way you’ll love ALL aspects of it, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
We probably all know someone who was gainfully employed, had mostly reasonable bosses, and made a very good living yet somehow gave it all up to do something else entirely. It’s certainly mind-boggling when that happens, but everyone has their reasons for switching careers rather abruptly, I suppose.
But what if you’re unhappy with your job, and you can’t quit on the spot because you have bills to pay?
1. Step back and assess your situation.
We might get so caught up in how awful we’re feeling that we forget to pinpoint which exact factors are making us so unhappy, and that helps no one.
So, ask yourself some hard questions. What is it about your job that rubs you the wrong way? Do you feel unfulfilled in your current position? Is your supervisor or manager especially abrasive? Are your abilities and skills better suited for a different assignation entirely? Or do you feel that your compensation is no longer adequate for the amount of work that you do?
Once you come up with a proper answer, the way forward will be clearer.
2. Communicate with the right people.
After you’ve pinpointed the root cause of your problems at work, have a proper dialogue with the ones in charge.
Sure, your boss or your manager should guide, support, and encourage you, but it’s not his or her job to read your mind, and sulking at the office isn’t the most mature way to get yourself heard.
When you do present your case to the powers that be, it also helps to prepare an outline of the things you wish to bring up. Not only will it help keep your thoughts more organized, but it will also show the upper management that you’ve thought things through and aren’t acting on mere impulse.
Bear in mind too, that employers are often willing to go the extra mile to keep top talent around, so be sure that you qualify as such. This brings us to….
3. Don’t let it prevent you from doing your best work regardless.
We Filipinos can be passive-aggressive since we don’t like direct confrontations, so it’s pretty common for disgruntled employees to put in the bare minimum at work.
However, that actually fuels discontent further since it can be frustrating to hold yourself back when you know you can do so much better. Also, turning in high-quality work despite your grievances reflects better on you as an employee as it shows a high degree of professionalism. If nothing else, it can help you get hired a lot faster as well, as presenting considerable proof of what you can accomplish under a degree of strain is always a plus.
4. Organize your space.
Your desk is perhaps one of the few things you have actual control over in the workplace, especially if you’re working for a big firm, but it can be a surprising source of comfort.
Your workspace is where you’ll spend most of your time, regardless of whether you work remotely or not, so it’s important to keep it clean and uncluttered. Get rid of anything that’s not related to your job, save for a picture frame of your family or your favorite superhero bobblehead (just to keep your spirits up), perhaps.
5. Vent about it, but not on social media.
There are countless stories on the Internet about how people lost their jobs because they ranted about their job or their boss on their Facebook accounts….and forgot that they were friends with the latter. Nice.
This isn’t to say that you should keep things all bottled in, of course, but as with most things that really matter, social media isn’t the proper venue for letting off steam, so to speak. Instead, go and talk to someone you really trust, preferably someone who doesn’t work in the same company. Giving voice to your annoyances won’t necessarily solve things, but you might find your mood considerably improved once you’ve got them off your chest.
Very few of us will perhaps live the dream of doing what we really love for a living; we can’t all be Ed Sheeran, Adriana Lima, or a Kardashian (thank God). Toughing it out in a 9-5 five, six days a week when you can hardly bear an hour of it can really take a toll on your mental health and happiness too.
Yet, all is not lost if you don’t have the luxury of throwing in the towel just yet. The human spirit has a remarkable capacity for coping with adversity. And for now, at least, just before you’re finally able to make the leap into something far better, you would do well to figure out how to bring out yours.