You get a bad mood just by thinking of going to work. You’re doing the same old things, but it doesn’t seem like you are actually getting anywhere.
Is it just the January blues, or are you really unhappy with your job?
And then the situation with Covid – 19 doesn’t make things any easier for you.
You feel stuck in your miserable job, and you try to convince yourself that you should be grateful that at least you have a job while so many people lost their jobs.
You believe that actually, it is not feasible or practical for you to do anything about your current situation. And you feel really tired because you don’t know how to get out of the rut.
Of course, there might be many factors involved in what makes you unhappy with your job, and sometimes these reasons mean it is really time to quit and find job happiness elsewhere.
However, this decision might not make you feel comfortable right now.
But you are also not in a position to make changes to the company’s culture, or you can’t force others to stop doing the things that are making your work life miserable.
So, what is then left?
How to manage your emotions, behavior, and maintain productivity while still on the job?
If you don’t want to settle for less, here are ways to help you focus, stay engaged, and, most of all, develop yourself. It is about the habits for your career success and tools useful for all areas of your life – finding the right mindset.
Where to start when you’re unhappy with your job?
#1 Assess the real problem.
You can’t stand your boss, and that makes you unhappy with your job. You don’t get along with your coworkers. You are constantly overloaded with mundane tasks. You are bored. You are underpaid.
These sound like valid reasons to hate your job. But still, they might be only the surface cause of your misery.
Almost everyone would like more money, a better boss, more freedom, but is that what actually makes you dread going in every day? Would a higher salary or a new boss make you fulfilled?
When you start exploring the real, underlying reasons why your job is bringing you down, most likely, you will find one or more of the following causes:
➡ You don’t feel valued and appreciated. You feel that your hard work, time, and talents are simply taken for granted.
➡ Your values don’t match the company’s values. You value freedom and compassion, but your company promotes competition and structured processes.
➡ You don’t see how what you do really matters. You feel you are losing your time and energy on something that doesn’t bring any real value to the world.
➡ You are not able to focus on what you do best. While you’ve always been pretty good with numbers, doing that job sucked you dry. Your job doesn’t leverage your strengths or allow you to do what you do best and enjoy most. Most of the time, you are either bored either you struggle and feel resistance as you have to learn new skills that don’t come naturally to you.
Stepping back and see what is behind the hatred is the way to find the real issue of why you are unhappy with your job.
Don’t think of every negative thing, rather the core things that make you unhappy.
»You can’t find the right answer if you don’t know what the question is.«
#2 Balance the negativity bias.
No doubt we all have difficulties at work, but good things happen too, and it’s easy to overlook them.
To be mindful is to pay attention to whatever happens to be occurring at the moment, but there are many things we could attend to, and what we pay attention to determines, to some extent, our experience.
We all have what neuro-psychologists call a negativity bias in the brain – that is, a strong tendency to notice and dwell on negative events and experiences before we notice anything good.
There is an evolutionary reason for this as our brain evolved in a way to make sure we survived and not to make us happy.
While this works well from our survival point of view, it doesn’t help us enjoy a sense of wellbeing, tranquility, and happiness. It’s hard to relax and enjoy yourself when you’re looking out for “potential dangers”.
So we need to work against this negativity bias, which we do by turning our attention to the positive – to the good things that happen, the pleasant experiences.
This is not looking at the world through rose-tinted glasses or “thinking positive”; it means getting a more balanced view – a more accurate picture – of our situation.
In fact, many of our clients report that the practice of noticing the good has a bigger effect than anything else they learned. Sometimes small can be big!
The first and the second practice are a great foundation for the third practice – find and focus on what you want.
#3 Focus on what you want.
Focusing on what you want is one of the most powerful tools you can have when it comes to changes and success.
Why should you have a clear image of what you want?
Let’s take the example of buying a new car. You recently bought a new car, and now you see the same model everywhere you go. Or you are expecting a baby and now you see pregnant women everywhere.
Why is that so?
Science calls this the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon.
According to science, there hasn’t been an increase in the number of that particular car or pregnant women around you — you just didn’t notice it before.
We’re bombarded with all kinds of information every single second — just think about how many items are in your nearness at this moment, but you’re not actively noticing them.
The subconscious is quite selective in what it gives attention to or ignores without you realizing it. Your brain is “careful” in what it lets through.
Hence, now that your brain has taken note of your new car, it will alert you whenever it notices — while driving, on TV, in conversations, etc.
It is the same when it comes to your job.
The very act of knowing what you want tells your mind what’s important to you as it connects to your subconscious desires.
Your vision is your way of letting your subconscious know what you want in your life.
And one of the most important effects of this is that when your subconscious knows what you want in your life, it will continuously be on the lookout for ways for you to get it.
If you don’t focus on what you do want, you may end up with what you don’t want.
Practice self – gratitude.
Practicing self-love can seem extravagant — especially when you feel like your job is beating you down, the pandemic weighs heavily on you, not doing enough for the kids…
If you are unhappy with your job for a longer time, there is a great chance that you have gotten stuck in a rut where everything and everybody is wrong and suck. Besides, your self-confidence is at stake.
When you’re depressed and down in general, it’s very hard to launch successful changes.
The true blessing begins with KNOWING YOUR WORTH. SELF-gratitude can be a powerful tool that helps you to acknowledge your accomplishments each day, no matter how small or big they are.
Most of all, it helps you to acknowledge and focus on your talents, strengths, knowledge, skills that enabled you to achieve these accomplishments and gradually refocus your attention from your shortcomings to your value.
Otherwise, there is a high chance that your unique abilities stay overlooked or taken for granted.
Especially when you feel stuck, pause, and take stock in all the work you have done. Self-gratitude can build confidence and help you face challenges when no one else will.
More good feelings mean less room for the toxic ones.
When “unhappy with my job” is the answer and not the problem.
“It’s not the load that breaks you down; it’s the way you carry it.” C.S. Lewis.
Indeed, you can’t control everything that is going around you, but YOU CAN CONTROL HOW YOU REACT TO IT.
A mindset shift will help you to prevent a toxic workplace from destroying your mental health and wellbeing.
Instead of having your mind full, become mindful.
Doing these practices helps change the brain and build new neural pathways that enable us to notice and remember the good things in life more readily.
These ways will help you stay engaged in the job while actively seeking a better future. Being actively engaged keep you to stay energized and focused on the benefits necessary for your future.
Otherwise, passive disengagement leads to stagnation and depression, neither of which benefit you in a job search or new career development.
I invite you to see this adversity as an opportunity to reflect and intentionally invest time in yourself, time that you’ve often pushed back due to busyness.
You might still think that now is not the right time to think about what would be your dream job, but just to have “a” job in order to sustain your existential stability.
Contrary, now it’s even more important to know what your passion or/and purpose are, as this knowledge will give you even more than ever the needed confidence, resilience, determination, persuasion…
And you will be much better prepared for the unpredictable job market.