Stop Being Miserable at Work

These 10 Tips Will Help You Become Happier With Your Current Job

a young woman looking frustrated
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Are you miserable at work? Do you never feel good about getting up and heading to work on Monday? Do you feel unchallenged, unhappy, or not in control? Is your boss the worst? Do your coworkers engage in unjustifiable complaining all day long?

Is no contribution ever good enough? If you continue to participate in any of these situations, you will ensure that you will continue to hate your job. And, hating your job is the centerpiece for a miserable life. Why go there? Really.

5 Tips to Help You Stop Being Miserable at Work

  • Participate in the conversations of or hang out with people who are always finding fault with the company, the management, the customers, their colleagues, and more. Legitimate concerns that are actually addressed aside, If you wallow in misery and unhappiness, and listen to unhappy, difficult people, it cannot help but bring you down. Unhappiness and criticism are contagious. Move on to avoid catching the bug.
  • Stay in a job that is unchallenging, unexciting, and unrewarding. Day after day, year after year, you are numbing your mind and your heart with work that doesn't fulfill you. You have options. See a career counselor at your local community college, technical school, or adult education program.
  • Find out about other job opportunities; find ways to use your current skill set differently, and take tests and talk with a counselor to identify work you might find more exciting. If you are a college grad, keep in mind that your college career services office may be able to help you, regardless of when you graduated.
  • Fail to take responsibility for your own development. You can wait forever for a non-communicative boss to give you feedback about areas to improve and your personal and professional growth and development. In fact, in some organizations, you can wait years for a performance appraisal or performance feedback. Why wait for someone else? Why not take responsibility for yourself? No one will ever care as much about your personal and professional growth and development as you do. And, no one else has as much to gain as you do from continued growth.
  • Continue working for a bad boss. Bad bosses, whether abdicators of responsibility or just plain nasty people, rarely change without some life transforming event occurring. The event may happen, but how long are you willing to wait around complaining about how unhappy you are at work? Even with feedback, bad bosses rarely change.

5 More Tips to Help You Stop Being Miserable at Work

  • Work for a company that has business practices you disrespect. Work for a company that lies to customers? Makes promises to employees that are never kept? Bail as quickly as you can. The culture that enables those practices is a tough one to change—if any of the leaders even want to change the culture. Since executives and the founder largely drive the culture, don't hold your breath. There are better, more ethical, companies where you can seek employment.
  • Work in a company that is constantly in danger of going under. This is not to suggest that you leave a good company that is experiencing temporary woes. But, a company that is constantly operating near bankruptcy can wear out your optimism and enthusiasm. It is especially true if you are not in a position to have a large impact on the company's budgeting, spending, or financial performance.
  • Stay in a job in which you feel stuck. There are many reasons why you may feel stuck. Your company is small, and there is nowhere to go. You've been passed over for promotion because of a lack of education, experience, or mentoring opportunities. You've sought additional responsibilities and an expanded job to no avail. You've talked with your boss, and the problems appear to be insurmountable. If you are ambitious and want to expand your knowledge and career, it's time to go.
  • You try to make contributions and come up with ideas to improve the work or work environment, but your ideas are never implemented. Worse, they go into a dark hole, and you never hear a response to your suggestions at all. Staying in a work environment that fails to respond to employee suggestions will eventually make you question the value of your suggestions. Any environment that promotes you questioning your value or your contribution is toxic to your self-esteem and self-confidence. Find a more supportive work environment.
  • You are tired of living paycheck to paycheck. Your current job is never going to pay you more than minimum wage; you're not willing to wait years to hit $11.00 an hour. Average raises are in the three to four percent range annually, so you can look at your current pay and easily predict where it will be, with no changes, in the future. For how much money and how long are you willing to work? You have options. Explore a better-paying future.

You want to live your life as if the glass is half full, not half empty, so consider each of these described situations carefully. Are you settling for less than you can have or be? If so, you may want to consider other options.