5 Reasons Why You’re Unhappy at Work
Happiness. It’s simple. At times, it’s vague. Happiness is associated with many things. But what makes someone happy at work? Will it make you happy if you simply follow your heart?
1. Your boss
We all get it. Not everyone can get lucky to have a super down-to-earth, and incredibly nice boss. But, it’s true. Having a boss you’re comfortable working with, can be one of the reasons why you are happy at work. You are acknowledged for a job well done. You get positive feedback every time. And you are encouraged to climb up the corporate ladder because your boss thinks you have “potential”. If there is someone you want to impress, that’s your boss.
The downside is, this person can’t be your boss forever. Chances are, your boss might transfer to another department, resigns, or retire. Loyalty has its perks. But when it reaches the end of the line, and you are forced to be with a new boss, you’re back to square one. Either way, a great boss is an excellent motivation to keep you happy at work.
2. You’re underpaid
Was there a time when you have so much on your plate, that you tend to check your contract again and see what your job description really is?
I had an experience with one of my clients when I was hired as a course developer. Over time, he started asking small favors. Soon, I was no longer a course developer. I became a social media content/strategist, web quality assurance, and project manager rolled into one. Believe me, I was happy to know the tricks of the trade. But it was too much work that I started questioning why am I hired in the first place. Did we talk about my salary? Not, evah.
With no backup plan, I decided to quit. I know my client was furious. But I still think I made a good decision.
I don’t want to mope about being the jack of all trades and not get paid well for it. You would think, “You should’ve asked for a raise.” That time I thought, knowing my client, leaving was my best option.
3. You’re bored
When you’ve been doing your job for years, you will find that your task seems repetitive. Eventually, it starts to bore you, something that you can do even with your eyes closed.
Have you seen Inner Workings? At some point I realized, the main character and I have so much in common. At first, a job can be inspiring, purposeful even. Eventually, it was more like a chore. I hated it.
I survived three years of working in the BPO industry because of my friends. They are my favorite people in the world. It’s been thirteen years since we formed our group (The Smokers) and we’ve in touch still.
I left, not only because I’m bored. But I don’t see myself going anywhere. Eventually, my friends started leaving as well. We still get together once a year. Most of them didn’t leave the BPO industry after all.
4. Lack of growth
Everybody wants to climb the corporate ladder. I mean, who doesn’t?
We love success stories. We see them all the time. Sometimes, It’s hard to admit that after all the hard work, lot’s of unpaid overtime, and missed family gatherings, it’s not really coming your way.
So, what do you do? This time, you work thrice as hard, finish tasks ahead of time, and always ALWAYS go the extra mile.
Guess what? Still nothing.
You are stuck in that cubicle for the rest of your career.
Sounds familiar? I know. I’ve been there.
This is the point where, again, you look at yourself in the mirror and say, “ I don’t deserve this.”
And that’s true. But you keep coming to work. You keep doing what you do.
Because heck, you don’t have a backup plan. Yet.
5. You hate your coworkers
A co-worker approached you one fine Monday morning and said, “Hey, I heard you are going to get fired today. Did you know?”
Then, you felt your world crashing like the bus/airplane explosion scene from Speed.
Silly gossips, rumors, and office politics. They’re inevitable.
It disrupts your mental health.
When your self-esteem is compromised, there is a huge possibility that you’re not in a happy workplace.
You start hating the people around you. In fact, they hate you, too.
Soon, everyone in the office thinks your THE ENEMY.
And you feel the same way towards them.
Hate is cruel. And when you let it bring out the worst in you, you’re doomed.
How do you know if you’re unhappy at work?
You’re always late (or absent)
Was there a time when you don’t feel like going to work? There are many reasons not to. But you always set it aside. When there’s no way but to stand up
You stop caring
During your first year, everything is set to perfection. You finish your tasks on time (if not, ahead). You have great attention to details. Everything is just a piece of cake.
Suddenly, you STOPPED. You are not as enthusiastic as you were. You come to work just for the heck of it. You are fine with an “okay” instead of “awesome”. You are one employee acting like a robot programmed to work and nothing else.
You stop smiling
Remember that song and dance scene from 500 Days of Summer? That’s you on your first day. Days later, you show up at work with messy hair (not in a sexy way), scrumpled shirt, and muddy shoes.
You transformed from a boy/girl-next-door vibe to a grumpy, skinny, and lonely colleague. Jokes don’t hit you anymore. Smiling is too much effort. Rather, you’d just curl up in your cubicle and be left alone.
You get sick all the time
Pretending to be sick is one thing. Being sick due to stress at work is another. Recent studies show that stressful work environments lead to employees acquiring chronic illnesses. Strenuous work and occupational hazards lead to employees’ bad performance, lack of motivation, and poor health.
How do you know when it’s time to leave?
You found a new career
Finally, an “aha” moment. You realized it’s never too late to start over. I mean, Vera Wang started her brand at 40. Stan Lee wrote his first comic, The Fantastic Four at 39.
If you have saved enough money to start over, why not? A fresh start is always a good thing. Surprise yourself. Maybe this is the break you’ve been waiting for.Cherrie Ann Balictar, Content Writer, WordPress Developer
You found a new opportunity
So, you’ve been busting your ass in the company for three years now. Every month, you see someone getting promoted. You see them leaving their lonely cubicles and moving to a bigger office. You smile at them when you walk across the hall.
A few days later, you received a call from a head hunter about a fancy job opportunity. The owner of the company wants to meet you at a fine restaurant. He showered you with gifts, privileges, and compensation that’s way more than what you’re getting.
What do you do? You take it. You realized there’s no point in staying if everyone’s leveling up except you. You deserve it. You are given the opportunity because you are good.
You just can’t stand it anymore
It’s eight o’clock and you’re still in the office. Everybody just left except you and the janitor. You want to order Chinese but decided not to. You’ll be out the door, in a few minutes, anyway. Finally, everything is all done and you’re ready to go home. Suddenly, you received a phone call from your boss, asking for one more favor. In the background, you hear him having drinks with your co-workers. Then, you burst in tears and said, “I’m done. I quit.”
Being bullied at work is one of the worst nightmares anyone can have. It’s like high school all over again. If this goes on and on, then it’s time to go.
How to be happy at work
Choose to be happy
After all that’s been said, it’s always up to you if you want to be happy at work. Sometimes, all it takes is to follow your heart.
Make friends, not frienemies. I swear after my first job, I had a lot of trouble making friends at work. To me, friends aren’t temporary. They’re peanut butter and jelly. Inseparable.
But having friends at work is different. Actually, they’re not friends. More like, acquaintances.
But if you found someone who can be with you through thick and thin (think Meredith Grey and Christina Yang from Grey’s Anatomy), everything is going to be fine.
Take responsibility for your personal development
If your office is giving away scholarships, free seminars or workshops, participate. Times are changing. The road to knowledge continues. Take advantage of anything that will keep you ahead of your game.Cherrie Ann Balictar, Content Writer, WordPress Developer
Easier said than done? I know. But who else would you expect to shower you with positivity when you need it, but you?
Whenever I need something to cheer me up, I listen to Monty Python’s Always Look on the Bright Side of Life. It’s a silly song but it gets the job done.
Don’t work overtime
If you can avoid it, then don’t. When you work overtime, it disrupts your sleep, you skip meals, and you’re tired all the time. Plus, going through heavy traffic before you reach home adds up to your burden. You are not giving your body enough rest to recover. Stick with your work schedule. Your body and mind will thank you for it.
Listen to music
Earlier, I talked about listening to Monty Python. Music soothes me. I can’t imagine a world without it. Spotify has playlists which help set you in a good mood. I have one to help me focus, and another for a quick cheer-me-up.
Ditch the milk tea craze, and start hydrating your body with good old H2O. Never get through the day without drinking water. It’s good for your skin, too.
And not just anything. Resist the temptation of eating junk food. Instead, stock up on healthy snacks that are easy to munch. Try homemade granola, fruits, and Greek yogurt.
Set a quiet me-time
Arrive at least 30 minutes before your shift. That is enough to help you get ready for the day. Check to see if your makeup is on point. You can read my previous post on office makeup and product recommendations.
Spend a couple of minutes in silence. Say a morning prayer if you will. Close your eyes and take deep breaths. Self-care doesn’t have to be complicated.
Go on vacation
Cindy works as a Travel Specialist. She is based in Hongkong. She was the one who taught me that taking a vacation is not a luxury, but a necessity.
When everything is so toxic, it pays to go away for a little while. You don’t have to spend hours away from the city or pay a ludicrous amount of money to have a good time. A staycation is a great option.
Start a new hobby
Follow your heart. Follow where it leads you to. The internet can give you a plethora of options. Try art. Watercolor painting sounds fun. How about going outdoors. Mountain climbing, running a marathon, biking, or just staying at home discovering the inner-chef in you.
The possibilities are endless. The only reason you can’t start a hobby is if you really don’t want to.
This may not be the best advice to give. But for some people, shopping is therapeutic. I even do a little bit of shopping if I get lonely.
There was one time, I was suuper mad about what happened to me at work. There’s no one there to talk to. So, I went to the mall, got myself a nice cup of black tea from Starbucks, and started walking until my feet hurt.
Now at this point, I thought I’m ready to go home. But something tells me no. What did I do? I went straight to the department store and proceed to the beauty section. I ended up buying lipsticks. I went home with lipstick swatches all over my hands. It was pure bliss, just looking at the colors.
Take a break
When you think you’re hungry, eat. When you feel like standing up after hours of sitting, do it. When you crave for ice cream even if you’re trying to lose weight, share a pint with an officemate. When you follow your heart and mind, that only means your body is asking you to help yourself, too.
Don’t skip breaks. Stand up, get some water, eat some crackers.
Don’t skip lunch. Work can wait. But your stomach can’t. Eating recharges you. So if your body is telling you to stop and get eating, do it.
Laughter is the best medicine. You hear this all the time. And that’s because it’s true.
When was the last time you laughed your heart out your brains pop?
It’s okay to be silly. Watch romantic comedies. Watch silly horror movies. Laugh at corniest jokes from your colleagues. Feed your mind with simple thoughts. Not everything has to be complicated. Follow your heart and you’ll never go wrong.