Today, we are going to discuss a subject that I feel is almost taboo: job dissatisfaction. There are some alarming studies that illuminate on the fact that MANY individuals in the working world are unhappy and disengaged with their jobs. Most of us are afraid to open up about this subject and continue to settle into our careers with almost a blind Faith that one day, we will be happy. While growing up, society usually teaches us to go to school, get good grades, go to college and enter the corporate world. Last year, I left a job that I was at for a year and a half and I was very unhappy. I felt scared, stuck, depressed, anxious and unconfident in myself. With a lot of strength I was able to leave this chapter of my life behind and now I am excited to share some empowerment to anyone who may be going through this in the work force. As we begin 2020, I urge you to reflect on your present job situation. Make sure your role engages you, challenges you, excites you and leaves you feeling valued. If something does not feel right, then make a change.
After graduation, typically we create this expectation for ourselves that we have to head straight into the workforce. At 22 years old, many of us lack the self awareness to truly know what we want to do with our lives. I remember walking around networking events and career fairs with a desire to want to find a company where I could provide value while feeling purposeful. I enjoyed the process of shaking the hand of a professional and learning about their story/company. But, you don’t really know if you will enjoy a job or company until you try. You have to taste a lot of things, to know you have found the right place for you. Some job experiences are incredible! The company culture is flourishing, you are surrounded by people with amazing mindsets and you are in alignment with your purpose and passion. While other experiences are toxic with long working hours, judgment/criticism and maybe even jealousy.
In a Forbes article I recently read, I discovered The Conference Board reports that 53 percent of Americans are currently unhappy at work. Consider that for a second that half of the workforce is unhappy! This alarms me and I believe we must promote change in our society around this topic. There needs to be a shift from celebrating a work hard and grind for 12 hours a day minimum towards encouragement to empower professionals to discover what they love to do and go all in! This is what should be celebrated: having the courage to create your own path in life, rather than following the norm. You are on this Earth for a reason and if you are spending 8-9 hours a day minimum doing something you despise/are unhappy doing, then are you really LIVING?
What To Do If You Are Unhappy
Once you understand why you’re unhappy, you can start taking meaningful action to improve your circumstances. Before making any major decisions, take some time to reflect on these questions:
- Do I love what I am doing?
- Do I feel fulfilled when I leave work?
- Do I feel valued by my team?
- Am I growing?
- Is my work serving me and the vision of my life?
- Do I feel purposeful when I begin my day?
- Do I have balance and time to enjoy my outside passions?
- Am I able to fully enjoy my life during time off?
- Do I take work home with me?
- Am I earning enough to make ends meet?
- Am I present when I am with family/friends?
- Do I have time to cook, clean, exercise?
If This No Longer Serves You, Walk Away In Peace
If any of the above questions resonate with you on a deeper level, then it is time to get really real with yourself. It is important to decipher if your unhappiness is temporary – are you just having a bad week? If this is only a temporary period, it’s probably best to adopt some new stress-relief techniques and power through. Or is it chronic and you are constantly unhappy. Sunday scaries are frequent and Monday blues are a constant. Discover what it is for you?
Is this temporary unhappiness?
After reflecting, if you think it is temporary, focus on what you can control. Maybe it is taking ownership in your role – and becoming a better version of yourself at what you do. I remember, when I focused on trying to improve my circumstance. Something that helped tremendously was focusing on clear communication and setting boundaries. If you are working almost 60 hours a week, it can be hard to create a lifestyle that is working for you. I remember, I set a time that I would leave the office and did not answer any work related communication after business hours. This drastically improved my happiness.
Is this chronic unhappiness?
Finally, if you feel that you are chronically unhappy then make a change. There’s no reason to allow that unhappiness to continue! Especially, if you feel you have lost yourself in the process of trying to fall in love with the job. If your role is creating constant anxiety, depression, or causing you to not enjoy simple activities that you once LOVED – definitely make a change. Your happiness must come first!
It’s entirely within your power to make positive changes in your own life, even if that means leaving this job for another opportunity. Sometimes, it can be scary – especially if you are uncertain where you want to go next in life. When I left my role, I took a leap of Faith! I was scared, uncertain and had no idea what was next for me. It was at that very moment that my dream job as a social media strategist opened up, literally the week I left. When you open your arms to the universe, the rest will fall into place. Trust the process and have Faith!
I hope this helps you – or share this with someone who may need it!
Have a blessed and beautiful day.
With Love & Gratitude, Carly