Saturday, March 20, 2010

Survival in an Unhappy Work Environment

When someone doesn't like his or her job, going to work every day can be a real challenge I suppose. The problem might be with poor office management, staff politics, not meeting what you expect to achieve, that you constantly feel stretched to the breaking point, or that you are resentful about some actions the senior management had just announced. Or, the whole environment may just feel unpleasant for him or her. He or she might need to stay in the present job because it provides health benefits, or maybe they're only staying while looking for another position. Whatever the reasons for being unhappy, they need to maintain their professionalism and prevent a bad attitude from sabotaging themselves.

What the Professionals Say

Some of you need to turn towards that feeling of unhappiness, experience it more thorough and find out deeper into the issues, and not try to solve things too quickly. It is suggest to observe the feelings and not expecting anything. You may just find yourself at a frontier, considering what you're going to do next.

Similarly, an associate professor who specializes in human resources management and organizational behavior, agrees that looking within is the first step. That may be hard for some people to hear, because while it's true that sometimes people just don't match well with their jobs, employees tend to rationalize their job dissatisfaction rather than consider that they may be part of the problem. But if you are part of the problem, you may be part of the solution, too.

A workplace expert advises that if you're unhappy, see if you can upgrade your contribution to the company, or find a way to be more creative about your job. She once performed very dull work in a book bindery but avoided becoming negative about the job by finding a way to make it less boring. No work is uninteresting if you can think how to do it differently.

That's not to say unhappy workers don't have valid complaints. One thing you don't want to do, however, is let your feelings boil over at work.

Signs That You Need to Take Action

Perhaps you've heard of someone who was so unhappy he quit on the spot or blew up at a boss. Losing control at work helps no one and may have repercussions in both your current job and in the future — you never know when you'll work with one of your current colleagues again.

Indications that you need to address your emotions may be physical or behavioral. The signs include feeling distracted, sluggish, angry or irritable, not sleeping well or sleeping excessively, relying on alcohol or food to comfort yourself, and withdrawing from friends and activities. All may indicate underlying depression or anxiety, which you shouldn't ignore.

If you feel you have nowhere to turn, are about to burst, or are depressed, one option is to seek out your company's counselor, if it has one.

There are also things you can try to change in your approach to your job. Consider these solutions for surviving and even thriving in a job that's less than optimal:

-Face the situation. During a recession or slow recovery, people at all levels experience the pain and depression. Such an economic climate makes it more difficult to leave a job, but it doesn't mean you should feel stuck. Accept that this job is not where you want to be, even if you can't make a change today. But begin taking steps to change things. Practice radical acceptance, you have more control over how you think than you realize. Understand what you're feeling, and that if you show up to work reluctantly, it will affect your performance.

-Choose a plan. Be proactive, work with trusted friends and office members about your ideas. If there's something you'd like to change, decide whether your management is approachable and if so, the best tactics to use. If you have suggestions, discuss how they will improve your performance as well as others.

You could also try learning a new skill. At the very least, it may help you prepare for another job should you decided later to progress further elsewhere. It can also lift your spirits and lead to new possibilities at your current job. Finally, consider looking outside your job for fulfillment. Having an outside interest or two gives you another outlet and an activity to look forward to, if that is finally what you choose to be.

-Find the "positives". Make a list of the good points about your job, you may be thankful to have healthcare and other benefits, you may like your coworkers. Or you enjoy the opportunity for travel or the mentoring you do. Listing what you do like about your job will help shift your perception and keep you from feeling so unhappy and felt trapped. If you don't take responsibility, it will hurt your performance, erode your satisfaction further, and make your time at the job worse.

Remember the Dos’ and Don’ts

Do: Differentiate between what you can change and what you can't. Take responsibility for making a change. Focus on making the best of a bad situation.
Don't: Assume nothing will ever change. Allow negative thoughts to rule you. Go it alone.
Find Satisfaction in Some Part of Your Job, Find Satisfaction Outside of Work. Whatever you do, be happy and positive and do not whine like a baby !

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