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Question: Are you unhappy at work?

Posted by: Mark Burslem

You spend more time at your job—as much as one third of your days according to some sources—than just about anywhere. And if you’re miserable, it can take a tremendous toll on all aspects of your life. Yes, we can’t all be happy in our jobs all the time and there will be good days and bad. But if you’re spending more time feeling frustrated or unhappy then that is not productive for you or the company that you are working for. So, what should your next step be?  
If the position you’re in is tolerable, take the opportunity to check out the job market, see what’s out there. Look at salaries and benefits for comparable positions. Think about why you are unhappy, it may be that you feel too comfortable and need to take a step up or find a completely different challenge that will take advantage of your skills and experience. 

Look at the simple step-by-step advice below, to you help make the right decision.

1. Don’t let yourself get to breaking point
Try not to act emotionally, this is business, not personal. If you decide to leave your job, make your decision to leave is a rational one e.g. you have found a better opportunity, or you want to try something new. Give yourself time to think things through carefully to make sure that you don’t find yourself in a worse position.

2. Pinpoint your pain
Think about exactly what is it about your job that makes you dissatisfied? Is it a lack of support from your manager? Do you feel like you are not challenged? Not enough money? Long or anti-social hours? Heavy workload? Unreasonable performance expectations? Constantly under pressure? Really think about this, if you can pinpoint exactly why you are unhappy, then you can decide as to whether these can be fixed or not. If not, it’s a good indicator that the time is right to start exploring other options that better fit your personality.

3. Do your research
Go online and do your research, find out what employers are saying and what they are looking for, talk to the experts, workforce solutions companies are often the first to know about new roles and have a good understanding of the companies that they work with. Review your CV, make sure that it is up-to-date and that it clearly shows off all your key skills and experience. Brush up on your interview skills. Check you online presence, LinkedIn, is a prime spot to let hiring managers, recruiters and decision makers know that you are looking for new challenges.

4. Keep calm and carry on
While you are following your decision-making process research, try and remind yourself that you have taken charge and that this job or feeling is not forever. Try and focus on the small, meaningful or fun aspects of the job, it can neutralise some of the negativity. By doing this, you will be able to rise above all of the ‘little things’ that niggle at you until you are completely clear about what your next step should be.

5. Talk about it
Arrange to meet with your manager. Get prepared and make sure that you have a list of concerns and talk about them clearly and rationally. Make sure that your boss understands your point of view by listening to his or her feedback. This should help you to gauge any underlying issues within your organisation that may be the cause of your frustrations, maybe you’re not alone, you may even be able to find a resolution.

6. Move on 
If you feel that you have exhausted all routes to improve how you feel about your current position, it might be time to move on. If you’ve tried all the other actions, you’ve probably got a good exit strategy by now, so good luck with your new job search.

If you are considering a move or just want to have a confidential discussion about current job markets, you can contact WRS. We are a workforce solutions company who work closely with our clients and candidates to help match great people to great roles, with great companies in the mining, maritime, energy, commodities trading and construction industries.
You can take a look at our latest roles by visiting or call is on +44 (0) 161 925 2626

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