Fostering Excellence
Bringing out the best in each of us
  
Not every job is the perfect fit for any employee. Finding the right type of job and company takes time and self discovery. Work will constitute many of your waking hours, and if you are unhappy at work, you are likely to feel unhappy in life.  If you are in a job that leaves you dissatisfied, frustrated or feeling trapped, you are probably in the wrong type of job or in the wrong company.

Simply leaving the company, however, without identifying what is keeping you from being happy at work, can lead to more disappointment in the future. Before you leave your current job, find out what the problem is, and tailor your job search to land in the right job with the right company. Here are some things to consider when exploring why you are unhappy at work.

What to Do When You Hate Your Job  

When the work is boring - If you find the actual tasks you complete at work uninteresting, you are likely to be discontented at work and this will likely persist unless the tasks change. If you are committed to the company and its overall vision, consider finding a different job within the same company. You can stay with a company you are passionate about, but perform the tasks that interest you.

When you aren't developing - If you are dedicated to self improvement, and your role within the company offers you minimal development, it can leave you feeling unfulfilled. If a different job within the same company is not a viable option, consider assuming additional duties or roles within the company. Ask your supervisor for extra responsibilities. Not only will you get the challenge you need, you will also communicate to your company you are committed and want to grow-the types of attributes they want to keep and promote!

When your values aren't in alignment - Sometimes employees can be working the tasks they love, but which support a company vision that they are not committed to. If your company is moving in a direction that does excite you, you may need to find a company that needs your skills, but doing a work that better aligns with your values and passions.

When you don't have the right training - If you are experiencing any of the above, but do not have the training or credentialing to move from your current position, you are in a training trap. In cases like these, you will need to keep your chin up while you retrain. Get the training you need for a new job and do the very best you can in your current position. You want your current employment to give you a glowing recommendation when you do search for new employment, so don’t ‘burn that bridge’ while you retrain.


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You need to be happy in your employment, and your employer also needs their employees to be happy in their company.  Often many productivity and workplace happiness problems boil down to suitability problems. If you are unhappy at work, look for suitability mismatches with values, tasks, or development. Work with your employer for new positions, extra responsibilities, or look for new employment that best matches your values and needs. Make sure you have the training you need to be flexible within the job market, so you can land the perfect job that fits you.

Michael Farr, PMP, is a Chief Master Sergeant in the U.S. Air Force and founder of Fosteringexcellence.org. He is passionate about recognition and enabling professionals to motivate their organizations through recognizing their member’s excellence. When he is not slaying dragons with his kids, he can be found at @fosterxcellence on Twitter and @fosteringexcellence on Facebook.