Are you feeling dissatisfied with your current job? There are two options: stick it out, or move on. Here are some tips to help you navigate those uncertain waters.
When it comes to your work, it's normal to feel unmotivated and somewhat disengaged from time to time. Only 62% of employees feel happy at work most of the time.
The reason you may feel "stuck" in your job can vary, and at times can be very personal. But you’re not alone. This is an experience shared by many people.
If you’re unhappy with your job, there are two options: try and fix the issues and stick it out, or move on. Either way, changes should be made to help you find happiness in the workplace.
Here are some tips to get you on the right path.
This is the question you’re probably asking yourself, right?
Unfortunately, we can’t answer this for you. In some cases, the answer is yes. Quitting your job could be the right option. In other cases, it won’t be.
Ultimately, it’s up to you to figure out the best course of action. And this starts with understanding why you’re feeling unhappy.
If you can pinpoint the main cause of your unhappiness, you can identify what needs to happen to rectify the situation. This will show you whether it’s worth investing more in your current situation, changing how you feel about it, or throwing in the towel and looking for something new.
So before you call it quits, have a read through our six tips to pull yourself out of your workplace funk and see if you can turn things around.
If you’re feeling frustrated or disconnected at work, the first thing you should do is figure out why. Set aside some time to think about what makes you happy at your job, what doesn’t, and where you’d like to see yourself in the future.
To do this, you could have a brain-dump session, create a pros and cons list, or ask a friend for some advice — whatever helps you determine the root of the problem. From there, you can decide on what steps you should take next.
If you’re still struggling to put your finger on why you’re feeling unhappy, here are some of the most common reasons:
1. Working in a toxic workplace
A toxic work environment isn’t a happy workplace, and it can impact your attitude towards work.
If the company culture isn’t supportive and encouraging, it’s not unusual to feel disconnected, dissatisfied, and like you’re doing a bad job. This likely isn’t the case, but the environment makes you feel this way.
Are you struggling to move up the career ladder? This is a pretty common source of unhappiness at work for a lot of people.
Having too much work and not enough time to do it can cause stress. As a result, you’ll be too worried about how to get your work done on time to enjoy your job.
People value appreciation from their superiors and peers. If you don’t feel valued or appreciated in your job, your happiness can take a hit.
It’s also worth mentioning that mental health can play a part in your workplace happiness. If you’re struggling with your mental health, consider talking to a professional or sharing your concerns with a manager (more on this later).
Chances are, there are some things you can be doing to expand your skill set and help you grow in your career.
Are there training days coming up? Any evening or online courses you can take? Or perhaps there’s a mentor in your workplace who can help you?
By learning new skills or responsibilities, you might find that you can reignite a sense of motivation and job satisfaction at work. This can help you feel more confident in your abilities and empowered to tackle new situations.
Hopefully, you’ll feel happier at your job as a result.
If you want to start expanding your skills, take a look at some of these resources to get the ball rolling:
Networking is an amazing way to connect with others in your current industry or learn more about a new industry! This can inspire you to head back to work with a fresh perspective.
Keep an eye out for networking opportunities near you, including job fairs, professional nights, and mingling cocktail hours.
Because of the pandemic, a lot of in-person networking events moved online. Now, we have many hybrid events where some people attend in person, and others attend virtually. This is a great opportunity for you to network with people from far and wide without having to step out the door.
You can also network virtually by connecting with others right here on the Jobcase community feed. If you find an influential individual on our platform, give them a follow and send them a message.
With so many people working remotely and online these days, social media has become a great way to stay connected — and the same goes for networking. By reaching out and connecting with peers and colleagues in your industry, you can build a portfolio of online connections.
LinkedIn is probably the most popular professional networking platform. Business individuals use it mostly to network and share updates and information about their professional careers and industries.
To start networking, find the user you want to connect with and send them a connect request. Then, you can send messages and start building a relationship.
You can also use other platforms such as Facebook and Instagram, but LinkedIn is the primary business social networking channel.
Signing up for professional memberships can be a great way to meet new people in your industry.
Think about it. If you join a professional organization, you’ll have access to industry events, talks, and new training opportunities. Simply put, you’re sure to meet a lot of new people.
It’s also a great way to meet potential new employers. And it shows them that you’re taking your career seriously. It’s a win-win. So spend some time researching which professional organizations operate in your industry and consider signing up.
Your comfort zone is a safe place. But for positive change to happen, you may have to step out of it. Or, to be more specific, you have to step into the fear zone.
We know it sounds scary. But you have to do this to learn and grow as a professional. Take a look at this diagram to see what we mean:
So if you want to learn and grow in your career, you have to overcome fear. This will help you challenge yourself and develop your skills in the process.
There are small steps you can take to push yourself out of your comfort zone. Here’s what we’d suggest:
1. Identify your areas of improvement
What are the main reasons you’re worried about stepping out of your comfort zone?
These are probably the areas that you need to work on. And the only way to do that is to work through the issues.
2. Ask for more responsibility
More responsibility can be scary, but it’s also great for professional development. For example, if you know that you'll have to do more inventory management to move into the new promotion you want, ask a manager if you can observe the next inventory to learn more about the process.
3. Tackle challenges head-on
When something difficult comes your way, try not to pass it off to someone else. Look at the problem you’re facing and see if you can find a solution yourself.
Your boss may have no idea that you are unhappy in your current position. If that’s the case, you should probably tell them so that they have a chance to put things right.
So, set up a meeting with the two of you to discuss your career path, goals, and expectations. There’s a possibility that they may be able to help you feel less “stuck” by offering some new responsibilities, a role change, or even a whole new position. You’ll never know if you don’t ask.
We know it’s not always possible to talk to your manager, especially if you don’t get along. If you struggle to talk to them, consider talking to a peer instead. This might help you figure out a way forward without having to leave your job.
You can also talk to people on the Jobcase community feed. Chances are other people have been through something similar, so you can talk to them about their experiences and learn from what they’ve been through.
If you’ve exhausted your other options, and you don’t think there’s any way to stop being an unhappy employee, then it's time to kickstart your job search.
Take a look at our job hunt best practices to get you started:
Update your resume: First things first, you need to make sure your resume is up to date, grammatically correct, and well-structured. We’ve outlined some other tips and tricks on how to customize your resume in this article, so take a look for some more insights.
Create a cover letter: For every job application, you should have a unique cover letter tailored to the company you’re applying to. But it helps if you have a template that you can customize for each application. If you’re not sure where to start, take a look at this article about how to write a winning cover letter for your next job. This will give you a good idea of what to include and how to write a successful cover letter.
Search for jobs: Now it’s time to search for jobs! To see what roles are available, head over to our job search. From here, you can search for jobs by title and location to help you find the perfect role in the perfect location. And if you’re looking for a career change, this is a great place to start.
You can find out more about finding a new job in this article: An expert’s guide on how to find jobs and get hired.
When you’re planning to leave your current company, it’s good practice to do so as professionally and respectfully as possible. Here are the quick steps to resigning:
1. Plan it out
Figure out when and where you’re going to hand in your resignation. Ensure you give enough notice (you can check your work contract to see your notice period). You can also take a look at some resignation letter templates to figure out how to structure your letter.
2. Notify your employer in person
Make sure you give your notice in person. Doing so via email or telephone doesn’t leave a good impression, so find some time when you can sit down with your manager privately to hand them your resignation letter.
And make sure to be honest about your reason for leaving. This could help your employer create a work environment and increase job satisfaction.
3. Help draft a transition plan
Before leaving your role, get your affairs in order and prepare a transition plan for the new worker. This will make the entire process easier for everyone involved.
4. Stay committed until the end
Keep working hard until your very last day. This shows the company that you’re dedicated and keeps you in their good books for the future. After all, you might need one of your colleagues or managers to be a reference for you in the future.
Having read this article, hopefully you’ve got a good idea of how to figure out why you’re unhappy at work and the different avenues you can take to make things better for yourself.
If you decide that quitting your job is the right option, make sure you have another job lined up. We’d recommend using our job search tool to find a role that’s right for you. And don’t forget to check out our online resources, too.