Seriously, Why Are You Unhappy with Your Job?

Job SucksIs it the pay? Is it the people you work with? Is it the actual work?

Or is it you?

I know, it’s crazy – I’m pointing the finger squarely at you – implying that you might have some control – and thus some responsibility – for how you feel about your job.

In fact, I’ll take it a step further and say that you have almost all of the control over how you feel about your job.

You can look at this as blame, or an opportunity. In fact, which one of those you choose – blame or opportunity – will tell you a lot about why you feel the way you do about your job. (And probably a little bit about the way others feel about you – but that’s a different story).

That’s because the secret lies completely in how you look at things – and the extent to which you believe you have control over what happens to you.

If you come in and the boss is in a cranky mood – do you duck your head down, curse at your luck, your job, or your life? Or do you look at the opportunity? When boss-man is upset, you’ve got a chance to make a good impression, even if it’s you he’s upset with.

That little example is actually the result of doing two things:

  1. You looked for an opportunity (or the positive) in the situation.
  2. You actually believed you could do something about it, instead of just living with it.

Do you focus on what’s bad about your job? Do you just live with those things?

“My boss is in a bad mood”

That statement – left right there, is a negative thing. Even if you can’t immediately think of a positive spin on that – start to move around it, think about other elements. Come up with some questions – they’ll magically change your perspective on the issue.

“Why is my boss in a bad mood?”

Opens the field a little – and gets you out of the box of being a person with a bitter boss.

That might lead to:

“how can I help my boss be in a better mood?”

You might decide to go buy him a coffee, or get some work to him faster, or depending on your relationship with him, go chat with him about something positive, and unrelated to work.

Even if it doesn’t work – you still put yourself in a positive place, and did something rather than stewing at your desk about your jerk-head boss.

Go ahead and try applying this to other situations at work – remember the two rules:

  1. Be positive
  2. Ask empowering questions. Remember that you can probably do something (or even just think differently about something) and change your whole experience.

See if I’m full of it.

Another tip – don’t get attached to the outcome of your positive action – that isn’t even the point. The point is to just follow the two steps. Let go of the need to have any certain outcome, just try, and observe what you’ve tried.

Remember – there’s no failure, only feedback. If it doesn’t work out the way you wanted, use that data in the future to improve your circumstances.

Your experience will mirror the things you focus on – and the individual facets of those things you focus on. If you gripe all day about how horrid your life is, you’re going to be unhappy. Because (why is this surprising?) you’re listening to you all day long. Tell yourself a better story.

Try this for a week, and see if you’re enjoying your job any more.