Why you are unhappy at work and what to do about it

Do you ever have those days when your alarm goes off, but you don’t want to get out of bed? You stumble clumsily to the kitchen, grab your first cup of tea/coffee and dread the rest of your work day? You feel stressed, overwhelmed and confused and you just wish it was Friday already?

We all have bad days, but if this has become the norm for you, you are not in the right type of work environment for you. I’ve found that beyond having a bad boss or low pay, this is the number one reason people are unhappy at work.

Let me explain, you are an individual with a unique personality, value-system, preferences and past experiences. This means that that the job environment you will thrive in is not the same as someone else’s. The problem is that you’ve been told by society, the media and your family, that you have to aspire to have a certain type of job, with a high salary, and the prestige and power associated with it.

You’ve likely chosen your job to follow family tradition - “everyone in my family is a doctor”, because of external expectations, or because a well-meaning career counsellor told you to do it, but that doesn’t mean you will be happy. “Everybody is a genius, but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it’s stupid”, says a famous quote attributed to Albert Einstein. And what if, right now you are fish and you work in a tree house?

When people are unhappy at work, they often look at changing jobs, only to end up in a similar job environment and even more stressed and unhappy than before. That’s why whether you are starting your career or looking to change it, you will benefit from getting some clarity around the job factors that will help you thrive, so you can find the best job for you.

Tips to get you started:

  • Make a list of the things you like and dislike about your current job.

  • List the physical characteristics of your ideal work environment - for example, working outdoors vs indoors; working in the city vs the country.

  • Describe a past job or project where you thrived and achieved great results, be as detailed as possible.

  • As you go about your day, start noticing the environments that increase your happiness - are you happier with a lot of people around or when you are alone? Do you like places with more or less noise? 

The tips above will help you explore some of the more straightforward aspects of your ideal job environment. I also suggest working with a certified coach to understand some for the deeper and more complex factors that can increase your happiness at work such as your unique value-system, personality factors and preferences.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Life Coach Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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London EC2M & N4
Written by Ilse Passet, Helping busy small business owners grow with confidence
London EC2M & N4

Ilse is a certified life coach and happiness expert. She works with people who feel sad, stressed and confused. With powerful positive psychology, spiritual and coaching techniques, she helps them reduce stress, increase confidence and happiness. Ilse provides a confidential space for exploration and she helps clients stay motivated and focused.

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