You’re not alone. According to a Gallup poll nearly 70% of workers are miserable at work.
Sometimes the misery felt in the job is temporary, kind of like feeling blue somedays. We all feel it and it goes away the next day. Other times, the thought that it just can’t continue to feel this bad lingers. And then there are the times the wish to pack up and leave or walk out leaving everything and everybody behind feels good…too good to be true.
In this article, ways to think and respond to your misery at work are highlighted with the idea that while quitting is an option…it’s at the bottom of the list. So …
First things first … DON’T quit abruptly. NO shoving … Please.
It’s rarely a good idea to let emotions rule and impulsive actions follow. Ideally, if the decision is to quit it’s because you have another promising job offer. When leaving a job, carefully consider how you want to be remembered and plan accordingly. The idea of “not burning any bridges” is still a gold standard to guide any exit from a job usually. And you do have to love Johnny Paycheck’s song ‘-) …
What story are you telling yourself?
Cindy described her work team as unsupportive and unappreciative. She talked about sharing ideas in an email to the team and being ignored. Her story was that she was never going to be recognized at work.
The following week, however, Cindy acknowledged that her supervisor had thanked her for the email ideas and that a co-worker had verbalized appreciation for the extra coverage she provided his customers when he was on vacation.
While Cindy remains discouraged about the policies her company has adopted that increase the workload with no additional resources, she also recognizes that she may be stuck in the idea that she is being left out. Maybe, she’s contributing to her feelings of being snubbed by insensitive coworkers. With this awareness, Cindy is hearing, seeing and feeling more appreciation at work.
What you tell yourself matters. At stressful times and especially when feeling miserable, begin a “gratitude journal”. Daily make time to identify at least 5 experiences that felt good or created a sense of appreciation. Sometimes it’s the simple things that bring huge satisfaction to an otherwise miserable day.
When was the last time you took time off and by the way, what are you doing during your time off?
Are you someone who postpones using time accrued for vacation? Or, perhaps works while on vacation? Has your circle of friends diminished because you are “always working” and can’t take the time to meet for the occasional dinner party or holiday gatherings?
When was the last time you joined your partner or friend for a night out or a Sunday in the park instead of your usual, “no, I’m tired and want to stay home”? Make a pledge right now …”I promise to go out at least once a day (preferably out in the sunshine) and find one thing to smile about :)” Seriously, make a commitment to go out and about with fun people vs. stay indoors the days you are off work. Notice the fresh perspective that’s available. Simple, ordinary idea, sweet boost.
Remember Tom from a previous article on rejection-proofing? He loved to work on his hobby creating stories around comic type characters he designed/illustrated. During his time off, Tom was interviewed on a radio program about artists in the area and later, he showed his work in an exhibit. So very cool and fun. It made going to a job (at that time which was miserable) more bearable.
Are you sharing your “misery” with anyone?
Let’s rephrase that … Have you thoughtfully examined what your misery is about? Are you bored at work? Feeling unchallenged? Underappreciated? Feeling left out like Cindy?
Here’s an idea to consider. Create your own “board of directors” … a group of caring, thoughtful friends who want to help you succeed. Brainstorm ideas for immediate relief. Look for opportunities inside and outside of work that can add the needed zip to your day. Think about small steps towards creating the job and career you want. Please limit any negative, complaining kind of rants to a minute. Time it. No exceptions. Clear it out of your system and then turn your focus towards meaningful, energizing ideas.
The take away…
If miserable at work, you’re not alone. Yet, be sure you are not adding to the misery by abdicating your power to make a difference. There are people who want to help you succeed and your willingness to include others and be proactive is a bonus for us all. Really.
So, I’m interested, What are some of your favorite ways to energize your work day?
If you’d like to talk more about ways to move from miserable to meaningful at work, please contact me for a Love My Work Strategy Session. I’m looking forward to joining your board of directors, or at least visiting briefly.