Unhappy at Work, Can You Survive?

“In a chronically leaking boat, energy devoted to changing vessels is more productive than energy devoted to patching leaks.” -Warren Buffett


You do not like your job, but you have no choice right now but to get up each morning and go there.  You may not be able to leave the job due to financial issues or the fact that it provides benefits that you and your family need. This could be a very depressing situation to face when you feel that there is no change in sight.

No matter what the reason for your unhappiness, you need to be able to keep a good attitude in a bad situation.  Although it may be tough to keep that attitude up, depending on what is causing your unhappiness, there are a few key things that you can do to help get though the days until there is a change.

1. Realize that change can happen.  If you have a bad boss, maybe they will leave, or maybe they will have a change in their attitude.  Whatever, your case may be, it can always change.

2. Look for what you do like at work.  Do you have friendly co-workers?  Is the work itself something that you enjoy?  Remember why you wanted the job in the first place and think about what you thought was good.  You might even have a great view from your office.  What is there that you really do like?

3. Develop a plan.  What is it that you need to do to change jobs if that is the answer? Make a list of what needs to happen in order for you to be able to leave the job you are in.  Once your list is done, begin working on it.

4. Whatever you do, do not have a negative attitude at work.  This will only make you more miserable and your boss and co-workers will begin to think less of you.  Your current job is a reference for you and you want to have a good one.

Employers do take in account poor references.  If you leave one job on bad terms, who is to say that you will not do it again?  A prospective employer may not want to take that chance.

Keep your chin up and begin to look for change.  Live is too short to be in a job that makes you unhappy.  Just make sure you are also not making others unhappy while you are there.

HBR How to Survive



6 thoughts on “Unhappy at Work, Can You Survive?

  1. Getting up every morning, dragging ourselves out of bed, all while bemoaning our lousy job, our lousy life, our lousy whatever just breeds further discontent. Getting up every morning, focusing on what is good and taking steps to create positive change, breeds optimism. We get to choose our attitude every day. It’s not always easy, but choosing to look for the positive, makes difficult days less difficult.

  2. Tina – great advice! In this situation it’s really important to make the best of a bad situation. There are things that can be learned and will aid you in future positions so focus on those and developing the plan to escape. With action this too will pass.

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