Feeling unhappy at work can be a daunting experience, especially when quitting isn't a feasible option.
Many Generation Z individuals – who are facing concerns about job security, college debt, inflation, and a potential recession – are dissatisfied and disengaged in their current positions, with 77% actively seeking new roles. Take, for instance, the case of Heather, a junior social media manager in the tech sector. Her company, in response to layoffs, imposed demanding work hours, mirroring practices of industry giants like Meta, Google, and Twitter. This left Heather pondering whether she should leave.
There are several strategies and mindsets you can adopt to improve your situation and find happiness in your current job.
1. Get curious: When faced with workplace dissatisfaction, it's easy to fall into a cycle of negative thinking. Instead, approach your challenges with curiosity. Begin by identifying what's holding you back at work and then ask yourself, "What can I do to change this?" Seek feedback from your manager and consider reaching out to friends, family, or career counselors for a fresh perspective. This shift in mindset can empower you to take control of your situation and make positive changes.
2. Recalibrate your expectations: Sometimes, dissatisfaction arises from unrealistic expectations about your job. Reflect on what you hope to achieve at work and assess whether it aligns with the current reality. Be open to the idea of adjusting your goals or extending your timeline for achieving them. In a fast-changing world, flexibility is key to finding fulfillment in your career.
3. Look to your co-workers: Chances are, if you're feeling frustrated at work, your colleagues may share similar sentiments. Instead of dwelling on negativity, explore ways to support each other constructively. Engage in after-work activities like volunteering or attending professional development workshops to foster a sense of community and camaraderie. Building strong relationships with co-workers can make the work environment more enjoyable.
4. Ask for accommodations: Sometimes, small changes can significantly improve your work experience. Consider discussing accommodations with your employer, such as flexible scheduling or the option to work remotely. If you have a qualifying condition, like depression or post-traumatic stress disorder, you have the legal right to reasonable accommodations that can enhance your job performance. Even if you don't have a qualifying condition, it's worth discussing how certain adjustments can benefit both you and the company.
5. Manage your emotions: It's crucial to emotionally disconnect from your job. Remember that your work doesn't define your identity. Instead of letting your job consume you, focus on the aspects of it that provide necessary benefits, like financial stability or health insurance. Find a friend at work who understands you and offers support. Take breaks to clear your mind, get fresh air, and gain perspective. Practice stress management techniques to keep emotions in check, as making impulsive decisions out of frustration can lead to regrets.
It's essential to recognise that quitting isn't always the best or immediate solution. While leaving a job may be the right choice in some cases, it's not always feasible due to various factors. By adopting these strategies and maintaining a positive outlook, you can work towards improving your job satisfaction and overall well-being in your current employment situation. Remember, change is possible, and this too shall pass.
Heather's case demonstrates that by engaging in open dialogue with her manager and taking a solution-oriented approach, she improved her situation without quitting. When facing challenges at work, remember that managing them constructively can be a growth opportunity. Assess the costs and benefits before deciding to leave, as actively working to improve your situation can yield long-term benefits for your career.