The easy answer to career unhappiness

By Scot Herrick | Cube Rules Commentary

Jan 28

It is Friday and we’re all grateful to get away from the daily grind of work to do the weekly grind of the weekend. We’re unhappy at work and happy to get away from work.

Understandable, of course. All that interaction at work — business is social, the frustrations of not getting everything done and the one thing that ticked us off this week all weigh in on how much of a “TGIF” moment we have for the weekend.

Temporary. Not every Friday is like that. Unless every Friday is like that. Then, it is a different situation: we are really unhappy with the work we are doing, unhappy in our work or coworkers or manager, and legitimately whine about our career direction.

There are times where the career ebbs and we hope that it changes. There are other times, though, where our career ebbs and stays there. We stay unhappy. We know the work we do is not right for us. The “BS meter” is above our standard and stays there.

This is the dangerous time. We are unhappy with our career. And we know we are unhappy with our career.

And here is the easy answer to unhappiness in our career: change your circumstances.

Movement is critical to our well-being

I don’t know about you, but even small changes in your circumstances start producing big changes in your life. Doing something more satisfying after work can help your whole perspective. Changing your routine at work can change your attitude towards work.

Moving anything from where it is to something better brings a better approach to everything you do.

But you need to decide to change something that is giving you grief. You need to follow through on the change to make sure it sticks. And only you can make the change.

Getting to employment security is not an easy project to do. It requires critical thinking about our work, what we can do to improve our chances of staying employed (not job security, but employment security), and then taking action to make things better.

You won’t be right about the correct actions to take to make things better all the time. But taking action — moving — gives us something to test, to test and to honor as a change that works. Or a change that doesn’t work.

It’s the easy answer — change your circumstances — that is hard to carry out.

Make a small change. Watch how that small change can lead to a much bigger change.

Then, enjoy your weekend.

  • Rick Saia says:

    Nice post Scot! If you can’t change you work situation right away (and most of us can’t), look beyond work to make changes that can help you feel more positive. That can help sustain you in a less-than-desirable job until you land something better. I went through this a few years back, relying on the joys of coaching soccer two or three days a week to keep my mind off work.

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