Work; if you can’t get out of it, you may as well get in to it.
Recently, I’ve focused on unhappiness at work. My suggestions come from the general principle that if you want change, you can either change your reality or change your perception.
Perhaps you’ve looked seriously at changing your work reality. You’ve examined options: you could choose a different type of work, choose a different employer, or stay where you are, but change your workplace environment from within.
If your best option is to change your work reality, then start planning!
On the other hand, you may conclude that it’s impractical to change the reality of your work. Perhaps you can’t afford it, or you may perceive that it’s not worth the energy when there’s no guarantee of a positive result.
Does that mean you are doomed to unhappiness for the rest of your working life?
I hope not.
If you’ve decided that you need to stay where you are, then you may as well make the absolute best of it. So, perhaps a change of perception is worth a try.
One opportunity for unhappiness is the perception that what you’re doing doesn’t matter. It’s hard to be happy if you believe that you are required to do meaningless work. “Why should I care? My work doesn’t make any difference. No cares whether I do a good job or a terrible job.”
Here’s the reality. If you are being paid to dig holes and fill them back up again, you may as well dig the best possible holes you can. Take pride in them. Do an outstanding job.
“But this is useless work,” you say. Could be. However, if you have no intention of changing, then which is better for you—do a lousy job, complain, and be unhappy? Or choose to take pride, do a great job, and improve? It’s your choice.
If you choose the latter, it’s even possible that you’ll be recognized for your efforts and advance in the company. Further, if you get in to your work, you’ll likely learn that it does have a purpose after all.
Another opportunity for dissatisfaction in the workplace stems from disapproval. Do you disapprove when others don’t behave the way you believe they should? When the bosses don’t pay you enough or when they play favorites? Do you disapprove of coworkers who have bad attitudes and don’t do their jobs properly?
You may be quite correct in your assessment. Perhaps they truly are mean, lazy, unfair or incompetent.
The reality, though, is that being correct doesn’t help you much if the result is that you end up angry and frustrated while they carry on undeterred.
While you don’t have control over how everyone else works (or doesn’t) you do have control over the attitude you choose. You can choose how you treat your customers, your coworkers, and your bosses.
You may believe that some in your workplace don’t deserve to be treated respectfully. Maybe you are correct. But which creates a better work environment for you—one where you treat everyone with respect and good humour? Or one where you withhold approval unless people do exactly what you believe is right?
In unhappy workplaces, people are unhappy and often show it. Each of us has an influence on the tone of our workplace, whether for good or for grumpy. If you choose to demonstrate a more positive outlook, you may even find that others do too!
We spend a lot of time at work. It may as well be good, happy, productive time.
What can you do to make your workplace more like you want it to be?