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Why You Might Be Unhappy At Work

Why You Might Be Unhappy At Work

Gen Zs are setting a new standard when it comes to work satisfaction and should be an example for previous generations. It’s essential that we remember our job takes up so much of our time, and feeling unhappy with it can have damaging effects on mental health as well as one’s quality of life. Neglecting factors like salary, work-life balance or a toxic environment shouldn’t be acceptable anymore – understanding your own values in the workplace should become commonplace.We can all influence meaningful change by using our voices to speak up. Oftentimes, we don’t recognize the underlying causes of unhappiness in our current job situation and merely jumping ship doesn’t necessarily solve anything. Identifying what is truly bringing us down is essential if we want to ensure that our next role brings us more joy than misery – so make sure you are aware of your unique needs before starting a new job!

Signs of an Unhappy Worker

Firstly, let’s clarify what indicators point to the fact that you’re really unhappy at work and that even taking a few days off or vacation will hardly become a game changer. The most obvious sign is the reluctance to do your job. Do you feel a lack of motivation to fulfill your day-to-day duties or tend to complete them anyhow? Or the idea of your promotion and pay rise associates rather with additional responsibilities and stress but not with success and satisfaction. You’re not interested in generating new ideas and contributing to your company’s prosperity and see no point in acquiring new skills for your occupation. And finally, you feel extremely anxious on Sunday evenings because Mondays promise only your attempts to compel yourself to stay focused and maintain average work performance not to be fired. Does it ring a bell? Bad news, my friend – you’re unhappy with your current job. Good news – it’s never too late to realize it and start acting for the sake of a better future!

Reasons Why You Might Be Unhappy At Work

Your frustration at work may be explained in myriad ways. However, they may be divided into 3 main groups that include internal or personal reasons, external reasons, and poor working conditions. Sometimes, it may even be a combination of two or all three groups. The main point is to identify which ones exactly serve as triggers for your dissatisfaction and try to eliminate them from your professional routine. We’ve come up with a detailed list of reasons that might help you to identify yours.

Internal motives

Lack of Job Satisfaction

This is probably the most apparent reason, which is frequently ignored by people for whatever reason. It’s worth mentioning that it does matter if your job brings you satisfaction or not. How can a person force themselves to do some tasks for 8 hours every single working day that bring them no joy at all? We don’t mean that your job must feel like always having a whale of a time; however, the percentage of positive aspects and emotions should undoubtedly prevail.

A Poorly Defined Role or Responsibilities

If an employee doesn’t understand the point of their job or what results they’re expected to perform, it creates lots of insecurities and doubts. A good idea would be to address the human resources department and clarify these issues. However, some people may not be that initiative or feel ashamed to demonstrate that they don’t understand something. This feeling grows as a snowball and leads to only negative emotions and associations with the job. They end up feeling constantly stressed, and this inevitably causes unhappiness.

Low Pay and Benefits

Employers should stop harboring rosy illustrations about their employees’ genuine driving force and motivation source. This is money first and foremost. Unfortunately, our world is poisoned with capitalism to the bone, and money makes a difference if you want to lead a happy and fulfilled lifestyle. Will employees who live from hand to mouth be committed to your business? Obviously, no, as such a lifestyle can make hardly anyone happy.

Unfulfilling Work

Some people are urged to do something meaningful for this world and others. Some people only imagine their career success with new challenges and leaving their comfort zone. If you belong to such folks, you should reflect upon your sense of fulfillment and its connection with your job. Should you trace this link, be so kind as to pick jobs that benefit the world and society; otherwise, you risk falling into the hole of life’s futility and frustration.

Bad Working Environment

Favorable external factors play the same important role as your inner motives. You may well find yourself completely content with your job and responsibilities. Still, toxic co-workers or inappropriate boss’ behavior may turn your career into your personal idea of hell. Luckily, some occupations suggest the possibility of working remotely, but what should other people do?

Unsupportive Colleagues

You can’t fence yourself off from people who work with you. You may try to minimize interaction to the point where you only communicate about your everyday tasks; however, it doesn’t guarantee they will not attempt to let you down even there. Poking fun at somebody, excessive fault-finding, and throwing dirty looks are all manifestations of microaggression. It’s possible to set personal boundaries and teach yourself to not give a toss when dealing with such people; however, little strokes fell great oaks, especially if you have to deal with it regularly.

Poor Management or Leadership

Fortunately, the era of slave drivers is going to oblivion. Millennial bosses and managers are becoming more conscious and realizing what real power is not in holding a tight grip on their employees. Nevertheless, not every company can brag about having such progressive management, and people who work there are compelled to be in constant survival mode. First of all, poor leadership makes people feel unappreciated. Why would somebody be eager to spend 8 hours of their life (without commuting) on work dotting all i’s and crossing all t’s if their effort is never noticed? Providing support, approachability, and responsiveness will have a way more positive effect on your team rather than being an insensitive leader who bases their power on fear.

Negative Office Culture

Healthy company culture is a major contributing factor to your employees’ well-being, engagement, and loyalty. And the leadership ranks are the ones who lay the foundation for it because, as they say, a fish rots from the head down. If negativity, cynicism, microaggressions, discrimination, or unhealthy competition among co-workers are the order of things, the leadership culture is simply poor. The leader sets and keeps standards by implementing them in their behavior. Their subordinates will either catch up on them or leave, giving space to new like-minded individuals.

High-Stress Levels

You can’t cut all stressful situations out of your work routine. Still, some occupations initially imply incredibly high levels of stress due to the responsibility they include. For instance, an air traffic controller, a surgeon, a teacher, military personnel, a leading manager, or a waiter/waitress may experience stress more often than a librarian or a graphic designer. In general, daily jobs that include lots of social interaction are incredibly stressful and involve taking responsibility for other people’s health or safety. It’s respectful to be involved in such activities. However, your personal wellness and safety should precede. Some people develop resistance and end up being okay with day-to-day stress. Allow yourself some time to observe; if you aren’t one of those, you may be better off quitting.

Unhealthy Habits in the Workplace

Besides the psychological and mental factors that may make you feel unhappy at work, there are also physical ones. Our physical health is the most valuable gift and asset; without it, nothing else matters. Your management should be in charge of providing decent working conditions and cultivating healthy habits, however, you are the one who has to care about it in the first place. Check our list of things that may cause your frustration at work and try to reflect upon them.

Physical Inactivity or Long Hours Sitting at a Desk

It’s no secret that the majority of jobs today require us to be seated at a desk and computer all day. As our world becomes more digitized, adjusting to these working conditions is inevitable; however, if you find yourself feeling increasingly unfulfilled or unhappy in your job, then it may be time for you to create an action plan where work is balanced with short exercise breaks. It can also help rid any feelings of discontentment from being stuck behind a screen all day! If the situation continues without providing personal satisfaction or joy, consider looking into other possible positions which might better suit your needs and happiness levels.

Unsatisfactory Working Conditions

Open-space offices used to be a cool feature that many companies presented as a benefit; little did they know what influence they have on our bodies. According to the article in Harvard Medicine Magazine, besides apparent implications such as hearing loss, stress, and hypersensitivity to sound, noise pollution can exacerbate cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, sleep disturbances, and cognition problems, including memory impairment and attention deficits. Furthermore, they were ineffective in the conditions of the pandemic outbreaks. Don’t force yourself to work in such conditions if you feel uncomfortable, or you may ask your boss for personal flexible schedules or remote days.

Not Taking Time for Breaks

We’re not discussing breaks in the “traditional understanding” – leaving your workplace to drink a coffee, smoke, and exchange rumors with a colleague. We’re talking about breaks that every worker has to take to allow their eyes to relax, do a bit of exercise to help their back get rid of tension after sitting for hours, or leave the office and have a 10-minute walk around and breathe in some fresh air. This is the bare minimum every office worker must stick  to survive in the office working routine.

Inadequate Nutrition and Hydration

Having regular meals simultaneously is one of the crucial factors contributing to our mental health treatment. Furthermore, food is our primary energy source to do our work. Companies with no kitchen or canteen or that don’t provide regular lunch break hours should be swept away immediately. If your current workplace belongs to such, no wonder you may feel unhappy.

Why you should get a better work-life balance and consider a new job

Everything strives for balance. This secret ingredient can help us create a life full of happiness and satisfaction. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy – it’s been known for centuries. Modern businesses and companies may induce us into believing that such a hectic and overwhelming lifestyle is our reality and everybody has to put up with it. However, it’s just a trap that helps unscrupulous employers use others for their own benefit. Should you experience any of the issues mentioned above, please, don’t ignore them and leave the place. You’re worthy of a healthy work environment, working conditions, and appreciation.


Feeling unsatisfied in your current job? Acknowledging and accepting the problem is just a start. Take time to consider what causes you unhappiness and use our article as a guide for further steps. Work on eliminating these factors, whether it be through communication with your management or changing jobs altogether – remember that your mental health should always come first when considering other employment opportunities!

Date: 22 February 2023
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