According to American vocalist Bobby McFerrin:
“When you worry your face will frown,
and that will bring everybody down.
Don’t worry….be happy!”
Hey, Bobby…ever had a job that made you want to claw your own eyes out? Ever been so bored at work, or had a boss that treated you so poorly that all you did was worry? It’s kind of hard to be happy in those contexts, wouldn’t you say?
But the fact is the man’s right (kind of…).
If you’re miserable at work, the last thing to be is morose. Or to let the situation fester. Workers who hate their jobs and do nothing about it often turn into victims; they become bitter and unpleasant to be around, especially at the place of employment. All this accomplishes is to make matters worse. Plus those negative attitudes can potentially spill over like spoiled milk into future job interviews, networking opportunities and so on.
So here are some suggestions you can apply in order to vex yourself less…even perhaps, dare I say…“Be happy”.
- Pinpoint what it is about your job that you hate. If you can do something to change it, do so! Try voicing your unhappiness (diplomatically) with your supervisor or perhaps a trusted peer or mentor either inside or outside your company. Or you can seek advice from a professional career counselor. Or you might approach your employee assistance program (EAP) if your company has one.
- Try to identify what change(s) specifically would make you happier. For example, you might want to work from home 50% of the time, come in and leave earlier, change your seat, maybe switch to a different project that would prove more fulfilling. Human resources and your manager will be in a much better position to help you if you can be specific about what it is about your job that you find less than satisfying. By the way, never use overly negative language (e.g., “hate”) when speaking with bosses or colleagues…it can be off-putting.
- If you don’t think your misery at your current situation can be resolved, consider an internal transfer; changing departments or teams may work to your benefit.
- If none of the above propositions do the trick, you may have to seriously consider, even in these tough economic times, seeking other job opportunities. Note that while “moving on” may be a hard option to follow, sometimes just the process of testing the market can help to change your attitude (for the better) about your current job.
- Finally, at least for the time being, get some exercise or do something that makes you feel good outside of work. This can help to take the edge off while you figure out a longer-term solution.
You can also listen to “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” on an endless loop. (Actually, that will just make you hate Bobby McFerrin as well as your job.)