Before starting my business, I worked in the high-tech industry in the fields of human resources and finance. Fortunately, I was always able to get the exact job I wanted, but unfortunately, after a short time I was unhappy again. It seemed to be a result of circumstances – boredom at work, annoying co-workers, heavy workload, or insufficient compensation.
But today I know it wasn’t the circumstances, it was me! I was the problem!!
My situation wasn’t so bad. I stayed a few years in each job, achieved success, and made nice career progress. Today, many young people (who can be 30 and older) have a very low frustration tolerance, which makes it difficult for them to hold a job and make a proper living. Like a dog chasing its tail, they chase job satisfaction; but no matter what career path they choose, they are never satisfied.
Today’s article is aimed to shed light on the real reasons for your dissatisfaction and introduce you to the principles that can turn the picture on its head!
1. The first step to being happy at work is to understand that organizations are interested entities and therefore, their representatives, your managers, are not supposed to be parent-figures. Obviously, they should act fairly and sensitively, but they do not have to always understand you and answer all your emotional needs.
2. Many of us spend a significant portion of our time at work letting off steam or venting about the unfair management, the incompetent boss, or the ‘unwise’ co-worker. (Or we do that after work with friends and relatives, which has the same effect.)
Such conversations are usually filled with harsh and degrading words, with futile complaints, and are based on the assumption that we could have done a much better job than the people we complain about.
Though this kind of expression provides momentary relief, it fills the one expressing it with negative energy, paints a black picture, and thus, magnifies suffering.
If you decide to give it up (warmly recommended!) you can still share your feelings with others, but sharing is different than “venting”. When you share your feelings you don’t need everyone to know the wrongs done to you or to agree with you, you actively look for your part in the situation, and you consider your language and tone when talking about others.
You may also consider doing something practical about what’s bothering you instead of only complaining about it. And if nothing can be done (let’s say you don’t like your boss), for the sake of your happiness, see if you can accept the situation without complaint or look for a new job.
3. You are also not doing a favor to the co-worker who feels a constant need to “vent” to you when you keep listening to them. Beyond the fact that it fills you with negative energy (as if you were a passive smoker) and affects your productivity, you are not really helping them, since doing so doesn’t really relieve anything off their chests but only amplifies their anger and frustration.
You don’t have to be rude in order to stop them, you can simply say something like, “I have to get back to work,” or “You know, we better drop this subject; there’s nothing we can do about it and talking about it only creates frustration.”
4. It is not recommended to share your personal life at work, at least not in-depth. If you are striving for a promotion it may present you in a bad light. It may also invite unnecessary advice from others and make you feel uncomfortable at a later stage.
5. Almost anyone feels frustration, burnout, or boredom at work at some point. Obviously, circumstances have to do with that, but it’s often an expression of an inner state of emptiness and dissatisfaction that was there before, especially when it happens too quickly and too easily.
The way to understand the source of your feelings is to avoid complaining (both externally and internally) and do your best at work for a while. When the burden created by your negative attitude is removed, the picture will become clear and you will be able to examine whether a change is really needed.
6. The mental state of “one foot here and one foot there” that’s created when we search for a new job and often talk about leaving though we are still indecisive about it – consumes valuable energy and makes our current job seem much worse than it actually is.
For in order to justify the fact that we are looking for a new job, we must focus on the bad aspects of our current job.
It is therefore advisable to avoid exploring your career opportunities (at least on a regular basis) until you have unequivocally decided to leave.
7. We may easily notice where others don’t treat us properly, especially when they are our principals and we expect them to be kind of parental figures. But we often overlook our attitude towards those we complain about.
For example, one of my clients felt that her manager doesn’t like and appreciate her. She overlooked the fact that she was constantly bad-mouthing her manager behind her back with co-workers.
Like most people, she was considering only her overt behavior, and therefore justified herself by saying, “I never show her anything.” But we all intuitively feel the energy directed at us by others and react to it instinctively, even when we can’t put what we feel in words.
Following my advice, she stopped doing so, and miraculously, her manager’s attitude towards her has dramatically changed.
And of course, if something that seems wrong to you is going on at work, talk to someone, don’t neglect it. And if you have personal issues that burden you at work, consider seeking help.