If your alarm goes off on Monday morning and all you want to do is cry, you might have a real problem. It’s normal to get unhappy with work from time to time. Large projects exhaust us, things get monotonous, or we have a nasty co-worker to deal with. But when you’re consistently filled with Monday Morning Alarm Dread, it can really have an impact on your overall happiness.
It’s never cut and dry though, and simply leaving your job isn’t always the solution. Sometimes we feel we should put up with it because it’s on the career path we want, or we simply need to pay the rent. So here’s what to do if you find yourself completely miserable at work.
Why so sad?
It’s probably a good idea to start by pinpointing the problem. Do you hate your actual job, or just the people you work with? Maybe it’s the other way around? Or maybe there’s no saving grace about your current employment. But if you accepted the job in the first place then something was right about it, whether it’s the career path, the money, or the culture. So what changed?
Consider a department transfer
If you work at a big enough company, sometimes a change of internal scenery is all you need. Perhaps a more challenging position, or one that is simply different can open up your mind and inspire you. The challenge of new tasks can make you feel excited in the morning again. And if the people are the problem, a different department might have co-workers you never even knew you got along with so well.
Pick up a hobby you’re passionate about
If you can’t make an internal change, make an external one. If your passions and skills aren’t being used enough, pick up a hobby that you have left behind. Take a course or join a club. It’s helpful if it’s something that’s regularly scheduled, so you don’t get complacent and stop. It can be easy to feel too tired to focus on a hobby when you work in an unfulfilling job, but if it’s something you committed to attending regularly, you’re more likely to keep showing up. And you’ll be surprised at how much more energized you’ll feel after the stimulation of doing something you love.
Reset your expectations
Is the problem maybe within you? Sometimes we’re raised to believe that we’re amazing and talented and should go very far in life. We should be a celebrity, or a millionaire, and when reality sets in it’s often not the case. Are you miserable at work because it’s not bringing you the desired material things or attention you wanted in your youth? You might have it better than you realize in your job, if you just learn to appreciate it for what it is.
Maybe it’s really time to move on
Of course, sometimes the answer is that you need to make a change. But don’t jump the gun without trying out all your other options first. A job is like a marriage; you don’t divorce without trying to save it first. And if you honestly tried and are still unhappy, at least you’ll be more certain than ever that it’s time to walk away.