Problems at Work

10 Easy Ways to Handle a Job That Makes You Miserable

It’s normal not to like everything about your job, but no one should be unhappy at work. Not being a huge fan of every aspect of the job is okay. Sometimes, looking past the things that make you upset is necessary. It’s better than making a mistake when changing careers.

We live in a time where it’s normal to change careers. You don’t have to stay in one job if it makes you unhappy. But, if only certain aspects of the career are the problem, you may want to stick around. In that case, learn how to manage the things that are depressing you.

In most cases, people who are frustrated at work are feeling those emotions because of their place of employment. It usually doesn’t have much to do with the job itself. If you went into a career you thought you’d enjoy, you can probably still find things to like about it. The key is to find things you also either like about the job, or ways you can manage the things you don’t like.

If you want to make a career change, it can take a lot of consideration. It isn’t always easy for everyone, especially if you enjoy the work you do. So, if you want to stay in your job but need to know how to deal with the frustration it brings, keep reading!

How to Deal with a Job That Makes You Unhappy

This guide will focus on different ways you can manage your frustration with your current job. It’s important to know if you should quit your job before making the decision to work through your frustrations. In some instances, leaving is the best option. Never stay in a job that makes you feel uncomfortable or starts to be a problem for your health. Changing careers isn’t as scary as it used to be, even if you have no experience.

But, if you know there’s a chance you could still find your job rewarding and be happy, it’s not a bad idea to stay. Staying on one career path in one place usually leads to growth. This is especially true if you work in one of the most secure industries for job growth.

If you do want to stay in your current job or are ‘stuck’ there until you find something new, there are some things you can do to create a better experience for yourself. We will go through ten tips for handling a job that makes you miserable. Use these solutions every day at work to make your environment and experience easier to get through.

  1. Determine the Cause

One of the best ways to deal with a job you hate is to analyze exactly what is making you miserable in the first place. It’s not always easy to analyze ourselves. But, taking a step back to determine what you don’t like about the job is important. Once you recognize what it is, you may be able to focus more on that one thing. It’s easier to deal with one thing that’s bothering you, rather than assume you hate every area of the job.

Asking yourself these questions and finding out what you don’t like about your job will help you to build a foundation. This foundation will make it easier to cope with the things you don’t like because you’ll understand them better.

  1. Talk to Your Boss

Many people don’t get along with the boss. But, once you find out what might be causing your unhappiness, it’s a good idea to start with the people at the top. Talk with your boss or manager about what’s bothering you.

Your conversation could be about anything from the work environment to hours, or even how much money you make. See if there is anything that can be done to improve these conditions for you. Your boss may be willing to work with you to make adjustments.

Many people go through the motions of their job, even if it makes them unhappy. Then, they eventually quit. Sometimes this is necessary. But, other times they quit because they don’t communicate with their boss. Many times, bosses will want to keep their employees around and keep them happy. Express your frustrations and your needs. There’s a good chance your employer will be willing to work with you to make you happier.

  1. Stay Positive

It may sound a little cliché to talk about changing your attitude. But, sometimes that can be the best way to feel better about the work you’re doing. It’s a conscious effort to go to work each day with a positive attitude. It can take a lot of ‘work’ just to not be negative about your career.

But, if you make that effort and choose to change your perspective on your job, it could help you to manage your misery a lot easier. This might not be a permanent fix if something truly continues to bother you. But, changing your outlook on your job may make it seem like less of a burden each day.

  1. It’s Only Temporary

If you don’t want to stay in your job but haven’t found another option yet, you might feel stuck. One way to cope with your frustrations is to remind yourself that your situation isn’t permanent. Consider the factors of the new career path you want to take. Focus on that when you’re feeling frustrated at work.

Perhaps the frustration itself is only temporary. If a current situation or another employee is what’s bothering you, try to look past it. Projects come and go, as do people. If you can’t work with a certain person, there are things you can do or suggest to move elsewhere. Most things in a job that tends to make people unhappy can be adjusted. If you want to stay at your current job, you should keep that in mind.

If you want to get a new job, knowing your current job isn’t forever will help your mindset. A new job will eventually come up if you keep applying to different places and putting in the effort. Feeling like you’re permanently stuck where you are will only add to your misery. Remind yourself that it’s all temporary. By doing that, you can change your whole attitude about dealing with the daily grind at your current place of employment.

  1. Decide What Makes You Happy

If you’re unhappy with your current job, it’s important to consider what type of career would make you feel fulfilled. For example, many people are turning to careers in healthcare. It’s a growing industry with a lot of job opportunities. Often, you can work in the medical field without a lot of schooling.

Maybe you want a job that doesn’t deal with a lot of people or a career with different hours. Deciding what would make you satisfied at work can make it easier to know what you’re looking for in the future. Even if you don’t stay at your current job, you’ll have a better chance of finding one that makes you happier as you move forward.

It’s probably easy to make a list of current things you don’t like about your job. It can be more difficult to think about what things would actually make you satisfied in a career. When going through this suggestion, take the time to look beneath the surface.

It’s not enough to just make a list of whatever might be opposite of your current job. Instead, think about what would really provide fulfillment in a career. Maybe you’ll be able to find it at your current place of employment. If not, you’ll know what to look for as you move forward.

Dread going to work each day

  1. Take Care of Yourself

Sometimes, when you feel stuck in a job you hate, you can lose sight of how to take care of yourself. It’s a good idea to practice self-care whether you’re happy with your career or not. But, if you’re especially miserable at work, making time for yourself is even more important.

If your day consists of sleeping, working, and eating, it’s time to break the cycle. You need something else to look forward to. By introducing something else into your life that can make you happy and occupy your time, your job may not seem so daunting. When you make your career the center of your life and you don’t like it, you’ll dwell on it constantly.

Try finding a hobby you enjoy, or take time for yourself to find relaxing activities. Things like yoga, meditation, or any form of exercise can help you to feel calmer about your job situation. It may not feel like such a heavy burden in your life when you have other things you enjoy.

  1. Do Your Best

This can be a difficult tip to follow. It’s not always easy to do your best at a job you don’t like. If you’re not a fan of your place of employment, you may not be so eager to put in a ton of effort each day. But, ‘slacking’ in any way, or doing the minimal amount of work will only make you feel worse.

Feeling mediocre isn’t going to help you feel better about your job. Even if you don’t like the work you do or where you do it, putting your best foot forward has its benefits. It can give you a sense of accomplishment. You’ll know that even though you’re unhappy, you can still get things done and be successful.

There is something rewarding about a job well done. Knowing that you’re always doing your best can help you to feel better, even if you don’t like the work you have to do. If you become a victim of doing the smallest amount, it will likely only drag you down more. Your attitude will remain negative, and the job itself will probably make you even more miserable.

Yes, it can be hard to put in a lot of effort at a job you hate. Taking control of those thoughts and pushing through with your best work anyway is key. As a bonus, you could be advancing your skills in the process. If you’re unhappy and applying for other jobs, why not make the most of it by growing your strengths?

  1. Break Up the Day

When you’re unhappy with your job, a single workday can feel like a lifetime. Going through an eight-hour day can be exhausting, and even thinking about it can be daunting. So, break up your day with something you enjoy.

It’s not always possible to take a long break in the middle of the day to go do something fun. But, most employers offer a lunch break or allow you to take a break sometime in the afternoon. Fill these times with something you really enjoy. Maybe It’s eating at your favorite restaurant. Maybe you have time to play a game of basketball at the gym or watch an episode of your favorite TV show on your computer.

By finding something you like, even doing it for a few minutes during the workday can make a difference. Breaking up the day will make it feel less overwhelming.

  1. Don’t Put Your Job in Jeopardy

No matter how bad things might seem at your job, don’t risk losing it. Whether you end up staying there or getting a different job, putting your current employment status in jeopardy is dangerous. It also tends to ruin all the hard work you might have done.

Focus on the earlier tip about putting your best foot forward. You’ll feel much better about yourself if you focus on doing a good job at work, instead of doing things that could potentially get you fired.

Plus, if you eventually do leave your job, it’s important to leave on good terms. Your boss may be able to recommend you to another company, and there won’t be any awkward tension when you leave. Use your frustrations at your current job as motivation.

The harder you work where you are now, the closer you could be to landing a different job in the future. Or, you could discover that putting in more hard work at your current job makes you feel more satisfied. Sometimes, that’s all it takes to feel better about the career itself.

How to cope when unhappy at work

  1. Make Sure It Doesn’t Go Deeper

In most cases, people who are unhappy with their job are only dealing with that. If everything else in your life seems to be going fine, it could truly be your career making you miserable. But, sometimes you need to look at the rest of your life to determine if you’re really unhappy with work, or unhappy in general.

Depression runs rampant throughout the world. Major Depressive Disorder affects more than 16 million people in the United States alone. It’s easy to blame the workplace for this type of depression, and sometimes that can be true.

But, you can’t ignore other areas of your life and just blame work if you’re equally depressed at home, out and about, etc. If you don’t look at possible causes of depression and get it taken care of, it can continue to get worse. Eventually, it can cause problems with your mental health. It can also affect relationships, performance, and even physical health.

It’s never easy to admit you might be struggling with depression. But, it’s a possibility if you’re truly unhappy at work, and elsewhere. Check out your options on getting professional help. Some places of employment even offer mental health help for their employees.

How to Stop Feeling Unhappy at Work

You don’t need to be miserable in your place of employment forever. If you feel stuck at your current job, or don’t want to leave, use the suggestions here to help you get through it. Most of the time, once you identify what’s causing the problem, the easier it can be to work it out.

If you want to leave your current job, you don’t need to feel overwhelmed. There are many career opportunities that can provide growth. But, try the tips listed here before making the official decision to leave. Many times, changing your attitude and making a few adjustments at your current job can make a big difference.

We hope this guide provides some comfort and guidance if you’re feeling miserable at work. There are things you can do to feel better about what you do, and where you work. Finding something you enjoy about your job, and things to enjoy outside of your job are important.

If you need a little extra help, there is nothing to be ashamed about in seeking out a mental health professional. Your career shouldn’t drag down your entire life. Make changes if necessary, and you can start to feel fulfilled in your current career, or a new one.

Louise Carter

I'm Lou, and welcome to Phlebotomy Examiner! We aim to help you make a more informed career choice by sharing our research and experience with you. You'll find in-depth advice on everything from career options to dealing with work issues.