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Chronically cranky at work? Four steps to help you

According to a recent Gallup Poll 70% of the country’s full time workers hate their jobs, GallupSurvey and need some positive ways to make a change. If you’re one of the 70%, here’s what you can do to take action on your situation…

1. First don’t be too dramatic. We’ve all seen YouTube videos of people quitting their jobs by jumping out of a plane, or dancing on the desks: The very first thing you need to do before you take dramatic action (especially in case it’s not needed!) is to take some time to assess how bad it is. Is this a phase or is it a long term sense of dis-satisfaction? Get a sense of which scenario it is before you do something drastic. We’re not discounting drastic action, sometimes quitting your job can be the best thing you can do! But other times a course correction is needed as opposed to a complete career make-over. So figure out which one’s needed for you.

2. Be rational. We get emotionally worked up when we’re unhappy at work – understandably. I was there, I was crying in the bathroom every day and tried shopping to help me feel better (it didn’t work.) The second thing to do is to break it down. What is wrong with your job? Make a list. Then make a list of what’s right – there actually may be a couple of things, not many perhaps but some. See if you can come up with a list of both. Do you just have a bad boss but everything else is great? Or do you like your industry but the culture at your organization is the wrong fit? You may be in the right career, but at the wrong company. Write down what makes you unhappy so you can see it in black and white and analyze it – how many things are on the list? Review it rationally – Is it 10 things or just two things?

3. Have coffee with a friend and make a plan. Depending on your answers to the above, make a plan. Is a big change needed or a small one? Do you need to define your career direction or do you know what you want to do instead? Create the plan then think about what you can do right now to feel better at your job, even if it’s small changes. The sooner you focus on your future and are able to be happier where you are now, the more energy you’ll have towards moving forward.

4. Be practical and passionate. Identify your career values, and what would be rewarding for you in a career. This is the passionate or heart piece of the equation. But also look at the practical side, the talents/skills you want to use, the work experience you currently have so you’re qualified for the next position you’re considering. People tend to err on the side of one or the other too much. They take a job just for the money. Or they follow heart and end up burned. Take it step by step and balance the two.

Hallie Crawford
Job Coach

P.S. Are you in the ideal career for you? Find out if you’re in the right career with our Ideal Career Quiz.