Many people are unhappy in their work, potentially up to half of all workers, so you’re not alone if you don’t much enjoy what you do.
If you’ve found you’re not getting enough out of your job, it’s probably crossed your mind at least once that quitting could be the answer. Resignation has its upsides: it could turn out to be the quickest, easiest way to resolve the problem, and it would certainly send a message to management. But quitting could also introduce many more problems than it solves – would you rather have a job you don’t get along with rather than no job at all?
It’s rarely an easy decision. However just because there are problems at work doesn’t mean you have to leave. If you’re prepared to work to change things, you could turn the situation around and save yourself having to spend time unemployed and find another job.
The first step in deciding on a course of action is to identify the real source of the problem. Whether it’s lazy co-workers, inept management, unclear goals or a case of just not enjoying the work, there’s a good chance it can be fixed.
It’s quite common for managers and HR professionals not to realise that a colleague is having a problem until they hand in their notice. By speaking up earlier, you stand a chance of improving working life for not just yourself, but for others in your workplace and even the company as a whole as it moves forward.
As you consider the source of the problem, you should also think about the effect it’s having on your working experience, both day-to-day and in the long term. A small annoyance such as a nuisance colleague may be easy enough to ignore or seek to change. But if your job involves an extreme amount of stress or if your workload starts to adversely affect your personal life, you should think very carefully about your future with the company.
Stress and overwork can severely affect your health and happiness in the long term. People who always strive to push themselves beyond the limit of what is reasonable may suffer from health problems such as fatigue and weight gain, and may even suffer heart attacks and strokes. It’s good for your work to challenge you, but continuing in a role that is doing you harm is a mistake.
The key thing is to always try to be moving forward, whether that means progressing in the role, or whether it means leaving for new job opportunities. Also it is important to remember that there is always going to be people in your working environment that you struggle to get along with; try not to let this be a deciding factor whether you stay or go.
Many people stay in an unsatisfying position for year after year, unwilling to change the situation or take a risk. No matter what it takes, don’t let that be you!