A Proactive Guide to Getting Happy at Work

Are you unhappy with your job, or finding it difficult to find your feet professionally? Life Coach Cilian Murphy has some proactive advice for how to steer your career towards a positive outcome. 

It’s realistic to say that most people at some stage in their lives find themselves working in a job that they dislike. The general acceptance seems to be that doing so is all part of the learning curve when it comes to finding your feet in working life. You slog it out in the tough jobs, you glide through the more enjoyable ones, you see what works for you and what doesn’t and this is often deemed to be an excellent guide in helping you figure out what career path to take.

However, what happens if you don’t experience working at both ends of the job satisfaction scale before you settle on your chosen career path, and you end up employed in a job you dislike at a time when you feel you should be settled workwise? You end up feeling unhappy, of course.

The reality is that if you find yourself in this position, you’re certainly not alone. In fact, according to a 2013 study conducted by Eurostat, the EU’s statistical office, just under one in five Europeans (or 19.4%) have a low level of job satisfaction. Ireland are slightly above the average on 20% while Spain (21.5%), the UK (22.4%) and Germany (24.3%) fare even less favourably.

So the next obvious question is: what can you do about it if you find yourself in this position? The first step is to identify where your unhappiness stems from. Is it that you feel undervalued? Is your workload too much or too little? Is your relationship with your co-workers the issue? Are you being overlooked for promotion? Is there even a possibility of moving up the ranks? Are you working hours so long that the rest of your life is suffering badly?

Once you’ve discovered what the root of the issue is, the next steps to finding a solution are to assess, share and take action.

Take a step back and assess your options with a calm mind-set. Who can you approach about your issue? How much of a negative impact is it having on your life? What will happen if you don’t sort it out?

When you’ve found the answers to these questions, now is the time to share the burden with others; preferably close family or friends who you can trust. Be careful if sharing your issue with co-workers; workplace gossip spreads like wildfire so only confide in those you know have your best interests at heart.

At this stage, take any advice you’ve gained on board and use it as a motivating tool for action. People can find this step challenging and it is often where people tend to put the brakes on and decide that maybe they’ve been over-reacting and that things aren’t all that bad after all. The fear of approaching management and being open about their grievances is too much and they back out.

However, this only leads to increased frustration over time and further unhappiness. The momentum you will get from overcoming this fear will be incredibly beneficial to you and you will be on the right track to finding a solution to your issue. And, remember, thinking will not overcome fear, but action will.

 

Need a little direction in your career or just in life? Check out Cilian’s website!

Cilian Murphy

Cilian Murphy

Life Coach

Cilian Murphy is a professional life coach specialising in career guidance, career change and the creation of positive relationships. Timetoshine.ie is a Dublin based life coaching service which offers clients the opportunity to work alongside a professional life coach in order to reach their full potential in the areas of career, personal life, sport and building positive relationships.