A few days ago I was telling a friend why a job I held over 10 years ago, was the best JOB I ever had. And then I compared it to other jobs I held, jobs where I was unhappy and disappointed, jobs that left me feeling unfulfilled, dissatisfied and robbed of my own time with little to show for.
The worse part of it all was the way I felt in my own free time. You’d think that, for a person who’s unhappy at work, they’d be having a good time whenever they are out of the office. This was actually far from the truth, and if you ever had, or perhaps have, a job that is in some way making you feel unhappy, then you know you can’t just be all smiles as soon as your work day finishes!
Knowing what I know now, of course, this makes perfect sense – I wasn’t being unhappy just in my job, I was unhappy, moody and upset most of the time. My mood affected my relationships with my family, with my friends and with my boyfriend.
The truth is that unhappiness at work affects your whole life; here are 3 ways in which this happens:
- You are anxious before going into work. Whether anxiety kicks in, maybe the evening before or in the morning whilst you’re getting ready, it’s still called anxiety and it’s making you feel bad in advance of the fact. If there was any chance of you having a good work day, or a good work week for that matter, that possibility is gone before you even walk into your place of work. This pre-work anxiety has been building up for a while and it’s not going away, not unless some significant changes take place.
- In your free time, you generally avoid discussing your job. Whenever someone asks you about work, or even worse, tells you how great their job is, you’re reminded how unhappy you are in your professional life and you immediately go into that unhappy state even if you’re at a party or at a barbeque.
- Your bitter mood persists beyond 5 pm. You don’t swiftly change your mood as soon as you walk out from your office. Whatever is making you unhappy at work, whatever story you’re telling yourself about that colleague, about your boss, about that client, about the scope of the work… it’s not just going away. The chances are you’re telling yourself the same story over and over again, and you’re probably sharing it with your family and friends as well.
If this is you, then there’s an easy, short-term solution to this problem, and an easy-enough, long-term solution!
Easy, short term solution
You can try and keep your mind off work. Every evening. Every weekend. Every holiday. The trouble is, you’re still going to have to face the music, Monday to Friday, ~230+ working days a year. What’s more, trying, often in vain, to keep your mind off work, is an energy-draining and utterly unsustainable process that’s not solving the problem. It is often referred to as work-life balance, and I’ve previously written why work-life balance is unsustainable and why we should strive for work-life integration instead.
Easy-enough, long term solution
You can have a good look at yourself, you unearth your dreams and wants and you take action towards achieving them. It doesn’t matter how far off the path you’ve walked and how much time, money or energy you spent building if it’s not making you happy. There’s also another way, a better way, which is congruent with who you are, with what you want and with where you want to go.
I am talking more about this in #CAREERBOOST, the FREE webinar I am hosting on Thursday, 25 May.
Join me for #CAREERBOST for FREE, to find out:
- What’s holding you back from doing work you love,
- The 7 steps of the Happiness at Work Blueprint
- How to get the job of your dreams.
- And much more