Get to the Root of Unhappiness at Work

Some people jump out of bed every morning and just can’t wait to get to work. They are happy as a clam when they’re on the job. Others may wake up and feel like there’s a brick wall between them and the start of their day.

A mixture of dread, boredom and stagnation clouds the very idea of going to work. If this latter scenario sounds familiar, you may be unhappy in your job.

If so, it’s time to make a change in your life because not only is on-the-job satisfaction a “must” for career success, it’s also a prerequisite for your overall well-being  – particularly when you spend 7 or more hours a day at your job.

Unhappy at Work due to Boredom

You might feel bored at your job because you’ve forgotten the real reason you chose this profession in the first place. In such a case you’d feel like you’re ineffective except for pocketing that regular paycheck. You may not think that the company acknowledges your efforts or appreciates you.

As a result, you feel like your contributions are unwanted. Perhaps you no longer work to achieve a goal that makes a difference in people’s lives. These feelings are common effects when you follow someone else’s dreams rather than your own.

Some generic symptoms you might notice are the ease in which you’re distracted by online shopping or checking your social media notifications.

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One way to try and change your outlook is to ask your supervisor to provide feedback every time you complete a task. Request that your supervisor keeps you motivated with different types of tasks, preferably more challenging ones. If your boss is unable to do as you ask, it may be time to take some additional steps on your own.

Attend seminars and career counselling workshops that will help remind you of what motivated you when you were just starting out in this career. If none of these suggestions is helping, start to look for another job that piques your interest and challenges you.

Unhappy At Work : Get To The Root & Change How You Feel

If that job eventually makes you feel the same way, it might be time to make a U-turn on your career path to rediscover job satisfaction. If you feel it’s too late to embark on a new career, try to identify a job within your current qualifications that offers some fascinating new experiences that may change your mindset.

For example, if you are a teacher but don’t feel happy about teaching kids in public schools, perhaps it would be more satisfying to teach in less developed countries for a renowned NGO.

Unhappy at Work due to Work-Life Imbalance

Work-life imbalance makes not only you unhappy but your loved ones as well. A feeling of imbalance germinates when you find yourself working too long every day. So many work responsibilities piled on your shoulders prevent you from enjoying your personal life.

You’d recognise this immediately when work duties start taking over your domestic life and free time. You may feel like you’re enslaved to never-ending volumes of work. At the same time, you’re probably still in the same position, with the same job title and the same remuneration. The solution here may involve discussing this with the supervisor who normally assigns you these tasks.

At the same time, you’re probably still in the same position, with the same job title and the same remuneration. The solution here may involve discussing this with the supervisor who normally assigns you these tasks. Sure, it’s difficult to say no to an added workload, so creating a dialogue is essential.

After discussing the situation, your boss may come up with a solution that’s ideal for both you and the organisation. For instance, your supervisor may allow you additional paid leave so that you can take more days off. You might be permitted to take family members along on business trips. Such solutions would give you more time to relax away from work and help you spend time with your loved ones.

Looking forward to these rewards might increase your motivation. Another economical solution the supervisor may offer could be to allow you more time to spend on your hobbies. Imagine getting an extra day tacked onto the weekend to indulge your keenest interests!

If you continue to feel overworked, you’ll recognise that your physical and cognitive functions may be deteriorating. Once you identify these symptoms, start searching for a job that will offer you more flexibility and less stress.

Unhappy At Work : Get To The Root & Change How You Feel

Unhappy at Work due to Inability to Adapt

It can be complicated to adapt to a new organisational culture. A work culture in which you don’t feel comfortable points to problematic interactions with your new co-workers and an employer with different principles. It indicates that you’re just not fitting in at your new workplace. You may notice feelings of isolation, an inability to please everyone and production of low-quality work.

These symptoms develop due to an incompatibility between you and certain other people in the organisation. To tackle this, you can try to inform the Human Resources department, which may open doors for an interdepartmental transfer. If HR fails to support you, try to talk to your supervisor.

He or she may be in a position to better help you understand the vision and mission of your sector of the organisation. He or she might be able to provide you with a precise outline of what is expected of your work. Make more concerted efforts to interact positively with your colleagues.

If you’re finding that you’re unable to make friends in the workplace, focus on your work. Remember that co-workers come and go and that they switch out entirely if you change your workplace. If you’re still not performing very well, search for a new job.

Unhappy at Work due to Feeling Neglected

Feeling neglected usually translates to a perception that you’re not being paid as well as you’d like. If you recognise yourself here, meet with your employer and explain your feelings to him or her. Let him or she know why you deserve more compensation by providing convincing background data.

If your employer can’t give you a raise, discuss other alternatives like additional employee benefits, career-expanding opportunities or in-kind extras such as gym membership, in-house childcare and the like.

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Founder @ The New Savvy
Anna Haotanto is the Advisor (former CEO) of The New Savvy. She is currently the COO of ABZD Capital and the CMO of Gourmet Food Holdings, an investment firm focusing on opportunities in the global F&B industry. She is part of the founding committee of the Singapore FinTech Association and heads the Women In FinTech and Partnership Committee. Anna is the President of the Singapore Management University Women Alumni. Anna invests and sits on the board of a few startups. Anna is also part of the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce & Industry Career Women’s Group executive committee. Anna’s story is featured on Millionaire Minds on Channel NewsAsia. She hosts TV shows and events, namely for Channel NewsAsia’s “The Millennial Investor” and “Challenge Tomorrow”, a FinTech documentary. Anna was awarded “Her Times Youth Award” at the Rising50 Women Empowerment Gala, organised by the Indonesian Embassy of Singapore. The award was presented by His Excellency Ngurah Swajaya. She was also awarded Founder of the Year for ASEAN Rice Bowl Startup Awards. She was also awarded the Women Empowerment Award by the Asian Business & Social Forum. Anna has been awarded LinkedIn Power Profiles for founders (2018, 2017), Tatler Gen T, The Peak’s Trailblazers under 40 and a nominee for the Women of The Future award by Aviva


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