Unhappy at work? 7 tips to get the most out of your job

If you’re unhappy at work, it’s probably time for another job. But that is, of course, easier said than done. There could be thousands of reasons why you can’t switch jobs right now. For example, because you are looking for a house and you now have a permanent contract. Or because you are still stuck at this ‘meh’ job for a certain number of months because of your education.

Whatever the reason for you, it’s straightforward to feel down. Fortunately, there are also ways to get the most out of this, so that you will start your new job even stronger.

Unhappy at work? 7 tips

Focus on building a network

Your colleagues are a big part of your work, so it makes sense that they have a significant influence on your happiness at work. They can just turn a ‘meh’ job into a great job. But that’s not just why it’s essential to focus on building a network.

You guessed it: if the time has come for you to look for another job or new opportunity, it’s damn useful if you’ve been able to build valuable relationships in your current job.

Do a project that makes you happy

There’s a reason you started working for this company once. You probably don’t hate everything about your job, but a few aspects make you unhappy at work. So try to find a project that makes you happy and that you can drag through the next few months.

We often have more influence on our jobs than we think. So don’t wait for management to magically improve your job (how are they supposed to know you want to until you say so?) and ask yourself if you can take on a new task or responsibility.

Learn something new

You may be unhappy at work because you are not challenged enough. Learning something new could pull you out of the daily grind. But even if you’re sure you want to leave this job, learning something new can be hugely valuable to your career. It makes you more attractive to new employers.

Grab the chance while you still can and see the possibilities within your company to follow a course or training.

Do something for your future every day

Whether leading a meeting for the first time or having a coffee with someone from another department, you can also make a valuable connection on LinkedIn or work on your website for your future business. When you work towards your future every day, it will be easier to keep your ‘meh’ job. There’s a dot on the horizon!

Make a plan

Speaking of a dot on the horizon: make a schedule if you’re unhappy at work. A timeline in which you write down exactly when you are going to perform which action. For example, when do you start looking for another job? When are you going to update your resume? Writing your cover letter?

For example, if you’ve decided for yourself that you’re going to find a new job in six months, it’s much easier to think, “Let me make the most of those six months now!”

Make a list of your achievements

Researchers have found that your job feels meaningful when you’re proud of what you’ve accomplished. This creates more self-esteem and confidence. But when you’re unhappy at work, you focus on the negative aspects, and it’s hard to see what you’ve accomplished.

Therefore, make a list of your achievements and successes and pat yourself on the back. Even in a work environment where you are out of place, you have achieved all these things. Not so fond of patting yourself on the back? (Try it anyway!) This list will also come in handy if you’re going to apply for a job in the future. This way, you have a much clearer picture of what you have brought your previous employer.

Know that you can’t get your dream job right away

Another reason you might be unhappy at work might be because you feel this job is “below your level.” Of course, it may be time for the next step, but we indeed want overnight success these days. We forget that there is a long way to go before our dream job. This is only one step on your career path, and you probably need this foundation to move forward.

It may not feel like it now, but in the future, you will look back on this job and be grateful for the lessons it taught you, even if the job has taught us where we don’t want to work or what we don’t want to do. That is also very valuable.

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