8 reasons why you could be unhappy at work

How often do you find yourself unhappy at work? You probably were so excited at some point, but now the excitement has worn off.

If work makes you unhappy, why don’t you just quit? That seems like the go-to move.

But after a few jobs, you find that the problem isn’t the job; it is like no matter what dream job you get, you end up back here.

What is the root reason for your unhappiness at work? It is easy to place blame on other people or things out of your control.

Here are a few reasons why you might be unhappy and what to do about it.

1. You Hate Your Boss

Not everyone likes their boss. We all dream of this perfect boss who doesn’t micromanage and isn’t incompetent. But nobody is perfect, not even your dream boss.

Your boss controls your work environment, organizes work, defines your job role, and is your support network and backup if you reach a problem. If you have an issue with your boss, it’s time to take some responsibility and do something about it. You are not responsible for your boss’ behavior, but you can control your reactions, actions, and attitude moving forward.

2. You Hate Your Co-Workers

We all have co-workers we do not like, they drive us up the wall in ways you couldn’t even imagine. Your happiness depends on your environment and if you spend 40+ hours of your week in an environment that doesn’t make you happy, you will be unhappy. Co-workers play a huge part in this.

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As social creatures, we crave social interaction, and we are forced to socialize with our co-workers simply by proximity. If we are surrounded by negative people who don’t make us feel good about ourselves or coworkers who complain a lot, it can affect how we feel.

3. Your Job Isn’t Rewarding

Your job isn’t always going to be fun and games, and when it no longer becomes rewarding, you are going to feel unhappy. Human beings thrive on rewards and entertainment, and we love competition. By making your work environment fun and rewarding, you will enjoy going to work.

When you reward yourself at the moment, your brain elicits positive emotions, leading to the realization that your efforts result in a positive reward. By doing this continuously, your brain will start to link pleasure to accomplishing the task or objective and move towards it in the future.[2]

4. You Don’t Believe in the Work That You Are Doing

This is one of the core reasons you’re unhappy in a job role; you are living out of alignment with your core values.

If your role doesn’t match up with your core values, then you will be miserable. For example, if you value helping people through customer service but work in program coding, you will struggle to be happy, unlike someone who values problem-solving.

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It isn’t impossible to enjoy your job if your values don’t align with your work.

5. You Feel Stagnant in Your Job Role

Your job isn’t going anywhere, and you feel like you are wasting your time on this earth, feeling utterly unfulfilled. We love being safe and secure, but we also love progression. We get bored of the same old same old, and we want new challenges and things to do.

If you are just pushing through papers, day in and day out, you will become unhappy, so what can you do about it?

6. You Are Underpaid

Maybe you feel you are underpaid for the work that you are doing, and it is making you feel unhappy because all the hard work you are putting in isn’t being appreciated enough.

Let’s ask the hard question: are you really being underpaid? Or do you just feel unappreciated or overworked? Maybe it is because you have taken on additional responsibilities, and you feel like you aren’t being rewarded accordingly.

People who are unhappy because they feel underpaid are stressed about money, they are working hard, and it is going unnoticed and unappreciated. If you feel underpaid, it is because you don’t love your work, and it is not worth the stress for your salary.

7. You Are Overwhelmingly Overworked

We all get burnt out from work sometimes. At some point, you might crack as the pressure and stress get a little too much for you to handle. If you feel overworked, you need to learn some self-care to keep on top of the burnout.

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Keep on top of your mental health, and make sure you are doing the necessary things to keep it in check, whatever your process is (or find a process and implement it).

8. You Are Feeling Unappreciated at Work

One of the core driving elements in humans is our need for praise and recognition.

You can try and force appreciation out of your co-workers and bosses, like a child with their 10th crayon drawing sticking it under their parents’ noses and gladly proclaiming what they have done. But, that is never as satisfying as it seems, and the validation received is not authentic enough; it feels hollow and empty.

So, what can you do about it since you cannot control anyone’s expression of appreciation for your hard work? Be the change you want to see in the office. Create an initiative to show everyone else they are appreciated, I bet that half of your office feels unappreciated.

With all things, expectation equals manifestation. If you treat everyone with appreciation and make an effort, they will most certainly make an effort to appreciate you back. Someone has to start the chain – why not you?