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Unhappy at work, what to do?

Unhappy at work, what to do?

Unhappy and sad at work, you want to throw everything out the window, change careers or trades. But, is it really the best solution....

More and more people feel unhappy in their work. They are not satisfied with certain aspects of their professional lives. Moreover, they do not express it in complete peace of mind and only think about changing jobs quickly. Faced with this situation of permanent pursuit of happiness at work, it is necessary to take certain measures.

How to express your disagreement and/or dissatisfaction at work?

For an executive, his employees are a fundamental resource that he wants to preserve and see flourish. Because anyone who is happy at work will be more efficient and more involved. That's why your opinion is just as important to them as it is to you. Saying what you think also helps to find people who have the same point of view. It is always necessary for someone to take the initiative for the good of all. If no one says anything, the disagreement will continue to grow and will have an increasing negative impact on the team's work.

It's like in a romantic relationship: if we don't express what we feel and continue to act voluntarily in a negative way, nothing will get better. Indeed, how could our companion guess what is happening to us if we don't tell him or her? This will therefore not provide any solution since we are creating incorrect attitudes that will only make the relationship worse.

If you feel uneasy at work, you should start by talking about it around you.

See: Top 10 questions in a job interview + answers

Freedom of opinion at work

How can you be happy in your work? - Many people have real difficulty expressing directly what they think about their work. However, today, thanks to technological developments, we can enjoy a certain freedom of opinion at work that is beyond reproach and much more direct. Many applications have been launched recently, such as Niko Niko, Roundpegg, etc., allowing employees to answer questionnaires related to their feelings about different aspects of work. The results of these questionnaires are then sent to the managers and shared with the rest of the company, in order to encourage discussion and exchange.

Have a coffee with your Manager

You can always choose the simplest and most effective solution: the coffee break. The ideal would be to suggest that he or she leave the company's framework to discuss freely. You can also opt for e-mail. Whenever you want to express a certain disagreement, it is important to think proactively about possible solutions to improve the situation. Don't forget that it's not enough to complain, to make everything fine. Otherwise, you must also demonstrate your willingness to change and be strong in your proposals. Any good manager will be open to new proposals, provided that they bring real improvements of course!

Knowing how to express your opinion on your work environment, your objectives, your relationship with your manager, will certainly improve your professional life. Companies will always be willing to listen and improve the situation of their employees. So don't hesitate to share your feelings!

Identify your discomforts 

  • What doesn't work at work?
  • Why am I so unhappy?
  • Is it just a feeling of discomfort; a conflict with a colleague, a supervisor, an overload of work?

If you answered "yes" to these questions, you may need to consider finding a job in another company or correcting the situation before moving heaven and earth.

Generally, the reasons that lead to a professional shift are difficult to identify. They often relate to a situation that prevails within the company itself. The first answers are confusing. Sit down, please. Take a few hours each week to evaluate the present and future. You will come to describe your discomforts and desires perfectly.

Identify your desires and skills

Well, now the discomforts have a name, a signature. You are unhappy in your career. It is not the work environment, but the very nature of the job that weighs on you. You are in the process of identifying your desires.

  • What would you like to do with your life? Driving a bus, working in the arts, writing...
  • Identify your dreams precisely.
  • Find out more about the main lines of this new career.
  • Make a list of the talents that will be useful in carrying out this new direction. Do you have any of them? What about your skills?

Dreaming of becoming a lineman when you have to fight vertigo every time you get on a bench is not the right thing to do.

Make sure you have identified your talents, strengths and weaknesses, as well as your abilities before making a decision. While you are entitled to make mistakes, they could be costly.

If necessary, consult a guidance counsellor or a coach-strategist. In short, don't skimp on ways to get answers to ALL your questions before you take the plunge.

Take the necessary measures

Return to school
Your choice is final and, despite the criticism of those around you, you want to plunge into a new career. You will need to find the necessary tools to carry out your future work. You may have to return to CEGEP, university or specialized schools. Take a tour of these institutions, learn about the courses offered and the placement rate once the training is completed.

You will probably have to work, in the evenings and on weekends, to hand in school work. You may have a problem reconciling school and family.

Can you count on your family during more intense periods, before exams for example?

An action plan

Once you have identified your desires and the tools needed to make this change, you will need to develop an action plan. This step is essential. You will then determine if you need to: 

  • return to full-time or part-time studies
  • find you a job as a supernumerary to allow you to study
  • change region.
  • Identify career options after graduation. It is possible that this market is saturated. You may need to review your choices.

One thing is certain: expect a significant change in your lifestyle, both personal and financial. Your schedules will no longer be the same, nor will your financial means. If you choose self-employment, you will also need to do some business management and accounting, find customers, sell yourself. Do you have the required qualifications? They are necessary....

What about the money in all this?

We deliberately approached this topic last, even though it has been in your head for several months. There is quite a difference between receiving a weekly paycheck and living for weeks with little money. And then, often, you will have to take out insurance in the event of illness or professional error.

Add to that the monthly expenses: food, housing, clothing, travel, entertainment expenses, tax reports, tax provisions - April 30 comes very quickly when you are self-employed - and... bad payers. In fact, you will have to stand on your own two feet unless you hire an accountant and pay the necessary fees.

Fortunately, there are financial tools that can help you get through the first few months or years of your "new" life. In addition to loans and bursaries for students, Emploi-Québec offers assistance (minimal, but appreciated) to those who wish to become self-employed.

In addition, if you are under 35 years of age, your local employment centre counsellor will likely be able to find a program that will allow you to obtain financial assistance for the purchase of equipment. In short, there are several tools that will help you keep your head above water while you make your small business profitable. Get informed!

In times of total insecurity, and there are, remember that the happiness of doing what you love is worth a few regular pay periods. Financial insecurity should not stop you unless you have made the wrong choices. On the other hand, you will probably show a strength of character that you thought you did not have.

And, in the worst case scenario, there will always be time to find you... a job.

Your choice is made: you change careers. Focus on the three "Ps": Patience, Perseverance, Passion. Do not spare any effort or hours to achieve your goal. Make no mistake about it. For a self-employed worker, working hours do not exist, or almost do not exist. But eventually, you will reach your goal and finally be happy at work.