Fall In "Like" With Work Again

It’s hard to remain in a job you dislike or if you’re being really honest…hate. I’ve been there. Before my current place, if I didn’t like my job I wasn’t about to keep wasting my employer’s time or mine – I moved on. Then I got settled and found some people I enjoyed working with and slowly the years kept ticking by and I wasn’t going anywhere. I won’t lie, there were a couple of times I was ready to be done and it wasn’t that I was unhappy, it was because of a person. That’s a silly reason to leave a job I put a lot into however I would adamantly tell anyone, a job or person is not worth the unhappiness.
But what if leaving isn’t an option. A lot of people don’t have the option of leaving their jobs just because they dislike it and the fact that they can’t makes them dislike it even more. So how can we fix it? To quote Will Smith, “your heart, your life, your happiness is you responsibility.” It’s no one’s fault that you dislike your job but it’s your responsibility to figure it out how to make it work. Here are a few scenarios and techniques that might help you work through them.

“Dislike Your Boss | Dislike Your Peers” – Sometimes the best thing to rectify a discord amongst individuals is to have a third party. I had a problem with one of my superiors for a long time and what needed to happen was to have an objective person to be there to allow us to air out our grievances and changes to be made on both sides but it didn’t happen like that right away. What wound up happening was a third party echoed some of my grievances and brought into light changes that needed to happen. The thing about being an adult is talking problems out like adults and everyone should be in an environment where they feel they can have those types of conversations. I feel it’s important that if you don’t feel comfortable having a one on one conversation with the individual who you have your problems with, approach a manger, ask HR or a coworker to sit in on the meeting; you can even write it all down and bring it with you so you can make sure you touch on all the points – a good person will recognize that even though you don’t need to be friends, you can work and co-exist amicably and respectfully, they will work with you for the betterment of the company.

If someone is just out to make your life miserable for no reason and nothing can be done about it, you can either let the jabs and nastiness roll off your shoulder or document each incident to the point where you have enough of a case to get change to happen.

“I’m Not Challenged Enough | No Opportunities” – Being looked over or passed over for opportunities is incredibly frustrating and unfair. But as most of us know, we can’t always wait for opportunities to meet us at the door – in some cases you need to make opportunities for yourself. Identify what is in your current role that no longer excites you – for me, there was a time I was a recruiter for a staffing agency and I really enjoyed it, but after two years I found doing the same thing day after day, reading resume after resume became tiresome – there was no excitement. So I asked my manager to give me harder assignments, I wanted engineers not just administrative. I learned that the qualities I had to search for were a lot harder and required me to be extremely picky with my selections – I reinvented the same job by changing the “scenery”. If you’ve been in the same position for a long time – talk to your manager about receiving more responsibility – telling your manager you’re not feeling like your using your full potential is actually music to their ears. They want people to take on more work, they want people to move up in the company and by expressing that you are opening the door for yourself, not waiting for someone to do it for you. You can also offer to help a co-worker with one of their projects in a different or higher up department, it’s a great learning experience and a good way to get your foot through the door for promotions.

“Environment” – We are visual creatures, we like something with our eyes first and that’s no different with our workspace. Whether you work in a cubicle, office, or open area – the only way to increase your enjoyment is to enjoy the space you occupy. I’ve said this before, don’t wait to personalize your space when you start a new job, get comfy right off the bat. I had a new person come in a week before her start date to get her desk setup – she brought not only her files, but everything that made her happy. She had happy face things on her desk, colorful mousepad, photos – you name it she had it and it made her feel more at home when she started. I’ve also had someone start who took months to bring in a photo – when I asked she said “well you know I want to make sure this stuck,” – show you’re in it, you are committed to making yourself happy at your job. Some companies however want a very clean work space, nothing on the desks – make your desktop on your computer something you enjoy looking at, if you’re allowed a small plant, small succulents add great visual and they’re extremely low maintenance.

“I Don’t Have Friends At Work | No One Likes Me” – Whether you’re the new kid on the block or you’ve been there for a while and just haven’t ventured out to get to know your co-workers – it’s important to remember not everyone will be your friend. It’s just a fact. You can however win people over to just liking you by bringing in the big guns – donuts. Believe it or not, food = happiness. You don’t need to be everyone’s friend but you need to seem approachable – if you come off as stuck up or rude, that’s how people will perceive you. If you’re quiet and timid, people won’t take the time to bother. Sometimes, we need to take the first step and nothing breaks the ice quite like donuts. They’re inexpensive and a crowd pleaser. Stick a note to the top of the box saying “Good Morning Everyone! Enjoy!” When people start asking who brought the donuts in, guess whose name is floating around? If you suffer from BRF (Bitchy Resting Face) – not your fault but you do need to take the responsibility to show you can be approachable and you are a nice person. If someone is asking you a question via email, get up and go give them a face to face answer “Hey Sue saw your email – got a second?” They might wonder why you didn’t just reply to which you can add “Sometimes I just need to stretch my legs so I thought what better time than to come talk to you”. Again, you’re not there to be everyone’s friend but you need to be a team player and regardless of personal feelings – a smile makes it all better. Also, network! Go out to lunch with people in your department or hit happy hour with your co-workers. By being seen socially outside of your office can encourage relationship development and give you something to look forward to.

I want you to be realistic about something and this is something I’ve lived by – if when all else fails and nothing can be done to improve your current situation, you owe it to yourself to make the change. Seek out new employment and make sure they meet your needs you’re interviewing a company just as they’re interviewing you. There are no amount of donuts in the world that can improve a deteriorating situation and you need to prepare yourself for that. Prepare that you will likely be without insurance for a few months, that’s scary if you have kids – try to set aside money for cobra to cover them if you can. Prepare for it to take some time – don’t leave a job without securing another, that’s most important. Prepare to start all over – making yourself approachable to your new coworkers, training, getting over the learning curve, etc. Finally, if you plan on leaving your current job – make sure you’re doing it with advancement opportunity – you can make a unilateral move but don’t fall into the same trap, make sure that wherever you land – there’s options to change the “scenery”.

Have questions on how to make changes happen at work? Comment down below!

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