We all have days when work is the last thing we want to be doing. We grumble and shuffle in with lips pursed and a generally grouchy attitude. Hey, even Lady Gaga has bad days and she just won an Oscar! However, if you’re feeling like this all the time or are generally bogged down and negative about your work, here are some tips to try to brighten your experience:
First, attempt to find the root cause of your workplace negativity. It can be anything from feeling inadequate in your job to cliquey coworkers. Once you pinpoint what is really causing your low drive, you can look for solutions.
If you’re feeling as though you’re not meeting your goals or you’re not fulfilled by your current work and wish to grow professionally, you can look into training or mentoring in order to give yourself a boost and achieve a promotion or specialization that can maneuver you toward more projects you’re genuinely interested in. There are many fabulous online courses with certifications you can try, and your workplace may already have development plans in place. Speak to your superior and see if gaining a new skill, receiving more education, or looking to a professional mentor can help you get to where you want to be. And generally, if you don’t have set daily, weekly, or monthly goals, make some. Even just building toward something can give you a sense of purpose, satisfaction, and achievement.
If you’re dealing with stress in the moment, take some time for yourself. Whether it’s anger or general gloom, get out of the office for a few minutes. Go outside, go grab a coffee, anything to get you out. Once you’re out, you can often see that what was causing the negative feelings isn’t as huge of a problem as you thought it was when it was all you were surrounded by.
In a similar vein, if you’re feeling anxious about work, it helps to think about the stressor from a different perspective. What’s the worst that could happen? Seriously. Think about it and logically determine the answer. Will you be fired? Usually the answer is no. See what the worst possible outcome is and then decide how to approach the issue.
Is your workplace kind of a bummer, visually? While many companies are making huge strides to improve work life with naturally bright offices and communal spaces, some are still grey carpets and fluorescent lights. This can drain you emotionally and make you feel generally yucky. Try to pretty up your personal space. Some pictures or some bright colors can definitely change the drab to fab.
Are you not getting along with coworkers or you feel your boss doesn’t appreciate you? Dealing with other people can be extremely difficult. When it comes to cliquey coworkers, there are no easy answers. Think about the people in your office and how valuable their friendship is beyond a cohesive working environment. You don’t have to be best friends with everyone, as long as you work together fine, you can simply be associates. Also, acknowledge if there is a legitimate reason people may have an issue with you and put in the effort to change that. Hold yourself accountable for any discord you have caused. If it’s petty and their behavior is genuinely affecting your work, then it might be best to speak to HR or your mentor about specific solutions. If your boss isn’t appreciating your work, you can communicate with them about it. It sounds intimidating, but if you know your worth, you can have a respectful discussion with them about it. They may even tell you that you’re greatly appreciated and you have misinterpreted the situation.
And never forget: If something is truly terrible and genuinely unhealthy for you, make moves to find something else. It may take time and patience, but there is always an out.