You know all those miserable people you have to work with that make your job unbearable? The crummy cubicle you work in? Your lousy work schedule and embarrassing salary? Wait a minute! If you’re so darn miserable, why is everyone else so happy? Or at least they aren’t complaining or moaning and groaning like you are. There are a lot of people who enjoy working. They actually have fun, are fulfilled and even have a life outside of work.
If you’re so miserable, have you considered that you might be the cause? There are a lot of self-destructive habits people are stuck in that make them miserable without any help from the outside. Consider these misery-creating workplace (or anywhere) habits and see if you have been busy working on them lately. You may need to make a few adjustments and adopt some new habits to make your work life bearable or even fun.
1. Hold a grudge. You didn’t get the promotion. Instead, Julie, who is always flirting with the boss and working late, got it instead. Who cares that she also is a whiz at numbers and just finished a college course on data analysis. Ever since the announcement, you haven’t spoken to Julie and avoid the break room when she’s there. The problem is, she’s happy and working on some great projects. The boss is happy and the rest of the team is supportive. So who’s really suffering? Holding a grudge hurts you personally and doesn’t give a great impression to the boss or the rest of the team.
2. Be a doormat. You’re so nice and agreeable that whenever anyone else is slammed they come to you and you take on their extra work. It doesn’t matter if you have plans or a desk full of your own work. Everyone can count on you to take their crummy projects and stay late, even when they’re all leaving to go out for a drink after work. You’re so used to saying “yes” that “no” never occurs to you. Besides, all those sad stories make you feel so guilty. Get over it! Learn how to say no and get out of the office, too. You can’t be a doormat unless you lie down and let people walk over you. Stand up for yourself, be helpful if you can, and set some boundaries.
3. Make your job your life. There is a saying, “If all you have is a hammer, everything is a nail.” If all you have to live for is your job, you give things that happen at work way too much importance or power. The truth is, jobs come and go but your life is an ongoing relationship with you first, and then those people and things that make it meaningful. When your job is your life, losing it can be devastating. How many people caught up in downsizing are experiencing an identity crisis without a business card to tell them who and what they are? Your job isn’t your identity. Work with a friend, counselor or therapist, but put your priorities in order so your job doesn’t dictate your personal happiness.
If you lost a great job, don’t make the mistake of taking the next one just for the title or corner office. Take time to reestablish your self-worth without a job, and you’ll be better equipped for happiness when you do land the next one.