Why you might be unhappy at work


The ultimate purpose in life is to be happy. In our quest for happiness, we often forget what exactly can define it. Some may think a dream job will bring an end to their search. Others say money. Few may even say doing good work will bring happiness. And finally, when we get all of these we realise that that was not our ultimate aim. Then what is it that we are looking for?

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We spend half our lives working out the formula to shape our career. I often find people asking me how my work as a writer is shaping out to be. I give a positive response by saying that I am satisfied with my work in terms of productivity, colleagues, and creativity. To me, these are parameters to define how the next step of my career will shape out. Now this is because I believe for one’s career to grow, first one must be happy with their work and not the other way round.

Here are a few queries to ask yourself the next time you doubt your happiness at work:

How often do you check your priorities?

By this, I do not mean PowerPoint presentations or the mail you have to send your next client. What should be on your priority list are family, leisure time, and mental peace. If the most important things aren’t fulfilled first, then your career will naturally take a U-turn.  Often we find people saying that they will slog for six months and then take a two week break to be with their family. Truth be told, spending time with family should be a daily activity rather than an intermittent project. At the end of the day, during times of crisis it’s your family who will stick up for you and not your job.

Are you learning and growing?

There might come a time when you feel you aren’t needed anymore. Your skills become irrelevant and you also begin to stagnate. It leaves you dissatisfied, unhappy, and restless. To feel content with one’s job, one needs to leverage their skills and also learn beyond what one already knows.

Who do you spend time with?

These may be the people you network with, your colleagues, or your teammates. Surround yourself with people who want you to genuinely improve and grow. In an organisation, we don’t always get to choose our team members, but we can always make a conscious effort to be with knowledgeable and well-informed people who have a positive impact on us. Imagine going to work dreading to see faces that create a string of bad thoughts or gossip mongers. Avoid being with such people as they may really affect your relationship with your work.

At times it takes a lot of questioning and introspection to really find out what keeps us happy at work. Our long term goals can’t be defined in a jiffy. So don’t worry if you haven’t figured it all yet. Be patient, learn, and observe people who have a positive impact on you.