3 Things to Consider When Happy Doesn’t Show Up at Work With You

Without happiness, work loses satisfaction no matter what you accomplish externally. ~ Deepak Chopra  ~


Something has changed over the years, to the point where, according to some reports, as many as 70% workers do not like their jobs.  The reasons range from not feeling valued, overworked, underpaid, management, to boredom, the job wasn’t what they thought it would be or just not liking the work they do.  The reasons for staying are perhaps as diverse as the reason for not liking the job.  A primary reason is the income in order to take care of financial obligations.  Another, for some, might be the amount of time they’ve already invested in the company.  To start all over might seem too costly in comparison to the benefits of remaining.

I have had several jobs that I just did not like.  For me, it was best to leave, sooner rather than later.  I was not able to justify staying, being unhappy, for whatever the reason.  In my experiences, once unhappy doesn’t show up at work with me anymore, it’s been best to focus on leaving as soon as possible.   Once feelings of unhappy set it, it wasn’t likely that would change.  The reasons were legitimate enough to just go, as quickly as possible.  That’s ranged from a few months to as little as a few days.  That time-frame only means it was how long I was able to last before I just couldn’t deal with it anymore.  I always felt lighter once I quit.

For many, the longer they remain in a position they do not like, the more it can begin to take a toll on them.  When your heart is no longer into what you show up to do each day, it’s pretty much downhill from there.  Seldom, if ever , does anything get better.

At some point, decisions have to be made.  What to do?  Quit as soon as possible, stay no matter what or stick it out to see if maybe something will go a different way and it all pan out?

Three things to consider…

Quit as soon as possible

Do you feel like the job is just taking way more from you than it’s giving you?  Does the idea of leaving feel better to you than the idea of staying?  Meaning; you just don’t see anything rewarding about staying on any longer than you can control.  If it’s to the point where just about any other place seems better than remaining, maybe you’re to the point that quitting is a much better, healthier, sound decision for you.

I once had a position that the closer I got to the job, the more ill I felt.  I’d get this ball of tension on the back of my neck.  A mild headache would set in.  When I arrived, once I parked, I’d sit in the car for a few minutes.  I literally dreaded going in the building.  Any happiness I’d felt had long left.  Happy just didn’t enter the building with me anymore.  As a matter of fact, happy didn’t even get in the car with me anymore.  It just stayed at home.  I would exit the car feeling so down.  That down feeling increased over the course of about two weeks.  Then, one day, I got off the elevator, arrived at my desk, logged on the computer and  before I realized it, I was accessing e-mail, typing a resignation letter, offering two weeks notice.  Totally unplanned! 

I lasted one week more. I was so bold as to ask and was granted permission to use the one week vacation time I’d already accumulated.  I hated that job so much.  In part, because I’d lost the ability to believe in their mission or see the employer, at least not that department, as being ethical.  They seemed to just care about making sales (getting new customers).  I cared about them coming on board for all the right reasons, as informed customers and staying because it was a good decision, a good fit, for them; not the company.  The golden rule wasn’t a standard.  Leaving, ASAP, was absolutely the right, healthy decision for me.   

Stay no matter what

If you’re not absolutely sure, then you won’t want to make any rash decisions.  You have your own reason why you need more time.  Just be sure it’s a valid excuse versus what you may be convincing yourself of.  On the other hand, you may have valid reasons for sticking around.  A promotion, a salary increase, or something else that you believe will make the circumstances better.

Many years ago, there was a job I gave notice of intent to quit that I really liked a lot.  In the end, I decided it was best to go.  But, at the end of the day, it all came down to losing trust in my boss.  Again, an ethics issue with me.  Honesty matters a lot to me.   Trust was lost and I knew it wouldn’t get better.  It came down to character.  That’s not anything you can teach a person or make them change.  People are who they are; for the most part.  Without the chatter of other people’s opinion, I gave it about a month of serious thought.  It needed to be my decision.

Stick it out

If you feel you get more from the job than it takes from you, you may find it worth sticking it out and see if things get better.  Maybe the rewards far outweigh anything that has you feeling a bit unhappy at this time.  After much thought, you may determine it’s really not as bad as it could be.  By comparison, it’s a better move for you than anything else you can think of or imagine right now.

A woman I’ve known for over twelve years now, recently accepted a new position.  I remember when she told me about the upcoming opportunity.  There was no denying the decision was driven by the significant additional income.  The hourly rate was already not too shabby at all.  But, the new position was to pay even greater.  That’s a huge chance to take with money being the sole primary influence.

Well, with a few months in now, the job position, hours and days have been already changed.  It’s not what she had been prepared for.  It’s also not what she hired herself out for.  She does have regret about leaving the previous job.  She liked that first job very much.  Now, she’s working on putting a plan in place to see if she can get to at least five years.  She has her reasons and it’s all well thought out.  The only problem I see is that five years may end up feeling like twenty years when you already don’t like something that’s significant enough to not stay.

Final thought…

We all have to make decisions that are best for ourselves.  Whether it’s about staying or going or seeing if you can just stick it out to see if something changes for the better, it’s a serious decision.  Everything has to be outweighed.  It’s hard to claim anything is more valuable than your happiness and health in the workplace.

How nice it would be if everyone could be happy with the work they do, the place they do it and the people worked with to get it done.  Sadly; statistics support something entirely opposite.  Most people are not entirely happy at work.  In fact, research is showing the percentage is actually between 70 – 80% workers that are not happy and want something more at work.  Generally, the happiest people at work tend to be doing work that doesn’t feel like work.  In other words; they love the work they do and they’re satisfied with the people they work for and with.  


You’ve got the floor…

Does happy show up with you at work?  What makes you happy (or unhappy) at work?  Please leave a comment to share your thoughts.

Leave a Reply