How to Tell Your Boss You’re Not Happy at Work

We all know the feeling. No matter how much you try to feel or think otherwise, you’re just not happy in your job.

Research from the United States has confirmed the extent of this unhappiness problem. More than 70% of employees surveyed in 2013 said they were not happy with their workplace or current role.

It’s a big problem, because we spend so much of our time in our workplace.

But there is always a lot of reluctance to do much about it, and even more resistance when it comes to employees talking to their boss about their unhappiness.

So what can you do? One of the most important steps is to consider your words and behaviour at work while you’re unhappy with the job. Make sure you’re not a constant complainer or sharing your frustrations with your colleagues. It is unhelpful for your own reputation and bad for your colleagues and work environment.

Secondly, take time out at home or on the weekend to analyse and think about the exact reasons you are unhappy. Without knowing what the specific problems are, you can’t work on the solutions.

A successful way to do is to make what workplace experts call a “gripe list”. Write down a private list of all the things you don’t like about your job. Sometimes this process is enough for you to realise that perhaps things aren’t as bad as you think they are, and the list also makes it easier to identify key issues you’re dealing with.

When it comes time to talk to your boss, make sure they are free of distractions. Going for a coffee or walk outside the office or workplace can be a great circuit-breaker to ensure you are both fully focused on the conversation. You should also make sure you are fully prepared for the meeting. Be very clear about what your issues and provide examples. Coming up with your own ideas or solutions to address those problems is also a worthy exercise when talking to your boss or manager. Throughout the meeting, it is also very important to remain calm and present positive body language. It’s easier to get a good outcome in a positive, calm meeting than an emotionally charged encounter.

Hopefully, all of these measures and steps can help you move forward and start enjoying your job. In the worst case scenarios, you may need to consider changing jobs or workplaces. Just make sure you’re not shuffling the deck chairs on the Titanic.

But make you’ve taken all the steps you can to identify the source of your current workplace unhappiness and done everything you can to fix them. Some personal reflection and soul searching is required to ensure you’re not just transferring from one unhappy work situation to the next.


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