Although working is an essential part of life for most adults, it can’t be denied that some people enjoy their jobs a lot more than others. While some individuals are able to pursue career paths that are consistently rewarding, others trudge through jobs that leave them physically depleted, mentally exhausted and hungry for change. Unfortunately, there’s no “one size fits all” solution for freeing yourself an unrewarding job. However, the following measures are likely to prove useful to anyone having second thoughts about their career path – or lack thereof.
Identify Job-Related Stress Triggers
Identifying job-related stress triggers is the first step towards making your work situation less stressful. If you’re unclear on the root cause(s) of your job dissatisfaction, pay close attention to the things that trigger feelings of stress, anger and sadness throughout the workday. You may find yourself surprised to discover that certain feelings are sparked by behaviors you never associated with those emotions.
Once you’ve identified your core triggers, start considering ways to make them less impactful on your life. Possible solutions run the gamut from avoiding certain individuals to seeking outside legal counsel.
Seek Mental Health Assistance
Professional mental health assistance can be a boon to your psychological well-being and help you keep job stress in check. So, if the stress, anxiety and depression brought forth by working have become consistent thorns in your side, it’s in your best interest to seek out counseling, therapy or other forms of mental healthcare. A seasoned mental health professional can provide you with invaluable advice on extricating yourself from an unhealthy work situation and practical coping tools for everyday stressors.
Furthermore, enlisting the aid of a good therapist will ensure that you always have a sympathetic ear for your problems. This can be particularly comforting for people who lack solid support networks.
Set Healthy Boundaries
You may be a paid employee, but you are not a mindless worker drone. Even if your employer wants your entire existence to be dominated by work, they are not owed this level of commitment. Unfortunately, some employers won’t stop trying to exploit workers until clear boundaries have been set. If this describes your employer, it’s imperative that you learn to speak up for yourself whenever you find yourself saddled with unreasonable expectations.
A hesitance to set boundaries with bosses and coworkers is perfectly understandable, but if this is what it takes to alleviate job stress, taking a firm stance may be your only option. While some of your colleagues are liable to be more amenable to boundaries than others, your health and well-being are ultimately more important than other people’s resentment at being stood up to.
Adhere to Set Work Hours
Far too many employers expect workers to put in copious amounts of unpaid overtime. In addition to being a drain on employees’ free time, this practice is outright wrong and exploitative. Your time at home should not be regarded as an extension of the workday, but rather a period of rest and relaxation. So, if seemingly endless work-days have become a problem, make it clear to the relevant parties that your workday begins when you arrive at the office and ends when you leave – and that if they expect you to put in overtime, they need to pay for it. Again, this may require you to stand up for yourself, but finding the courage to set boundaries is sure to prove easier than working in perpetuity.
Continue Your Education
If getting ahead in your field requires an advanced degree, returning to school is an option worth considering. Even if your day job and family obligations keep you busy, you can pursue a degree online and structure schoolwork around your schedule. For example, a master’s degree from Daniels College of Business can open a host of doors across a variety of enterprises.
It’s not hard to see why job dissatisfaction is such a prevalent issue. In addition to working being an inherently stressful experience, plugging away at a job for which you have no genuine passion can be downright soul-crushing. While there’s no end-all solution for professional dissatisfaction, there are numerous steps you can take to cope with career letdowns, become happier at work and alter your career trajectory. Anyone looking to keep job-related anxiety can benefit from the measures discussed above.