Are you miserable at work?


You don't have to settle for being miserable at work.

We all know one or two grumps at work. No matter what happens, these people find the worst in every situation and groan about things that nobody else finds that terrible.

Now what if the whiny, miserable colleague is you? You may not even realise it’s you. You might just think you’re a ‘realist’, or that you have the right to be negative because you’ve been at the organisation so long and put up with so much. But you don’t. It’s not fair on you and it’s not fair on your colleagues, who bear the brunt of your negative vibes. Even if you think you’re hiding it well, people sense other people’s energy and, if it’s overwhelmingly negative, they may want to stay away for their own sanity.

There’s no doubt that everyone has bad days at work. But what about when those bad days turn into weeks, months or even, sadly, years? This obviously isn’t a good place to find yourself. And despite knowing intellectually that we are free to leave and find a new job, it is easy to feel trapped, stressed and down.

To fix your situation, you need to understand why you’re feeling this way. It may not be as simple or as straightforward as you think.

Is it the role, your employer, colleagues, or the company?

You may feel as if something is not quite right, even though you can’t put your finger on what exactly is the problem. Sometimes a job is genuinely the wrong fit, or a company’s values don’t align with your values. Or, you may believe there is illegal or unsavoury practices taking place, of which you don’t want to be a part. This is, of course, a good reason to want to resign.

Is it the wrong career?

If you genuinely think you may be in the wrong career, speak with a career coach,  or even just a friend or family member whose advice you value. Keep in mind that when you’re feeling down and negative over just about everything, this is probably not the best time to start contemplating your life choices.

Is it something outside of work?

Are you unhappy in another area of your life and it’s spilling over into your feelings about work? If you’re not taking care of your basic needs – getting regular exercise, eating healthily most of the time, and getting enough shut eye each night – your mental and physical well-being can suffer. Similarly, relationship problems could have a detrimental effect on your work life.

Is it your mindset?

Sometimes we are just unhappy and, despite everything to the contrary, we’ll find fault in what we’re doing, who we’re working with, and our direction. It can be easy to get caught in the trap of complaining and whinging about one’s situation, but is it really that bad? Does it really matter what so-and-so said, the way your supervisor leads meetings, or other trivial matters? Try to focus on what is good, instead, and pick your battles.

Is it a case of ‘the grass is greener’?

Sometimes it can feel as though everyone is enjoying every minute of their lives and their jobs. But everyone has awful work days and periods during which they doubt their knowledge and capabilities. Understand that this is normal.

How to stop being miserable at work

You must be proactive about your attitude and take action. You are guaranteed to feel better if you are in the driving seat of your own life.

When you’re at work, make sure you’re associating with people who are positive and happy more than those who are not. It’s very tempting to get sucked in to a group whinge-fest about the boss or the company because, unfortunately, misery loves company. But ask yourself – are things honestly that bad?

If you truly cannot leave your job anytime soon – after all, some jobs are very specialised and it can take a while to find another – try to look at the positive aspects of your job. If you think you can improve your work situation, try to speak to a supervisor about different tasks or issues you are not so satisfied with. Could you take on a few more challenges that would look great on your CV? And instead of procrastinating all day about a task you hate, it could help to ‘eat the frog’ early on and get it out of the way.

If you think your unhappiness at work is because of something happening in your life outside of work, see if you can make small changes in that regard. There’s no need to go over the top. Try to do a little gentle exercise before work, make sure you have a good sleep routine so you’re feeling refreshed every day, and cut down on drinking alcohol and eating unhealthy food.

If your health and well-being is being impacted severely by your work, and it doesn’t look like things will change (for example, a management change is about to take place) or you can yourself can make a change (for example, by asking for different duties), then it is a good time to look for a new job. No job is worth your mental and physical health – no matter the salary, prestige or if it is a step up on the career ladder.

If you decide its your job, contact a recruiter, update your CV, get in touch with former colleagues who are now in  different companies to see how they’re doing.

The bottom line is, nothing will change unless you make the change.

If you’d like to speak to a specialist mining industry recruiter, give Mining People International a call.

Leah Fogliani
Mining People International