My job makes me unhappy: what to do - Best Fit Work (2023)

My job makes me unhappy: what to do - Best Fit Work (1)

The right job is very important for our quality of life. In fact, the average person spends90,000 hours or 1/3 of its service life, At work. And with that investment of time and energy into something, finding a job that we enjoy is absolutely necessary.

So when you find yourself in a situation where your job makes you unhappy, it's a brutal feeling that affects other areas of your life.

To that end, this article offers some recommendations on what to do when you find yourself in a situation where you think “my job makes me unhappy”.

What to do if my job makes me unhappy

try to understand why

My job makes me unhappy: what to do - Best Fit Work (2)

The first step in dealing with a problem is a correct diagnosis. So, before you do anything, it's important to understand why a job makes you unhappy.

To do this, I think a useful tool is to evaluate your work and look at it through the lens of the flower exercise that originated in the book.What color is your parachute?.

Basically, the book argues that there are seven different aspects of a job that make up the "anatomy of a job," and they all affect how likely you are to like your job.

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My recommendation is to evaluate your work with each of the different pedals and get an honest assessment of where your work is not consistent with what you want.

The 7 pedals of the flower

My job makes me unhappy: what to do - Best Fit Work (3)

Here's a quick overview of the seven exercise pedals and how to evaluate each one in your current job:

  • Pedal #1: Human Compatibility

    Who do you usually like to work with? Do you think your co-workers and boss are compatible with the people you enjoy spending time with? Or discover that you absolutely have onetoxic boss?

  • Pedal #2: Workplace Conditions

    If you could create your ideal work environment, what would it be? Do you prefer to work indoors or outdoors? Remote or face-to-face? is the traditional8 hours a daytoo much for you and you want more flexibility?

  • Pedal #3: Skills

    What are your 10 favorite skills? Do you think you can use them in your work? Not using your best and preferred skills creates and feels difficult for you at suck at your job?

  • Pedal #4: Purpose

    Do you wake up in the morning feeling like you have a purpose and are fulfilling it through your work? It's yoursMeaningful work for you?

  • Pedal #5: Knowledge

    What interests you and what do you know? Is your work geared towards this?

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  • Pedal #6: Money

    Are you making enough money to live the life you want? Or do you find yourself struggling to make ends meet and unable to do the things you want to do in life?

  • Pedal No. 7: Position

    Do you live in a place where you would like to live? Do you have anextraordinarily long journeywhat do you want to cut

Consider your current employment situation in each of these seven areas and make an honest assessment of how well it matches your ideal in each of these areas.

This will help you understand how closely your current employment situation matches what you ideally want.

If you find that your current job differs significantly from what you envisioned in an area that is important to you, it shows what you need to change in your current work situation.

Finally, if you're struggling to know which of these pedals is most important to you and which carries more weight, you canUse this prioritization gridto help you assess which of these areas most influences the enjoyment of your work.

Try to negotiate a better situation

My job makes me unhappy: what to do - Best Fit Work (4)

Once you've completed the pedal exercise and have an idea of ​​why your job is making you unhappy, the next step is to assess whether you can improve the situation at your current job. What I mean by that is can you negotiate a way to improve the area of ​​work that is making you unhappy?

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For example, let's say that working conditions are the reason you are unhappy with your job. Perhaps you have a job that requires strict hours, which are particularly long at certain times of the year. If you are a good employee that the company wants to keep, they can negotiate a better situation for you that will make you happier in your job.

A little story about someone I know who did this effectively. The person I know is a chartered accountant who works in the tax field. The nature of this industry involves long hours, including weekend work, during tax season (mid-January to mid-April). She likes her job and she likes the company, but she has a young daughter and wasn't willing to work those hours.

Instead of resigning and going to another company or branch, she went to her employer to explain the situation and that she no longer wanted to work.normal working hours, even during tax season. She's good at what she does and the company values ​​her and wanted to keep her, so they found a solution so she never has to work more than 40 hours a week. Consequently, they slightly adjusted her bonus portion of her pay to account for the fewer hours she worked than the rest of the team, but it was worth the compensation to align more of her work with her ideal lifestyle. . .

I'm sharing this story to show that if you're a good worker and you don't like something about your current work arrangement, you can negotiate changes to your work structure to better align with your priorities.

find another job

My job makes me unhappy: what to do - Best Fit Work (5)

If you feel like you have a good understanding of why your job is making you unhappy, and the root cause is something you can't change or negotiate, then it's time to start looking for another job.

After all, your job is such an important part of your life and life is too short to be miserable at your job.

Should I quit my job if it makes me unhappy?

My job makes me unhappy: what to do - Best Fit Work (6)

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Generally yes, I think you should quit your job if it makes you unhappy. Your work represents about 1/3 of your entire life and, in my opinion, it's not worth feeling unhappy about something that takes up so much of your time.

However, I believe that if you resign, you must do it responsibly. Here are some recommendations on how to leave your job responsibly:

  1. Find another job before leaving your current job

    In general, it's almost always easier to find another job when you already have one. It's also less financially stressful and allows you to be more judicious when looking for the right option.

  2. If you can't find another job before you leave your current job, make sure you save six months of expenses

    In my experience and based on third-party data I've found, you should generally planat least two months or eight weeksTime to find a new job. It often takes even longer. To ensure you have enough cash for yourself and your family, I recommend at least six months of bank expenses before you leave.

  3. To offersufficient noticeYour current employer andprofessionally resign

What to do if you hate your job but can't afford to leave?

My job makes me unhappy: what to do - Best Fit Work (7)

If you hate your job but can't afford to quit, you're in a tough spot. Ultimately, you can still quit your job, but it takes more patience and planning.

Your options basically boil down to this:

  1. Don't leave your current job until you find a new one.
  2. Save enough money to pay your bills while looking for another job

While it can be frustrating to feel trapped in a job you hate, it's important to be responsible and take care of yourself and your family before leaving your job.

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And as humans, we can take more than we expect. You can use tools like meditation, journaling, and other methods to try to emotionally distance yourself from the challenges of your current position until you find a new role.


If you often think: "My work makes me unhappy", it makes sense to get out of this situation as soon as possible.

Before taking rash action, however, you should make sure you've correctly diagnosed why you hate your current position, and work on negotiating a better setup if you can. If that doesn't work, you'll have to leave your current position. Just make sure you do it responsibly while taking care of yourself and your family.


1. 2 Reasons People Are Unhappy At Work
(The Ken Coleman Show - Highlights)
2. Why Am I Unhappy at Work? (HBR Podcast)
(Harvard Business Review)
3. Sheryl Crow - If It Makes You Happy (Official Music Video)
(Sheryl Crow)
4. What about your job makes you unhappy?
(Multiple Careers)
5. Miserable at Work? (Here’s Why!)
(The Ken Coleman Show - Highlights)
6. Jordan Peterson on Why People Are So Unhappy
(H3 Podcast Highlights)
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