Job dissatisfaction is something that many people struggle with, and it can feel like you’re stuck in a rut you just can’t get out of. Job dissatisfaction can make us feel incredibly low, contributing to feelings of depression, anxiety, and worthlessness that result in poor job performance. Money is important, yes, but it’s hard to put a price on your happiness. Our joy about our work seeps into our joy for life.
But how do you know your job isn’t right for you? There are a few obvious signs of job satisfaction, such as not looking forward to work and feeling overwhelmed all the time. When you start to see these signs become present in your daily work life, it’s probably time for a change. Below, we won’t just take you through the signs of job dissatisfaction, we’ll guide you on how you can make things different.
Why is Job Satisfaction Important?
If we’re happy with our careers and satisfied with our job, we tend to be more productive and motivated during work hours, and less ‘spent’ after work.
Our work performance is more accurate, higher quality, and we don’t feel burned out as often because of this. However, when we are met with job dissatisfaction, we can find this has a very negative effect on our mental health (which can then impact our physical health).
If we are unhappy at work, it can lead to increased feelings of depression, anxiety, stress, and hopelessness. None of these are positive experiences, and it can make it hard for us to focus, and we lose our sense of passion. This means we don’t put the same effort as we usually do into our tasks at work. Job dissatisfaction makes it hard to get up in the mornings, and you don’t want to go into work, which becomes a negative cycle.
For employers, having staff that are happy in their roles isn’t just good from a productivity mindset. Job satisfaction leads to much higher employee retention rates, which builds a stronger sense of loyalty to the company, a good work environment, and leads to an efficient workforce. Having consistent staff also saves businesses money because you don’t need to constantly spend resources hiring and training new people.
This is why having an improved work-life balance is so important in addition to being happy at your place of work. After all, our work lives greatly impact our personal lives.
Signs You’re Suffering From Job Dissatisfaction
Job dissatisfaction is never a fun experience, and it can significantly impact your mental health and overall happiness in life. If you’re worried that you might be unhappy in your chosen career, there are a few signs you can look out for. Sometimes it goes a little deeper, but these five signs provide a general outlook on what life looks like when we aren’t happy at work.
1. You Dread Going to Work
If you’re waking up in the morning and find that you’re no longer looking forward to heading out to the office or your workplace, this is a sign of job dissatisfaction. I’m not talking about waking up with this feeling once or twice; I mean consistently every morning for weeks or months, dreading going to work.
This is a sign that you are suffering from job dissatisfaction and that something in your work needs to change for you to feel happy. Sometimes it’s a little difficult to get to the root cause of the problem, but if you take the time to reflect, you’re likely to see it.
2. You Feel Constantly Overwhelmed
Being trapped in a job you don’t like will almost always feel overwhelming. Feeling as though you are drowning all the time and unable to keep your head above water can be a surefire sign that you are struggling with job dissatisfaction. Feeling intensely overwhelmed all the time, anxious, and powerless to do anything about it shows that you’re unhappy in your current role and that you need to make a change.
Why? Well, when you’re happy with your role, you might feel some overwhelm, but you’ll also be capable of climbing out and finding solutions to help you get through it. The situation won’t feel as suffocating if you enjoy your job. Stress and anxiety often accompany being overwhelmed consistently, and the physical signs can be as debilitating as the mental ones.
3. You Don’t Get Along with Colleagues or Superiors
A major cause of job dissatisfaction is when you’re being mistreated by colleagues or superiors at work, or you have a bad relationship with coworkers. It’s important to like who you work with, and to feel that you’re being treated well at work.
Conflict is going to happen in the workplace, regardless of how happy you are in your job, but if it has come to the point where there are personal attacks and the relationship is deeply strained, you should look for a new position. Perhaps the job is no longer allowing you to use your strengths, or you are being left out of tasks and projects by other members of staff.
Treatment like this not only leads to job dissatisfaction but also causes resentment that can fester over time and foster a negative work environment. You don’t have to be best friends with your colleagues, but you do need to be amicable with those you work with.
4. You Don’t Feel Like You’re Making a Positive Impact
What impact does your role have on the company, or on the public? If you don’t know the answer, this might not be the right job for you. A good job with a strong sense of satisfaction actually helps you see the positive impact you are having on the organization that you work for. It’s important for your confidence, productivity, and overall happiness.
You can talk to management to see how you can use your strengths and have a positive impact on the company to see if this helps, but if you don’t get anywhere with this, it’s a straight road to severe job dissatisfaction.
5. You Don’t Have the Freedom to Be Yourself or Use Your Talents
To avoid job dissatisfaction, you need to be with a company that aligns with your beliefs and principles – one that lets you be yourself and gives you the freedom to express your ideas. It’s also a good idea to have a job that uses your true talents or gifts, so that you feel like you’re great at what you do.
For example, some people have a genetic talent for music that runs in their DNA, and they’ll likely be happier at a job in the music industry. To find out some of your genetic talents that are in your DNA, take a CircleDNA test and read about your genetic strengths.
If you’re in a job where you’re too restricted in terms of what you can do, or you have to be someone you’re not, this isn’t the right fit for you at all. When you spend less time pretending, and more time using your talents and creative ideas, you do far better work and enjoy it much more.
What to Do When You’re in the Wrong Job
There are many reasons why people end up in the wrong job. Some people just need a job fast, so they take any job, and tell themselves it’s just temporary. But then they don’t have the nerve to quit, so they stay.
Other people are stuck in jobs they hate due to the classic ‘golden handcuffs’ problem, where the job isn’t great, but the pay is so great that they stay. In this situation, it’s important to understand that money can’t buy you happiness. A job that pays less but brings you more joy is likely worth the change, especially if you’re able to get by with less.
If you’re suffering from job dissatisfaction and you’re in the wrong job, there are things you can do to change the trajectory of your life and your work. Honestly, handing in your resignation is the best thing you can do, and while it might mean you’re a little stressed while you figure things out, you’re at least free from the current constraints of your workplace. To make the process less stressful, try to line up a new job before you quit your job.
Getting up and quitting without a new job lined up isn’t always a feasible option. Therefore, you should start to do some research – look into jobs that you might like to try, possible job openings at companies you love, and any experience or qualifications you might need. Begin to take active steps towards moving into this new career path by applying and attending some interviews.
Once you have established what you want to do and you have interviews set up, you can begin to write your letter of resignation and prepare to hand it in once you have a solid job offer from your new place of work. This is a more sensible option for your financial and mental health.
Job dissatisfaction doesn’t have to be a permanent problem. No amount of money is worth a negative impact on your mental or physical health, and we all deserve to be happy in our chosen careers. It might feel hopeless now, and you may feel stuck where you are, but it’s possible to take steps toward changing your work path to suit what you want from life. You’ve got this.
A DNA test from CircleDNA might also be able to help you find a job you love. This DNA test doesn’t just give you a detailed insight into your health and wellness; it can also pinpoint behavioral traits and personality traits that define you as a person, as well as revealing genetic strengths and weaknesses, such as being genetically gifted at math or music. This can actually help you figure out a career that suits the way your mind works and could improve your overall happiness.
Bourne J. What is Job Satisfaction and Why is it Important? PositivePsychology.com. Published December 3, 2020. Accessed February 26, 2023. https://positivepsychology.com/job-satisfaction/
Mufarrih SH, Naseer A, Qureshi NQ, et al. Burnout, Job Dissatisfaction, and Mental Health Outcomes Among Medical Students and Health Care Professionals at a Tertiary Care Hospital in Pakistan: Protocol for a Multi-Center Cross-Sectional Study. Frontiers in Psychology. 2019;10. doi:https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2019.02552