Dissatisfied at Work? Are You Really a Square Peg in a Round Hole?

Dissatisfied at Work? Are You Really a Square Peg in a Round Hole?

If you are not happy at work, you may believe that your dissatisfaction is rooted in your position—in the relationships, the workflows and the demands of the role. You may feel that if you were in a different position or were associated with another organization, you would be more content.

However, there is a good chance that the problem is not with your position per se, but with your attitudes toward various elements of work-life: people you interact with, responsibilities, bureaucracy, office politics, etc. You may not have realized and/or capitalized on the various opportunities that the current position presents.

  • If you feel your work is not challenging enough or if you do not sense career progression, you can request additional responsibilities at work. You can analyze colleagues who have succeeded in similar positions and learn from them. If you want to be promoted, you could assume some of the responsibilities of the position you desire.
  • Even if you do not like your boss, colleagues, subordinates or customers, you still need to get along with them by being open-minded or by discovering common ground. In extreme cases, you need to accept that people will not change and just suck up, no matter how frustrating their actions are.
  • If you want to change to another line of work, you need to realize that the grass on the other side of the fence always looks greener until you jump over. There is no guarantee that the new position or the new organization will be any better. There will be a considerable lead-time to reestablish yourself in the new workplace before you can be eligible to move up. Organizations realize that there is a significant penalty to losing an experienced person and are likely to accommodate your needs and aspirations.

Professional success is often not simply a matter of choosing the right career path or the right company, although these are important factors. The attitudes you bring to your work-life define your career development and contentment. Change your attitudes, adjust, discover opportunities available and thrive in the given circumstances.

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