On the Job

Frustrated at work? Take 4 steps before quitting

Sometimes we don’t like our jobs. It might be the company, our boss, or the work itself. And sometimes, it’s important to realize it’s not anyone’s fault. The business world changes rapidly. Our personal goals and needs change as well.

Whether or not to look for a new job is an individual decision. Ruchi Kaushik, director of talent acquisition at Colonial Life, points out the dilemma employees face when they’re frustrated at work.

“Employees might really enjoy the work they are doing or the teams they are working with, making it hard to leave,” Kaushik said. “Other reasons that employees don’t quit jobs, even when they’re unhappy, have nothing to do with compensation but other benefit packages that might be harder to find elsewhere; such as 401(k) match, pension programs, dental/vision insurance, disability/life insurance, tuition reimbursement, child care funding, etc.”

As liberating as it might sound to march into work and quit on the spot, sometimes that’s just not a practical option. But you can’t let your disappointment or frustration impact your work. Here are a few things you can consider in the meantime.

  1. Transfer to a different department. If you like the company but are frustrated with your immediate supervisor or the work itself, maybe transitioning to a different department would be a solution. You can do a different type of work and report to someone else. One thing to keep in mind is that, if you’re not doing good work in your current position, it could be difficult to get a transfer approved.
  1. Apply for a new role. Often frustration is a result of boredom. Maybe it’s time to ask for new or additional responsibilities. Talk with your supervisor about learning new skills. Consider taking a training class to enhance your knowledge and skills. This might also work with option one (above). Transfer to a new department and take on a new role.
  1. Create a side hustle. There’s nothing wrong with getting your professional needs filled in two places. Need a steady paycheck and benefits but would love the freedom to go out on your own? Take on part-time work. It might turn into full-time work later. Just be careful not to burnout. It won’t do you or your work any good.
  1. Talk to your manager. If these suggestions aren’t what you had in mind, Kaushik suggests just having a conversation with your manager. The key is staying calm. “Becoming highly emotional will only escalate things. Advocate for yourself, try to develop an action plan, and remember to focus on the future versus the past.”

It would be wonderful to say that work never gets us frustrated. But that’s simply not true. Even the best jobs have their bad days. The decision you should make is whether your frustration is a short- or long- term issue. Understanding professional needs and goals can help individuals determine what steps they can take to temporarily curb their frustration.

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