We all like to complain about our jobs from time to time. But if you’ve found yourself complaining more than usual, perhaps you’ve simply got into the habit of negative thinking where work is concerned. Whatever the problem, changing your attitude could be a more realistic solution than changing your job or carrying on feeling miserable.
Thankfully there are ways to stay optimistic at work and to find the positives in what you do for a living. Here are 5 tips that may help:
Is there something about your job that you don’t like? Whether you’ve been fostering a negative attitude in the office for years or you’ve just started feeling less than optimistic, chances are there’s a reason. Perhaps your workload is unrealistic and you’re drowning in deadlines. Or maybe one of your colleagues is making life difficult for you.
The good news is tackling the problem can help. Have a chat with your manager or employer and find out if they can help resolve the problem. For instance, they may agree to distribute some of your workload so that you won’t feel so much pressure. It may be a difficult conversation at first, but once things are out in the open you could feel much better.
Ask yourself whether there was a time when you were enthusiastic about your job. If so, try to remember exactly what it was that you liked about it. Then try to focus on the good things in order to distract yourself from the bad. Plus once you’ve identified the things that make your job more satisfying, try to find out if you could increase the amount of time you spend doing those things, and less time doing the parts of your job that are getting you down.
If you’re feeling negative about your job, you may have given up on any career goals you used to have too. But working towards a goal and continuing to develop professionally may help to increase your job satisfaction, which could also help you to stay more positive. One thing you may want to consider is further training or learning at work. If you need tips on setting new career goals, our article How to set career goals for the year ahead may help.
Even if you started off feeling positive about your job, being surrounded by others who have negative attitudes and are unhappy in their jobs can have a huge effect on you too. The obvious way to deal with others who are negative is to spend as little time with them as possible and not to engage in negative conversations.
But that may be easier said than done if you have to work closely with the colleague or colleagues in question. If that’s the case, try not to let yourself be drawn into negative talk or behaviour. And if that proves to be too difficult, consider talking to your manager or employer about the problem, as they may be able to do something to help.
If you’re feeling tired and jaded at the office, then perhaps what you need is some time away. Taking regular breaks is essential for your wellbeing, both physical and emotional. So if you’re among many people who don't take all their holiday leave, it’s hardly any wonder you’re not as positive as you could be.
Whether you take a long weekend, a week or longer, a break from work and a change in your routine could help make you feel refreshed and more enthusiastic about your job when you return. And if problems outside of work are affecting your attitude in the office, taking time off to resolve those issues may be the best thing you’ve done all year.
Meanwhile, if you’re continue to having a problem with a negative attitude at work, it may be time to face the possibility that you should start looking for a new job. Not sure it’s time to move on? Read our article 5 signs it’s time to change your job for more advice.