Firstly, you have to access yourself honestly and know what are your core values and beliefs. There are people who can never compromise their personal beliefs for money- for when they do so, there may be lots of inner conflicts and unhappiness.
Some indications that you are unhappy with your job because it clashes with your personal values:
- You feel demotivated to go to work every morning- especially Monday mornings
- Certain company practices that you are required to follow or support made you unable to sleep at night.
- You gradually but surely gain weight and unable to control your weight because you eat to ‘console’ yourself by eating fattening foods often like chocolates, cakes, ice creams, fried things, etc.
- You have bad temper and high stress that you find hard to control
- You get very angry with your loved ones and friends when they try to talk you out of quitting your job
- You just spend you pay on little luxuries with an inner justification that ‘at least I can buy these things even though I hate my job’. So in the end, you find yourself unable to save any money but bursting your credit cards even though you are being paid well.
- You develop unexplainable health ailments such as sudden hair loss, high blood pressure, diabetes or cholesterol, strange body pains but could not be diagnosed medically (the scans and xrays showed nothing wrong)- and that these conditions were non existent before you join.
Of course, it is worthwhile to mention that some inner characteristic like laziness, like to blame others, lack of motivation and initiative, like to have shortcuts in life, etc may also result in the above symptoms. But if you have not displayed such behavior prior to working in your current job, then perhaps you may need to find out if your unhappiness is due to working for a company that clashes with your personal beliefs.
Some positive steps you can take:
1. Rise above all the negativity and limitations by changing yourself.
After all, every company must make profit and if the strategies are within ethical levels, there is no need to get all worked up about it. Instead, explore to see if you go beyond stress and anger, and instead develop leadership abilities or by simply being more humble (that gives you more inner peace) instead of reacting to a situation defensively or simply learn to lighten up.
2. If you simply cannot do it or refuse to do it, then consider slowing down your pace in life.
For example, cut down your expenses, take a pay cut to have a less stressful job to reevaluate your life and priorities. Or move out of the city if you are a nature loving person. Once you are ready, you can then choose to go back to climb the corporate ladder and be whoever you want to be. But don’t let stress and pent up anger affect your health and your personal relationships- because these are too precious to be ‘abused’.
To be very honest, in my previous job, I was one of those ‘difficult’ employees. I considered myself to be good in my work and a performer but I am a sort of perfectionist and had expected certain values to be practiced- such as strong emphasis in service rather than for only profit. At the same time, I was aware of my flaws and admit these flaws openly to my colleagues and friends. There was nothing much my bosses could say that I don’t already know. One of my flaws was a quick temper- especially dealing with less than ethical practice. I had no fear in exposing the culprit, sometimes using my vocabulary abilities to come out with politely but damaging reports. Everyone know I’ve tried to change by trying the following methods:
- join a gym
- became a vegetarian (because I was told that not eating meat can reduce the inner ‘fire’ and cut down anger)
- cut off sugar (when I find that I did not improve despite being a vegetarian)
But all the above methods failed to change me- except joining the gym had helped me to manage my stress to a certain extend. For a while, I blamed myself for ‘being difficult’ and not able to blend into the crowd or just to ‘work to earn a living’. There was some inner conflict and turmoil because I felt I was different from the crowd- that I couldn’t adhere to certain practices.
In the end, I left the job- and I realise that it’s just who I am, that I have certain strong beliefs that money could not deviate. On the other hand, the job also aggravated certain character flaws that I have- after all, nothing can affect us without our consent. Still, by trying to behave within accepted norms, I create a lot of inner conflict that resulted in bad temper, inability to lose weight and high stress levels.
We can achieve inner happiness if the life path we’ve chosen does not contradict with our inner core values. But to know what is right and wrong would take time, experience and trial and error. And it involves shutting down the outer voices (from media, advertising, our relatives) and learning to look within to what that really matters. Only then, we can truly be ourselves, and in the process, live life like how we meant to live.