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Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Do you ever think about leaving your job?

What is it that makes you so unhappy at work that you want to run out the door?

Is there one thing at work that drives you mad and you don’t know what to do about it?

I am exposing three ‘Common Workplace Problems’ I have experienced and helped people through with some tips on what to do.

You will also find that my approaches taken for these 3 common problems may also work for your particular issues too.

The 3 top areas of work difficulties I have seen in the last 15 years are:

  1. Workplace anguishes: you are feeling overworked, undervalued and you don’t have enough resources.
  2. On the job nuisances: your office is noisy, has ancient uninspiring lifeless décor and nothing works.
  3. People problems: annoying colleagues, issues with management and your customers drive you insane.

Let’s briefly explore each one and see if it relates to what you may be going through.

Workplace Anguishes

You may feel like your doing enough work for THREE people instead of just the ONE role that you were employed to perform!

There is only so much one person can do beyond a brief period.  Regardless of ‘cost cutting’, a ‘poor’ economy and shareholder expectations, feeling overwhelmed and burnt out is not good for anyone.  Some people, including myself at times, get told that it’s only temporary…6 months later and feeling burnt out and ready to snap at anything and anyone is not healthy.

It is called exploitation when employers do this? This is what is really happening. To improve the situation recognition of your efforts, your contribution, is extremely important.  Some thank you emails and chats from your manager, acknowledgement of your effort, recognition of your contributions and respect for your commitment is what a person in this situation deserves.  If you are in this situation, what would you like to have to help you get through?

On the Job Nuisances

There may be one thing that frustrates you at work and makes going in to the office a living hell.  Regardless of what it is, it matters to you and impacts your enjoyment or lack of it at work.

Say you go to use the copier and, as usual, it is broken again.  You try to connect to the internet in a meeting room and once again it does not connect before you are about to run your meeting.  The kitchen never has any forks to eat your lunch with and someone keeps taking your Snoopy mug.  One or more of these things happening everyday and they make a big impact on you and your sanity.

People Problems

It is not all in your head.  Some employees sense their manager pushing them away or see people refusing to collaborate with them to get things done.  This makes most people feel uncomfortable, unsupported and unwanted at work.

Lack of support from leaders and peers happens everyday.  When you are dealing with a challenging customer and no one backs you up, people avoid helping to resolve a complaint, no support when you are not sure what to do, all these things can bring most people down. They also get added to what I call the ‘nearly departed’ list.  All it takes is one final event, the “last straw” and that it is it, they are out the door. Good-bye!

The three common workplace problems we explored revolve around anguish, nuisance and people issues and different aspects of these may show up for you at work.  Let’s explore what you need to do first before changing anything.

Before changing anything ask yourself these three questions:

  1. 1.    If I leave my job today, does that get rid of this problem?
  2. 2.    If I have a job which gives me the things I lack here, does that solve my work problem?
  3. 3.    If these work problems I have disappeared, would I be happy in my current job anyway?

If you answered NO to any of these questions, the four tips below will help.

Step 1: Breathe

Take a deep breath in and count to four and then breathe out to a count of four.  Repeat 3-5 times to help calm you down to avoid losing it and snapping at people around you.

Step 2: Accept it or Change something about it

Now that your head is clearer, what if you can not change anything? What if the industry you are in expects you to do enough work for 3 people and not complain?  What if you really want to have that elusive promotion and career in your field? Perhaps you need to accept it and make that sacrifice.

If you do not want to take it lying down; speak up and change something.  People like problem solvers, not complainers in the workplace so have think about a way to end or solve the issue. Is there a simple solution that is win-win?  Generally, it has been shown that the simplest remedies are the most effective.

Maybe it is in your head and an attitude adjustment is in order.

Step 3: Change your Attitude

One of the Worlds leading thinkers and a poet, Maya Angelou, once said,“ If you don’t like something, change it.  If you can’t change it, change your attitude. Don’t Complain.”  This applies to everything in life and perhaps it is important to explore whether there is another way of looking at the situation or problem. Will it matter in a month’s time or a year? If not, see the positives or learning experiences in it.

If things are still dire after taking the first 3 key steps, the 4th and final step may be what the doctor ordered to recover from your incurable work problem.

Step 4: Create an ‘Escape Plan’

Start developing your ‘escape plan’ right away. It is better to call it a ‘Career Plan’ as you may not be able to run out that door right now!

A career plan includes your career vision, ideal work situation and a solid action plan which is successfully created with a supportive career coach.

Getting support is a sign of strength as sometimes making changes alone can be overwhelming.

As an experienced and certified career and business coach, Jon Le Breton is passionate about supporting his clients to lead fulfilling and successful lives. Jon also leads community support groups, forums, workshops and runs his own successful training business.

Visit or get free hints and tips at to achieve greater clarity, fulfillment and success in your life or business.

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