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Up to Your Neck and Drowning: How to Identify Professional Frustration and What to Do About It

Burning the midnight oil is straining your family relations. Your boss has become an unbearable jerk. You just don’t feel challenged. If getting up in the morning and heading to the office has become more than you can bear, it’s time to embrace some proven strategies for controlling professional frustration, repairing as many modifiable on-the-job conditions as possible, or making a graceful exit at the point of no return.

The Causes behind the Madness
You need look no further than employment surveys to understand the depth and breadth of professional frustration. Although maintaining that U.S. job satisfaction is relatively high, a 2008 Gallup poll offered some startling realizations about workers across the age groups:
Income Irritation. 45 percent of full and part-time workers believe they are underpaid, with the same percentage feeling only somewhat satisfied with their pay
Stressful Situation. Only 27 percent of those surveyed were satisfied with the amount of on-the-job stress they experience
Getting Away. Only 51 percent of workers are satisfied with the amount of vacation time they receive as well as the amount of work required of them

What You Can Do Right Away
In many cases, the need for employment and the comfort of a steady paycheck is enough to make you withstand job-related stress. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t make a concerted effort to improve your outlook. After all, eight hours of your day are spent at work. In that spirit, Forbes offer several “now” moves you can make to help alleviate professional frustration that you might not have considered:
Stop Trying to Be Perfect. An example of this might be completing a project and leaving the last-minute detailing to another colleague
Continue Growing Your Knowledge Base. Expanding your horizons can be beneficial, particularly if you feel that professional expectations are over your head
Tame a Rabid Boss. Consider winning him over through a request for her mentorship or offering to complete special assignments

Practice Big Picture Thinking
Today, there are those that hate their job but love the industry, and those that hate their industry but love the job. If you fall in the former, a change of scenery may be all you need to get back that professional vigor. Those in the latter have a particularly pressing problem simply because the comfort of a welcomed position may encourage them to remain stagnant. In such an instance, making an exit might be a forgone conclusion. And here’s how to do it gracefully.

Don’t Go Away Mad, Just Go Away
Trusting your instincts are a powerful way to “know” when it’s time to call it quits. When you reach that realization, how you go can speak volumes about you as a professional and a person. Joel Schwartzberg of The Huffington Post emphasizes the class issue when resigning your position:
Don’t Attack Your Boss. Rather, write a brief and upbeat letter of resignation that hides any signs of contempt
Don’t Burn Bridges. Be cordial with workmates, as you never know when you may need a future contact or favor
Part Ways Outdoors. Save your goodbyes for the parking lot or a restaurant

From building a better relationship with your boss to redefining your job role, there are various ways to improve your workday. In the end, consider your level of happiness–if it continues to be fleeting–it may be time to move on.

bripblap, What to Do if You Like Your Job but Hate Your Career
Gallup, U.S. Workers’ Job Satisfaction Is Relatively High
The Huffington Post, How to Quit Your Job
US News & World Reports, What to Do When You Hate Your Job


Publish date: January 21, 2009