If you’ve never had a passing fantasy about giving your job a metaphorical punch to the face, you must be a saint. As wonderful as dream jobs can be, even the perfect career comes with work frustration. And we all need routes to help us let work off some of that steam.
That being said, there are definitely better coping mechanisms for work-based stress than violence – even if the violence is just in your head.
First and foremost, your career doesn’t deserve a punch to the face. Your work frustration likely stems from a poor workplace dynamic, a mile-high workload, lack of professional development, or simply that the position is a poor fit for your disposition.
Let’s break down the sources of that animosity and see if we can improve those underlying issues with a renewed perspective.
Take a look at these three situations to inspire new ways that you can cope with your own work frustration:
You’re overwhelmed by your workload
Even entry-level jobs can encompass a lot of responsibilities. Take marketing for example. Deciding on a stellar strategy, pushing for improved SEO, finding new ways to target content at your audience, and more can be draining if you’re trying to do it alone.
Be honest with the rest of your team when you’re taking on more than you can chew. Sometimes you simply can’t move heaven and earth to get everything done. And that’s OK! Learn to give yourself some grace, admit your stress, and rely on your supportive team. It may feel like a failure, but slip-ups are nothing but symptoms of being human.
And if you’re exhausted even thinking about your task list, think back on all that you’ve learned. You’ve developed a lot of expertise! Acknowledging your strengths, offering yourself congratulations for the professional growth, and celebrating yourself can all be a great refresh to your day.
Whenever I get overwhelmed with work frustration, I remind myself how far I’ve come. After entering the marketing world just last June, I know I’ll never be able to look at email campaigns, blogs, commercials, or ads the same way ever again. Personally, I think that’s pretty darn cool.
There is zero opportunity for growth
Nobody likes to feel trapped. And if you’ve been in the same entry-level position without any hint of upward mobility, it’s natural to feel stuck.
Many workers feel the same work frustration. According to research from TinyPulse, 44% of employees don’t feel they have sufficient opportunities for professional growth. Moreover, less than half of employees feel that their promotion and career path is clear.
But here’s the thing: Your current situation is not reflective of the entire industry. And there’s no shame in looking for a new job, especially if lack of mobility is getting in the way of your employee satisfaction.
LinkedIn analytics revealed that someone who has kept the same position only has a 45% chance of still being at that company after three years. In comparison, someone who got a promotion has a 70% chance, and someone who moved laterally has a 62% chance.
Have some conversations first. Meet with your manager to discuss lateral or upward possibilities. If it’s clear that none will come your way, there’s no harm in starting a casual job search and seeing what’s out there. Maybe stumbling across a new position will be exactly what you need to reignite passion in your career.
You’re frustrated with your supervisor
Despite the many employee engagement reports highlighting the importance of appreciation, several employers have yet to discover that being a cheerleader for their team’s accomplishments is part of the job description.
The TinyPulse study indicates that only one-third of employees received recognition the last time they went the extra mile at work. On top of that, just one-quarter felt highly valued at work.
It’s a huge work frustration for many, but there are actions you can take to make it better.
One option is to share with your supervisor that you would benefit from more recognition. But if they still don’t make an effort after the conversation, it doesn’t have to be the death of your career satisfaction.
Hype yourself up when you do something well, even if it feels small. Take it as an excuse to purchase some gourmet ice cream, brag about it to your loved ones, and soak up all the success! It is easier to feel good about your work when a superior compliments it, but don’t underestimate the power of internal affirmation.