When You’re Unhappy at Work and Your Boss Needs to KnowWhilst your job cannot be exciting and riveting all the time, if all it’s doing is wearing you down, it’s time to see your boss.
Many people suffer in silence at their workplaces. Their jobs make them unhappy, but they don’t know how to approach their boss to tell him/her. Whilst your job cannot be exciting and riveting all the time, if all it’s doing is wearing you down, it’s time to see your boss.
Identify the causes of your unhappiness
Before you approach your boss, it’s time for some serious introspection. Be honest with yourself about what’s making you unhappy at work. Make a list, being as specific as you can, explaining exactly what is wrong and when it became an issue for you, and why it has now become a turning point for you in the job.
Think of the questions your boss is likely to ask based on what you tell him/her. You know best how he/she will respond, so have articulate answers prepared to explain your point of view. Aim to get your boss to see things from where you stand and that you end the meeting on the same page.
Make an appointment to see your boss
Don’t settle for an off-the-cuff meeting in the corridor. Make a set appointment for a private meeting with your boss.
Think about what time would be best to approach your boss. Which are his/her most productive, focused hours of the day? When are you likely to get his/her undivided attention? Book your appointment for a time and place that you feel will yield you the most optimal outcome.
How to conduct the meeting
When you sit down with your boss for the meeting, choose your words carefully. Nobody likes a whiner, so don’t make your tone too complaining. Make your point about what is causing your unhappiness clearly, treating your boss with respect.
Don’t get over-emotional. Resist the urge to assign blame, especially to your boss. If you do this, he/she will immediately go on the defensive, and the meeting will be counter-productive.
Be a problem-solver
Go beyond stating what is making you unhappy and putting the ball in your boss’s court. In your preparations, you should have given some thought to possible solutions to the problems that are making you unhappy.
Present these to your boss. It shows him/her that you care about the job and that you respect him/her. It also shows that you take responsibility for your happiness and career advancement.
The final outcome
There are two ways this meeting can end:
If it ends well, your boss will have listened to your concerns and come up with some solutions and assistance to make things better for you. Your responsibility now is to implement these and see if they make a difference.
If it ends badly, your boss might think you come across as selfish, incompetent, and uncommitted. He/she may start seeking ways to work you out of your current position. Whilst this is unfortunate, it means that you need to seek alternative employment.