More and more people are now unhappy at work. Surprisingly, a lot of them didn’t start out that way. In fact, many of them started out extremely enthusiastic. They believe they’ve just landed their dream job. But after a few months or years, they are now looking for a way out because they feel their work is no longer fulfilling.

As human beings, it’s normal for us to want to be happy in all aspects of their lives, including being happy at work. When we become unhappy in one aspect of our lives, it’s human nature to find ways to resolve it. For many employees feeling unhappy at work, which usually means resigning and applying for another job. That might make you happy, but only for a while. Unless you discover the cause of your unhappiness, it will not take long when you find yourself feeling unhappy in that new job.

If you’ve been feeling unhappy at work, take some time and contemplate on these 5 questions to discover exactly why you’re feeling this way towards your job.

5 questions to determine why you’re unhappy at work

Am I unhappy at work because I expected too much?

Believe it or not, one of the main reasons why people are unhappy at work is because of false expectations. Whether we’d like to admit it or not, we come into a new job with a set of assumptions and expectations based on what we’ve read or heard. When these expectations you have in your mind are not met, that’s when you slowly start feeling dissatisfied with your job.

Am I unhappy at work because I’m not growing?

Finding opportunities to develop yourself further and your skills are essential not just for your career growth, but also for your happiness.

Growth in a company isn’t just limited to promotion. For some companies, this may mean offering employees opportunities to sign up for certification courses or attending seminars and workshops to enhance your skills further.

Of course, you will need to take and accept these possibilities for you to enjoy these benefits. And since you’ll be learning new skills, it will not be easy at first. In fact, it’s probably safe to say that you’ll find learning these new skills challenging and even overwhelming. But if you see beyond this, these will help you grow and open more doors of opportunities for you within your company.

Am I working in a company where I am respected?

Each and every person working in a company is expected to give respect. More importantly, it’s every employee’s right also to be recognized in a company regardless of his or her position. That’s because each and every employee contributes to the overall success and progress of the business.

As the old saying goes, “do to others what you want them to do to you.” If the reason why you’re unhappy at work is that you feel that you’re not respected, stop for a moment and ask yourself if you have shown respect to your peers and superiors at work. Just like trust, respect is not a privilege. It’s earned. You can earn this by showing others that you respect them.

Is my life balanced?

Have you found yourself complaining about how you no longer seem to have enough time for your family and yourself? Or perhaps you’ve heard your spouse or your children complain that you’re never home or you’re always working? If so, this is probably the reason why you’re unhappy at work.

The thing is that you’re not alone. Lots of employees go through this, especially those that have just been hired at a new job and those that have just been promoted. While it’s true that you can quickly feel that there’s just so much work to be done, the bottom line is that you are the one that makes your schedule each day, every day. That said, make it a point to carefully plan out your schedule so that you balance your time for those that are important.

Am I focusing on my weaknesses or developing my strengths?

Leadership expert John Maxwell explains this very plainly, “Don’t focus your weaknesses because you’re weak at it.”

Lots of people who are unhappy at work far too often focus on developing on their weaknesses instead of developing their strengths. Unfortunately, since you’re weak in these areas, progress will be painfully slow, if you ever get to make any progress at all. As a result, you end up feeling even more frustrated than when you began working on them.

On the other hand, when you spend the time to develop and specialise on your strengths, you’ll notice that you’re quickly able to progress in your growth. When that happens, you’ll get the attention and respect from your peers. You may even earn the reputation of becoming the go-to person for a particular task.

While it’s true that there are some instances where your feeling of unhappiness and dissatisfaction at work are brought by not having any opportunity to be promoted or being mistreated at work, it’s important first to evaluate, ask yourself these questions, and honestly, answer them. Only then will you be able to discover the reason why you’re unhappy at work so that you can deal with this in a professional manner.