Many of us spend the bulk of our time at work, so when we're not satisfied with our jobs, it can be extremely disheartening. If you're less than thrilled with your job, you're not alone, as an estimated 60% of employees consider themselves unhappy at work. But whether you're miserable on the job because of a tired routine, an obnoxious set of colleagues, or an unhelpful boss, there are things you can do to improve your situation. Here are five solutions that could turn a bad job into a decent one.

1. Volunteer for new projects

If you've been feeling like you're stuck in a rut at work, one of the best things you can do for yourself is shake things up a bit. But don't wait for new projects to fall into your lap. Rather, seek them out and volunteer for them as they arise. Better yet, think up some initiatives that will add value to your company, present them to your manager, and ask for permission to run with them. Dabbling in something new is a great way to turn a job that's grown tedious into a more exciting prospect.

Man with laptop in meeting room holding his head.


2. Get to know different managers and teams

If you're tired of interacting with the same people day in, day out, why not try broadening your horizons? If you work for a larger company, spend some time getting to know other teams and managers within the business -- particularly those you're interested in collaborating with or even working for. Networking internally could open the door to a better position once one becomes available, so it never hurts to get your name out there.

3. Boost your skills

The more capable you feel about your abilities, the more confidence you'll have on the job. And that itself could lead to a better experience. If you've been feeling down about the work you're doing, try boosting some of your skills and seeing where that leads. You can work on improving the skills that are specific to your job or focus on key soft skills that apply universally, like time management and organization.

4. Improve your relationship with your boss

The way you interact with your boss could spell the difference between liking what you do and dreading it. If your relationship with your manager has been strained of late (or, worse yet, was strained from the start), then it pays to invest some time into setting things straight. To that end, try sitting down with your boss, openly discussing some of the challenges you've been having with one another, and working together to find ways to better communicate. By initiating that conversation, you'll show your boss that you're serious about making your relationship work, and that alone could alter your manager's opinion of you for the better, thereby improving the situation on the whole.

5. Start working less

Giving yourself a break on the job might actually help improve your outlook on it. If you've been working long hours nonstop, it's time to take a step back and start setting some boundaries. That could mean pledging to leave the office on time at least twice a week or promising yourself you won't log on to check work emails over the weekend. By limiting your hours, you might manage to achieve a better work-life balance, which could do the trick in turning an unpleasant job into one you actually start to enjoy.

You deserve to be happy at work, whether you're new to your job or have been at it for years. If the above steps don't do the trick in helping things improve, it might be time to dust off your resume and search for a different opportunity. Sometimes, a new position or environment is all it takes to change your job-related outlook for the better.