It's one thing to experience some rough patches at the office, like when deadlines loom or your favorite colleagues decide to leave. But if you're generally unhappy at work, there's no need to resign yourself to a hopeless existence. Instead, you can take steps to change your circumstances by doing the following things.

1. Try something new

There's perhaps nothing worse than feeling like you're stuck in a rut at work. If you can't remember the last time you got to take on a new assignment or switch up your routine, then it's time to step outside your comfort zone and ask what opportunities are available to you. Tell your boss you'd like one new responsibility added to your plate, or come up with a project that will add value to your company and pitch it. Dabbling in new things will help you avoid the boredom and monotony that can make work a drag.

Smiling woman at desk holding a pen in her right hand and typing on a laptop with her left.


2. Meet new people

Getting to know different people at your company can open the door to new opportunities and help you build relationships that serve you well professionally and emotionally. If you've been interacting with a limited group of colleagues thus far, it's time to broaden your horizons. Introduce yourself to new people you meet in the break room, or specifically seek out people whose roles interest you. The more folks you get comfortable with, the more support you'll have at work, which could change your outlook for the better.

3. Focus on a skill to boost

Becoming better at something that's important to you will raise your self-esteem and make you a more valuable employee. If you're not thrilled with your job at present, select a skill that might help you advance internally and work on getting better at it. That might mean learning a new programming language, taking a marketing course, or studying a different area of accounting.

4. Let yourself take breaks

It's easy to grow unhappy at work when you constantly feel pressured, and letting yourself off the hook here and there might really change your outlook. Going forward, work some breaks into your schedule so that you're not spending hours on end at your desk. Go for a walk mid-morning, or step out for a longer lunch twice a week. You might be amazed at how small breaks really help you re-energize.

5. Learn how to say no

It's not easy to say no when you're asked to work late, take on projects you'd rather steer clear of, or pitch in for absent colleagues. But if your plate is full and taking on that extra load will increase your stress load exponentially, you're better off saying no and dealing with whatever disappointment ensues.

6. Go on vacation

A little time away from the office could work wonders for your job-related attitude. If you can't remember the last time you got an extended break, fill out a vacation request form and get yourself that escape. It doesn't matter whether you go anywhere versus stay in town. The key is to give your brain a chance to refresh itself so that when you get back to the office, the things that once irked you so might seem less troubling.

Given the amount of time you probably spend on the job, you deserve to get some satisfaction from it -- or at least not be miserable. Take these key steps, and with any luck, your attitude about your job will slowly but surely change for the better.