You’re bored and unsatisfied with your job, so you have a permanent frown and miserable look on your face while you’re at the office. This makes your colleagues think you’re unfriendly and unsociable, which just makes the conditions even more tense and unbearable.
Does this situation sound familiar?
A reader recently wrote to us asking for advice on this exact topic. Her workplace is tense, and she doesn’t know what to do. To add insult to injury, she’s a really shy and reserved person. What can she do to improve the situation?
Our careers expert, Professor Karel van der Molen says that the most important thing to do is confront the issues that are causing stress and discomfort in your life head-on.
“Once this has been done, you can then begin to deal with the issues constructively and in a manner which ultimately leads to a different approach to what happens in the workplace – where you spend more waking hours than anywhere else in a week."
Spend time with colleagues
When it comes to being shy and reserved, it unfortunately happens that you could often be misjudged for being unfriendly or unsociable, which could then lead to unpleasantness and tensions in the office.
Try to spend time with your colleagues at tea or lunchtime. “As they get to know you even better they will see that you are a very special individual who is an integral part of what happens in the workplace. And this will, over time, lower the tensions around the office.”
Get professional career guidance
If you feel that you are in the wrong field, you should consider some form of formalised and professional career guidance.
“Approach the student counselling department at the university closest to you or a registered career counsellor. They have a service where they do career guidance testing and counselling and will be able to give you pointers as to your next steps and the particular areas which will best suit you, in addition to the fields of further study that you will/may need to embark upon. Once this has been established, you can then make the necessary future plans.”
Make your CV shine
It is possible that you are already well qualified in a particular field and that the issue is that you have not yet found your niche in the workplace. Remember, it is important that your CV should highlight your knowledge, skills and competencies and the value that you feel that you will be able to bring to bear in the position for which you have applied.
Sign up with an Employment Agency
Make contact with one or two employment agencies, especially those which specialise in the particular area in which you might be more interested. They will be able to provide you with information and will be able to submit your CV to suitable employers and also provide you with the necessary information that will enable you to “sparkle” at an interview.