Are you unhappy at work? Here are the top 7 reasons why.

by Abigail Jane

Here are the 7 most common reasons people are unhappy at work and how can this affect performance, satisfaction and wellbeing.

Abi writing notes during a coaching session with a scented candle burning on the coffee table.
Abi Unwin meets a career change client to explore transferable skills.

I have been a career coach for nearly 20 years and worked with hundreds of people who have approached me because they felt unhappy at work and wanted to make changes. I thought it would be helpful to share these some of these reasons to help others recognise the cause for unhappiness at work and understand the effect this could be having on wellbeing and performance. When we start to look at why we feel a certain way, we can also look at how to make changes and what the importance of doing so might be. Coaching is all about working towards a goal to create change, but in small, manageable steps.

So, what are the seven most common reasons people are unhappy at work?

  1. Lack of challenge.

This can lead to bitterness and dissatisfaction. When we aren’t positively challenged, our confidence lowers and energy levels drop.

2. No way to be stretched/move forward/grow.

Feeling stuck in a job where there are no prospects for growth can make us feel stuck and stagnant.

3. Not engaged/no zest or passion for the work.

Lack of motivation is often experienced here. We may become distracted and not feel present in the moment.

4. Not being paid enough

If we feel our pay doesn’t match our value, we can become disengaged and performance can drop.

5. Toxic environment.

This can have a huge impact on our wellbeing. It is common for people experiencing a toxic work environment to become anxious and stressed. This can have a negative effect on home life too.

6. Over/under managed.

When expectations aren’t clear we don’t know how to change/grow and can become demotivated and perform less well in our jobs. If we are over managed, a loss of autonomy can be extremely frustrating and demoralising. This can lead to apathy and indifference.

7. Don’t feel the work is meaningful.

We can start to feel useless and unproductive. Low energy, lack of motivation and a lack of direction is often felt.


If some of these reasons resonate with you, it may be time to make a change. As a career coach, I can help and support you to work out next steps forward and transform your career to become one that you enjoy and gain happiness from.

Abigail-jane-coaching-life-coach-bristol

Hi I’m Abi

professional life coach and career coach in Bristol. I work remotely anywhere in the UK and in person for locally based clients.

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