Staying happy at work can be a challenge. Even if you’ve shown the extraordinary focus and commitment to break through to your dream career, whether that’s acting, teaching or running your own start up, there will still be bad days, and they may feel even worse because you’re in a job you’ve spend years idealising!

If you’re stuck in a job you really don’t enjoy, it can grind away at your mood. Even if you have supportive friends and a partner, and hobbies that elevate and divert you, you spend such a lot of time at your job that it cannot help but affect your mood. Draining colleagues, an unsympathetic boss, or work that doesn’t fulfil you or makes exhausting demands can all leave you in poor spirits, or even affect your mental health.

Finding a job that makes you happy (or perhaps fulfilled is a better term) is difficult – and many people don’t feel they have the luxury of that choice: with bills to pay, the best job is the one you can get! In reality, it’s often possible to switch careers and find something that’s more rewarding, that matches your character and what you feel is worthwhile. It might require you to take a step down the ladder, or accept a cut in pay, but if you’re able to do that while keeping a roof over your head, the possibility is there for you!

Changing Horses Midstream

If you’re already several years into a job and climbing one career ladder, it can feel like it’s too late to change, but it’s not so cut and dried! If you feel the pull towards a new career that lets you feel like you’ve made an impact in the world or helped people, there are many governmentally sponsored training schemes to help you turn your existing experience into qualifications and fill in the remaining skill gap with on the job training. Social care jobs and teachers are always in demand and there are plenty of options for vocational, earn-as-you-learn style training that can help get new people to the front lines as soon as possible!

The Value in Volunteering

If your job isn’t making you happy, there are lots of reasons for to look at volunteering. Pursuing a passion in your private life – especially if it’s one that helps people in your community – can help to restore your flagging motivation and revive your mood. Perhaps more importantly, it can also help you develop and demonstrate the skills you need to prove for employers in your preferred profession to take notice! If there’s a skill gap you need to fill, volunteering can be a very effective way to fill out your CV.