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Yewande Jinadu: What To Do When You Are Unhappy With Your Job



Unemployment is not the only biggest issue career professionals face in Nigeria. A lot of people have jobs but they are unhappy and miserable; they are simply enduring the pain because they have bills to pay and desperately need to feed their families.

In my various interactions with career professionals, there are multiple reasons why people hate their jobs – toxic work culture, consistent delay of salary, being underpaid, lack of structure, fear of losing your job, harassment, unhealthy politics are few of these reasons.

The country already has a high unemployment rate so those who have jobs have no choice but to be grateful for it, even if that isn’t exactly what they want. I have been there and I can totally relate. Here are some things you can do if you are currently in that position of sadness when you think about your job:

Speak Out

They say a closed mouth is a closed destiny. There are various challenges you face in the workplace that you can get solutions to, especially from people who have faced it and overcame. If it is a difficult boss/colleague or a case of harassment, you can speak to your HR who can help you through it (that is if you have a professional HR and not a clueless one).

If your HR is clueless, then speak to a trusted senior colleague outside work who can assess the situation externally and advise better. My point is that you shouldn’t keep it to yourself and pretend. Speaking out would help you identify problems within or outside your scope of influence. The person you speak up to can also direct you to another professional.

Learn Through the Difficulty

The organization that was the most toxic for me – where I was extremely miserable every single day, was the one that taught me the greatest in my career and shaped me. I used to ask God why he brought me into such a mess but when I think about it, it refined me. I learned difficult things about myself and it built me to be mentally and emotionally stronger.

There is something to learn from a wicked boss, even if it is how not to lead. I am very intentional about how not to be toxic because I have experienced such. If it is a character change that needs to happen or building mental stability or emotional toughness, you would be glad you did learn, and the experience would prepare you for your next.

Live With Purpose

I know people that feel like they are the unluckiest when it comes to choosing an employer, especially if you move from a one-man business to the other, it keeps getting worse. It can also feel like you are hopping from one place to the other searching for something that an employer cannot fill. There is something I believe: the grass isn’t greener on the other side, it is greener where you water it.

What are the things that fuel you and give you meaning as an individual? The workplace may not help you discover that and it is only you who can. What are your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats? What excites you and gives you a sense of purpose? You can build your side hustle and passion from that so you no longer have to depend on the kind of belonging that you expect your workplace to give you.

Dust your CV and Hone your Networking Skills  

This is the last but definitely not the least. There are things you cannot change – like your company owing you for months, being heavily underpaid (especially when you know you can get better out there), or a toxic culture (be sure you are not part of the toxicity). The solution is to dust your CV and start looking out for better opportunities.

Position yourself well by being visible on LinkedIn and other social media sites (I wrote more on how to do this effectively in a recent career handbook). Tell your friends and colleagues about your openness to a new job, connect with professionals within an industry or company you would like to switch to, visit job boards, and so on. There are so many things you can do when you want to change jobs. Fastest one to get those really juicy ones are through referrals so ensure you are top of mind to people that matter. Shoot your shot! Who shyness epp?

It is not a disgraceful thing to look for a job, we have all been there at some point. Besides, it shows you are hardworking and not going through fraudulent means, so please don’t be shy or self-defeating when selling yourself for a new role.

This article was inspired by so many people who thought that 2021 was going to end on a good note but are still stuck with their employers. Be hopeful. I am passionate about helping people achieve measurable success in their career and that is why I am deliberate about empowering them through CareerLife Foundation. Join our next free mentoring session this Friday.



Photo by Nicola Barts from Pexels

Yewande Jinadu is the Founder of CareerLife ( and also the Head, People and Culture of a leading tech firm. She has been recognised both globally and locally as an HR Leader and Career Influencer. With CareerLife Foundation, she helps young professionals achieve measurable success in their career. With CareerLife Consulting Services, she partners with businesses to deliver value through its people by providing HR Services (Recruitment, Training etc). She can be reached via [email protected] or @careerlifeng on Twitter and Instagram

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