Have you actually tried to make a change if you’re not happy in your current job? A lot of times what I hear from my friends and my clients is, “I just hate my job. I’ve been unhappy for years.” And my first question is always, well, what have you done to make yourself happy in your job?

This is a lot like a relationship. If you’re unhappy in your relationship with your boyfriend, girlfriend, partner, spouse, wife, husband, fiance, doesn’t matter if you’re unhappy, it does no good to just sit there and say “I’m unhappy” and not make any change. So much like in a relationship in your job, you’re responsible for your own happiness.

What have you done in your job to try and make it something that you enjoy? So electric — that question is really foreign to a lot of people.

I want to give you some tips.

First and foremost, I would suggest that you really try and strengthen your relationships at work. That alone can make you happy in a position that you otherwise weren’t happy in. But one of the things that strengthening a relationship does is strengthening your relationship with your boss, creates a safer space for you to talk to your manager, your boss, your supervisor, whatever it may be about being unhappy.

Now here’s the really critical part about having a conversation about fixing something that makes you unhappy in your job. You have to come with solutions, right? And those solutions have to be practical for the business, not for you. So if I am unhappy with a certain project that I need to work on, but I’m the only person in the company that has the skillset to manage that project. Or my job is a project manager. I need to be very thoughtful about how I approach that conversation. And the more detailed you can get about what you don’t like now, do you tell, does not mean the ability to Kim claim for a long time? Do you tell means I really enjoyed this project. However, I’m struggling with this specific piece of this project, or I really enjoy working with this group, but I find that there’s not support when it comes to this resource, right? That’s what I mean about detailed and specific. So when you can be really specific and come with a solution.

So I really love being the project manager for this project to build out a location. However, I’m finding that we don’t have great oversight into the budget. Is there someone else that we can add to the project team so that I can focus on my job of managing timeline and all the moving parts when someone else can focus on budget, those are the types of conversations that you’re going to need to have. If you’re asking your supervisor to help you eliminate something that makes you unhappy in your job. The other way that you can tackle unhappiness is to look for things that make you happy and supplement those. So can you get a stretch assignment? Is there an employee resource group or affinity group that you have a lot of passion for? Can you get involved with that? Can you leverage professional development to add a new skill set that might allow you to work on new projects or new types of projects or have more oversight in your current role?

Is there tuition reimbursement? Can you go back to school and learn a new skill set that you can bring back to the company and advance yourself? Are there other ways that you can look at lateral transfers? Are there ways that you can just talk to your boss about new opportunities and what they see for you? The most important part of this is that you have to be honest with yourself and you have to really try. And I find that those are two things that people don’t love to do. Are you unhappy in your job because you checked out, maybe are you unhappy in your job because you don’t have this resources in the skills to really succeed and find success might be the truth. Sometimes those questions are actually really hard for us to answer because they feel personal. So this goes back to the macho.

You’ve heard me preach a million times it’s business. It’s not personal. So sit down, look at why you’re unhappy, make a really fair analysis and assessment of the things that you have control over that you could start to change to see if you can make yourself happy. If you don’t have control over those things, then start to have that conversation with your manager, with your boss, about opportunities that might exist or might be able to be created that could help you be happy in your current role. If you’ve tried all that and it doesn’t work. Yeah. It’s time to move on. It’s time to find something that makes you happy in your career, but don’t just go jumping ship because you think the grass is greener because often we find that once we stand on that side of the fence, it looks pretty much the same. So do the work for yourself. See if there’s ways that you can make yourself happy and if there’s not, be really fair about your analysis before you just go looking for that next great job.