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Is It You? Why Can't You Find Happiness At Work?

Written by: Gayle Terzis, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


Have you ever found yourself stuck in a job that you hate? Have you always wondered why can't you find happiness at work despite your best efforts?

lonely businessman in the building sitting on floor while holding a smartphone.

As an executive and career coach, I have seen this story repeat itself many times. A lot of my clients report feelings of dissatisfaction and frustration, with a high percentage of them considering a career change.

And they are not alone. According to the survey done by Workplace, 67% of employees are unhappy at work with only 33% thriving in their overall well-being. ¹

What are the reasons for this unhappiness in the workplace and how can you solve it?

Maybe happiness is not the answer:

The average person spends around 90,000 hours ² at work during their lifetime, which means that having positive feelings towards your job is crucial to leading a balanced life.

But what if I told you that looking for happiness at work is not the answer?

Rather, finding meaning in your job is what you should actually thrive for.

Why? Because happiness is a fleeting emotion that comes and goes depending on the circumstances you are facing and the situation you are in.

Meaning on the other hand, is a powerful motivator that can keep you going even when things get tough.

So, what can you do to find meaning in your job and eventually feel satisfied?

4 steps to find meaning in your job:

1. Don’t focus on the paycheck only:

There is a misconception about the fact that more money equals more happiness. But a lot of employees find themselves dissatisfied with their jobs, despite having bigger paychecks.

When I was working in banking and finance, I had a high-earning position, but I was not happy because I felt that my work lacked meaning. This is one of the main reasons that made me quit and become an executive and career coach, a job that fulfills me and brings me joy.

During my career as an executive coach, I have encountered a lot of people like me, who decided to switch careers and follow a path that is meaningful to them. Many employees are even ready to take a pay cut to do more meaningful work and increase their satisfaction levels. ³

When looking for a job, consider the options that are available to you. Keep in mind that taking a job that provides you joy, on top of the other benefits you are looking for, should be a key element in your job search.

2. Know yourself, your values, and what motivates you:

Knowing what activities you enjoy and which ones you don’t, can help you know what to focus on, but also what to delegate.

Do you like preparing reports but hate oral presentations? Then, try swapping the tasks you don’t like with a colleague who is willing to take on the presentation part in exchange for you working on the reports.

Do you like to strategize but do not like to work manually on time-consuming tasks? Find out which software you can use that can do the tasks for you.

Knowing yourself and the activities you enjoy can help you better manage your time thus maximizing the hours you spend working on something that you love and minimizing the activities you don’t. This could also be helpful to you when you are searching for a job: it will help you find work that suits your personality.

3. Work on achieving work-life balance:

This is key to feeling fulfilled. Regardless of how satisfied you are at your job, not having a proper work-life balance is bound to take its toll on you.

Therefore, creating a life outside of work that brings you happiness and fulfillment is crucial in helping you maintain healthy boundaries within your work environment. It could also be helpful to have something to lean on during tough times at work. Exercising, going out with friends, and spending time with your family are also important parts of our lives that can bring us happiness and make us feel grounded outside of our working hours. Feeling like we are not spending our lives working is an important component of feeling satisfied.

4. Don’t be afraid of change:

So, despite your best efforts and all of the advices that you have applied, you are still feeling dissatisfied at work? Then, maybe it is time for a change.

First of all, you should consider what is bothering you: are you feeling bored in your current position and would like to take on new challenges? Then, talking to your boss about working on new responsibilities could be the answer.

Do you feel like it is time for you to seek a position in another company that will better fulfill your needs? Update your resume, and start job hunting.

Do you feel like you need a career change and do not know where to start? Then, turn to an executive and career coach who can help you figure out your next steps.


We all want to be happy in life, and being happy at work is a big part of it. But happiness is a fleeting sensation that will leave us feeling dissatisfied if we are constantly chasing it.

Therefore, changing our mindsets to focus on a job that we enjoy that brings us a sense of purpose is more stable and can go a long way.

Ironically, it can also contribute to us feeling happier at work.

Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and visit my website for more info!


Gayle Terzis, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Gayle Terzis is an Executive & Career Coach and the Founder of Boost Up.

With a background in banking, Gayle spent over ten years in the corporate world working on diverse missions, including the development of the first program dedicated to the financial empowerment of women in the Middle East. However, she started feeling that her job was lacking meaning and purpose, and she was automatically less happy at work. She found coaching to be her calling. She quit her job and got certified by the ICF Executive & Leadership Coaching program.

Today, Gayle helps ambitious career-focused people connect with their better selves in order to reach their full potential and achieve meaningful goals faster; while having a balanced, healthy, happy, and productive life.





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