Thinking about work evokes very different emotions depending on who you talk to. For some people, work is a joy. It’s a pleasure to wake up each morning and make a difference in the world. For others, work is a necessary evil. It’s just a series of one annoyance after another. If you’re facing an annoying work problem, we’ve got some solutions for you. Here are five annoying work problems and how to solve them.
1. The office gossip targeted you
Sometimes you can’t help but get lost in some juicy office gossip—just not when the gossip is about you. If one of your co-workers has decided to spread rumors about you or if a co-worker you thought was trustworthy “accidently” started telling anyone who would listen about the details of your divorce, you’ll need to handle it with grace. While you may want to act in kind by spreading a few rumors of your own or leaking sensitive information, be the bigger person and always stay aboveboard. Life has a funny way of putting the people we like least in our paths again. You never know when you may need to work with this co-worker at another job, so aim to navigate the situation as carefully as possible.
Start by addressing your co-worker directly. Tell your co-worker that you’re bothered by the gossip and ask him or her to stop speaking about you in a negative light. If the behavior continues or gets worse, you’ll have no other choice but to involve your manger, human resources, or both. Also, make sure to document your conversation. You’ll want to write down what was said as well as whether the problem was resolved. This documentation may be helpful if the gossip decides to change her tune and accuse you of harassing her.
2. You want to date the new girl in accounting
As the holidays approach, there are likely more office parties. And you just happened to notice that the new girl looks pretty hot in her holiday dress. So, you’d like to um … get to know her better. Before you get all worked up, take a step back and think for a moment. Are you ready to handle the fallout if things don’t work out? And are you prepared to handle questions if your co-workers find out you engaged in an office fling? If you decide you’re OK with all the potential risks that come along with office dating, make sure to set and adhere to a few ground rules. If you want to keep things private, avoid public displays of affection at work, don’t spend a lot of time at each other’s desk, and try to avoid eating lunch together too often. This way you’ll hopefully be able to keep things under wraps. One more pearl of wisdom: If the co-worker you’re interested in dating is your boss, don’t even think about it. Nope, not even just a little bit.
3. You make a crappy salary
You have the job of your dreams and for once you’re happy. The only problem is your salary doesn’t match your passion for the job. If you find yourself in this situation, you have four options. You’ll have to add income through a side job, spend less, negotiate a higher salary during review time, or leave and find a better-paying job.
4. You hate your job
Unless you’ve got a lot of money saved up, your best bet is to make the most of a bad situation until you can find a new job. Try thinking about all of the things you do enjoy about your job. If that doesn’t work, try to find fulfillment outside of work. Volunteer, pick up a new hobby, or reconnect with friends. Enjoy your life now instead of waiting for a better job to come along before allowing yourself to be happy. However, if things at work are so miserable that you’re getting sick, quit and get a side job until you can get something more stable.
5. You can’t find a job
You would love an annoying work problem — your problem is that you can’t find work. If you’ve sent out resume after resume and you still can’t get anyone to hire you, it’s safe to say you may have some improvements to make. If your idea of job hunting is firing off 50 resumes a day to various job sites, that might be one reason you can’t find employment. Sending your resume into an online black hole and then crossing your fingers won’t be enough to snag a job. Just a tad more effort is required to gain employment. You can start by speaking to former co-workers and acquaintances in your network. They may have an idea of who is hiring and may even be able to provide you with inside contacts.