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How To Improve Your Work Life

In addressing the purpose of life, Sigmund Freud famously said "Work and love, love and work - that's all there is."  So given this imperative, as adults it is important to like what we do for a living.  Well okay, not ALL the time, but as much as possible, we should enjoy our jobs.  While there may be glitches, bumps, and difficulties from time to time in fulfilling our responsibilities, for the most part this is the goal.  With this in mind, I’d like to offer a few comments on common work issues.


As a therapist, I frequently hear complaints about intolerable work situations such as: unreasonable bosses, overflowing assignments and difficult personalities.  Before you up and quit, you might invite your boss to sit down and ask him/her these three questions:

  1. What are your preferences in terms of how you like to communicate?

  2. What are your priorities?

  3. What are your pet peeves?

The answers to these questions should help you get at the core of the manager-employee relationship. The answers will also facilitate an open, honest conversation which will hopefully save an ailing relationship and encourage a more solid one.


However, if you find you are: spending more time thinking about how to deal with your boss than actually working; dreading going to work every day; and/or feeling physically or mentally exhausted or sick, perhaps it is time to begin looking for a new job.  Whether or not you actually find something better, sometimes simply exploring what is out there in terms of other options helps one to see the job in a broader perspective.

For more information about Phyllis Greenbaum, LCSW, click here.

Originally published June 1, 2019


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