Why people complain about their work… yet do nothing about it

A few years ago I bought my dad a place mat that read: ‘Hate your job? There’s a support group for that. It’s called Everyone and they meet at the pub.’ Nearly all of us complain about our jobs.

But what if people aren’t as unhappy with their jobs as they make out? What if they actually just enjoy a little moan? We need to let out our frustrations somehow to push through difficult times. I think a lot of people really like the stability and routine of a regular job – better the devil you know. Any change is in some sense a risk, a step into the unknown, and they say that we only make changes when the pain of not changing becomes greater than the discomfort of trying something new.

Nothing in life is perfect, but when we find deeper meaning in what we’re doing it makes it worth struggling through the difficult days. Cal Newport wrote about ‘the passion trap’. The idea that we should stop looking for our ‘passion’ and instead focus on getting really good at something. I’m not sure it’s quite this simple – I do believe there’s more than just one great job for everyone, but I don’t believe that anyone can become great at (and learn to love) just anything.

I want everyone to want the best for themselves, but I know I need to accept that the odd moan doesn’t mean someone’s in the wrong job and needs to look for something more meaningful and/or that better fits their strengths. It might just mean that they’ve had a bad day in a generally pretty alright job that overall they’re actually quite happy with.

POSTER-COMPLAINING-TW3While I might unintentionally pass judgement on people for staying put, they could just as easily judge me for my choices.

I guess I’d like to think I live by the saying: If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude. If I’m moaning it’s because I’m unhappy and need to make a change, but maybe if some others are moaning it just means they can’t or don’t want to make a change and simply haven’t changed their attitude.

Everyone has their own reasons for being in the situation they’re in, just as I have my own reasons for being in the situation I’m in.  All I need to focus on right now is my own journey.

6 comments on “Why people complain about their work… yet do nothing about it

  1. William.Kidd says:

    Reblogged this on williamkiddjr and commented:
    The problem with our current society is we complain too much but what is wrong with the world. When are we actually going to shut up and take action?

    • Thanks for the reblog! Exactly – we need to take action or stop complaining. Having said that, I think some people do simply use complaining as a coping mechanism when they don’t really want change.

      • William.Kidd says:

        Your welcome. And that may be true, but the system running the show has so many people in fear it keeps everyone at a stand still and they don’t do anything. Like the A bug’s Life. Also, it is really only those who have a name for themselves such as actors that any one ever listens to. Jim Carry and Russell Brand for example. No one takes these things seriously until someone with money and power make a move. THEN every one turns their head.

  2. Good topic. I definitely think it’s perfectly natural and acceptable for people to complain about their job (or relationship, etc.) from time to time, even if they’re not unhappy overall. Sometimes we all just need to vent. But it drives me crazy when people actually are unhappy and/or complain ALL the time about something, yet have no interest in changing it. What is the point of that? I was once in a really miserable workplace, and the other girls and I would all complain — and occasionally even shed a tear at lunch — about how very unhappy we were. Yet when I told them I was quitting, they were all shocked because they didn’t think anyone would ACTUALLY make a change. Made no sense to me.

    • Definitely agree that a little complaining is completely normal and healthy. Like you say, it’s when people are truly unhappy yet continue to complain without changing anything that makes no sense. I just don’t understand how people like your past colleagues can be that miserable yet still refuse to take action. At least you set an example and did something about it!

  3. […] This post isn’t about disrespecting people’s choices. Nor is it about judging their lives. Whatever works for them, I always say (or doesn’t work, yet they’re willing to accept…). […]

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