The Nurse Becoming Podcast 

#119. A Surprising Reason Why You Might Be Unhappy at Work

Have you ever been unhappy in your job but you can’t quite put your finger on why?

Your pay might be acceptable, your role is exactly what you wanted, but you are overly annoyed by certain things in the workplace. Been there.

If we’re really going to do the work of exploring workplace dissatisfaction, I think it’s important to dive into a topic we haven’t touched on yet on the podcast, and that’s workplace values misalignment. 

Workplace values misalignment can be a huge contributor to burnout, and it might just sneak in without you realizing what is going on.

In today’s episode, we’ll be exploring:

  • What is workplace values misalignment?
  • How to find out what your core workplace values are.
  • 3 Signs that you might be experiencing a misalignment of your core values at work.
  • Important steps to take before you “jump ship” aka quit your job.

I also rattle off a couple of inner reflection Q’s at the end that you can ask to check-in with yourself to figure out the best way for you to move forward. 

Ready to take back your power and job happiness? Dive in now!



Listen to more episodes here!



What are “Workplace Values”?

When we talk about values, I’m referring to the core beliefs or principles that are important to you. Everyone has different values, and we even have different values in our personal versus professional lives. For example, some of my personal core values are safety, freedom, connection, and creativity. Whereas my workplace core values include integrity, collaboration, autonomy, and mutual respect.

It’s entirely possible that you and a co-worker doing the same job may have entirely different experiences in that job, and this could be due to you having different workplace values. For example, if it’s one of your workplace values that everyone is resourceful, but you have medical assistants who constantly ask you questions that they could look up, then that could be a values misalignment. Or, if autonomy is one of your workplace values, but you are frequently micromanaged by your supervisor, this could be a values misalignment.


How You Can Tell If You Have Workplace Values Misalignment

Let’s breakdown the three tell-tale signs:

  1. You can’t vacation yourself out of your unhappiness.

    I’ve certainly been in a position at work when I was just so tired and run down that all I needed was time away to relax and rejuvenate before returning to my position with a refreshed outlook. That is not a value misalignment. If you take a week off and truly rest and return to that consistent nagging feeling of being annoyed by every little thing…that could be values misalignment.
  2. Your co-workers can’t relate to your frustrations.

    It’s certainly possible that there may be some collective values that are misaligned, especially in generally toxic work environments, which would lead many of you to be unhappy, but if you are seemingly the only one with your specific complaint or frustration, it may be a workplace values misalignment.
  3. You’re feeling disconnected from the impact of your work.

    This is a sign of burnout in general, but if you feel as though the burden of workplace issues is overshadowing the impact of your work, this could be a sign that a values misalignment is contributing.

So… What Do You Do Next?

There’s a lot to say and explore on this topic and how to recover from a workplace values misalignment, so let me know if this is something you’d like me to discuss further. 

But here are three important next steps you should take before deciding to impulsively “jump ship.”

  1. Figure out your workplace values.
    This will take some time and reflection. It may be helpful to search online for a list so that you can read through and see what resonates. Some examples include: autonomy, responsibility, flexible schedule, humor, productivity, supportive leadership, collaboration, recognition, excessive time off. *wink
  2. Audit your current situation for misalignment.
    Once you are clear on your core workplace values – you may end up with 5-10 or so – start to examine how your workplace stacks up against those values. Where are you feeling friction? What are the biggest things that bother you and feel misaligned?
  3. Ask yourself: What can be changed here?
    The final step, and again this all comes before quitting your job, is asking: what can I change? I think it’s important to realize that you have some agency over your experience and it’s entirely possible that some of the things that feel burdensome to you can be addressed and potentially changed in an effort to alleviate the misalignment. It can be so tempting just to run and find something new as quickly as possible, but I definitely recommend trying to improve the circumstances first, especially if it is a role that is otherwise aligned with your goals.

That’s it for today – I’d love to know what you thought about this topic – did you have any aha moments or realizations? Tag me on Instagram @theresumerx or leave your thoughts in a review – I read all of them! 

Until next time!