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7 tips for telling your boss that you don't enjoy your job

If you're experiencing ongoing challenges with professional fulfilment and you haven't had an honest conversation with your boss about how you're feeling, then you could be missing out on a valuable opportunity to make some positive changes. They could also be missing out on the opportunity to retain you as an employee.

The secret is to frame the conversation in a way that they can see the benefits for them of engaging in it.

Depending on your relationship with your boss, you may find the prospect daunting and worry about negative repercussions. Some bosses undoubtedly find these conversations difficult too. However there are ways to prepare for a conversation like this to optimise your chance of a positive outcome. The secret is to frame the conversation in a way that they can see the benefits for them of engaging in it.

Here's how to get the most from the conversation:

  1. Be clear on what a good outcome from the conversation looks like and plan for this. Consider as part of this what your boss may need or want from the conversation too.
  2. Visualise yourself having a great meeting with your boss. Notice what you want to look like, sound like and be like and rehearse this mentally in advance of the meeting. Equally think about what you DON'T want to be doing, and remind yourself of these before the meeting.
  3. Frame the challenges that you are facing in terms of their impact in three areas: on you, on your boss and on business success. Try your best to link the three.
  4. Be positive. Yes you're experiencing challenges but come prepared with some proactive suggestions that could improve things for you, your boss and the business.
  5. Consider what barriers or challenges may come up in the conversation, and have a plan to deal with these. That way you are less likely to be thrown off course by something unexpected.
  6. Be confident. Know that you're going to share your thoughts constructively and show that you're committed to business success. Also don't be afraid to make bold but reasonable requests if you can see that there is a benefit for the business too. See what you're doing as being valuable and productive rather than something to be afraid of.
  7. Choose your time and place carefully. Minimise the chance of interruptions and ensure you have enough time planned in. Give your boss a heads up about what you'd like to talk about so they have time to prepare too. Taking your boss for a coffee, or even out for lunch, could be a nice touch.

Still undecided about whether it's worth taking the risk of opening up to your boss?

Think about the consequences if you do nothing. If you don't talk to your boss and carry on as you are, what would this mean for you? Are you ok with this? Then, think about the payoff for you if you can pull this off and engage your boss in making positive changes to your role. What does this tell you?

If you're not feeling fulfilled in your role, then rather than suffering in silence or hoping that things will get better, you can choose to do something about it. No one can legislate for how your boss will respond, but you can influence them by being prepared, positive and confident.

Do you have other tips or experiences? Please do share them!

Sihem Bounoua is Founder of Rhapsody and a professional executive coach, supporting driven senior professionals to excel at what they do. www.rhapsodycoaching.co.uk/seniorprofessionals.