I’m miserable after being promoted and transferred to a boring department

The Japan News

Dear Troubleshooter:

I’m a female civil servant in my 20s. After I was promoted, I was transferred to a department that I have no interest in, and now, I have no sense of job satisfaction.

I was very busy at my previous department, but I enjoyed the work. However, my job now is very simple and is mostly just responding to the requests of local residents. It has taken a serious mental toll on me.

I wonder why I have to do this kind of thing every day. I’ve tried many times to change how I feel and work hard at my job, but it hasn’t gone well.

When I took time off after testing positive for COVID-19, I thought my will to work would increase, but the reverse happened. I never wanted to go into the office, and instead, I just wanted to stay home forever. I started thinking I would be OK with dying.

My strength has always been my ability to work hard. I got into the college my parents wanted me to go to and I became a civil servant. However, I’m disappointed that I’m now someone who is negative and constantly complains.

Only a little while ago, I was enjoying my job, even though I was busy. It has been really tough. I feel like I’m a burden to my office, so should I just quit?

E, Tokyo

Dear Ms. E:

The reason you have lost your motivation to work is that you can’t seem to adapt to your current job, which is to respond to requests made by local residents, right? I’m sure there are some people who make outrageous requests, so I can imagine it must be very tough.

The job would be difficult for anyone. It seems to require a little looseness, which is different compared to what you have been working so hard to do thus far. Maybe the job requires you to take a step back and learn to let things go.

However, not everyone is suited for every job. I don’t want you to push yourself too hard and end up having the enthusiasm you had for life fade away.

So, what should you do? As it seems you now have some time on your hands, I suggest reading. I recommend reading books that you didn’t have time for when you were really busy, such as major classics or history books.

Allow yourself to become immersed in a world separate from your own and let your mind relax. Before you know it, you might start viewing the world a little differently and be able to relax a bit as you learn more about the characters in the books.

When you finish your work, quickly go home and set aside time to just read. I hope you will eventually feel like you have been given valuable time.

Yoko Sanuki, lawyer

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Sept. 30, 2022)