Frustrated at Work? Four Ways to Move From Frustration to a Promotion

There’s a reason we call it “work.” Frustration at work is natural – Our jobs can be stressful, our colleagues frustrating, and our bosses challenging. But to get ahead, we must be able to cope with that frustration and still achieve excellent results.


So how do you deal when you’re so frustrated at work that you just can’t take it anymore? These four strategies should have you shedding your frustration and accomplishing so much, even your most critical boss will be amazed!


1) Argue smart.

When we’re frustrated at work, it’s natural to be in a combative mood. And in fact, some office conflict is actually productive. But to keep conflict productive, you can’t just blow up at your colleagues. Healthy office conflict is what’s known as “task oriented” conflict, and it often results in high quality work outputs. To learn more about how to keep conflict task oriented, check out one of my previous blog posts HERE.


2) Find an ally.

Studies show that connecting with other people is one of the most helpful ways to cope in a stressful and frustrating situation. Finding an ally helps you feel less isolated, and it also gives you another perspective on what’s happening around you. Just be careful what you say to your ally: venting has been shown to keep frustration levels high, because venting language doesn’t provide any solutions of forward motion. When talking to your ally, stay productive and don’t get caught up in rumination.


3) Get some power.

One common cause of workplace frustration is a perceived lack of control. When you don’t feel like you have power to impact a situation, it’s irritating. But even worse – people who feel helpless often make inefficient employees who tend find themselves out of a job! The story you tell yourself about whether you have any power to impact the situation is called your “locus of control.” Developing a healthy INTERNAL locus of control will make you feel more powerful and confident at work. Check out this previous post for more information about developing an internal locus of control HERE.


4) Find clarity.

Often when we’re frustrated, it’s hard to see the circumstances clearly. We make assumptions about other people, we jump to conclusions about things happening behind closed doors… we might even be dreaming up worse scenarios in our heads than what’s actually happening! Instead of proceeding blindly, ask constructive questions. Talk to your ally for their perspective. Or simply get a little peace of mind within yourself by being mindful. Even in frustrating circumstances, you can help your brain FEEL less frustrated by not giving in and sucking up all the frustration around you.


Frustration at work is natural, but it’s not helpful. To succeed at work, you need healthy ways to manage your frustration and rise to the top. I hope these four are a good start!