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Back at work, but wish you were still on holidays? Suffering from a serious case of Mondayitis? Leading workplace psychology expert Dr. Mary Casey, author of How to Deal with Master Manipulators ($69.95, Casey Centre), shares seven common work-related problems and strategies to beat the work blues.

1. You dislike the work you do

Maybe it’s time to revaluate your job satisfaction. Often it takes courage to be honest with ourselves. Ask yourself if you’re being challenged, and believe in the work you do. If you have been dissatisfied for a year or more, it’s could be time to discover what you do like. Learn new skills by embarking on some study, or look for a new role where your existing skills can be applied.

2. You don’t know how to deal with difficult people

People only do what they do because they can. It is well worth developing the skills to deal with a difficult colleague or manager. My tips are to control your emotions around any difficult person, set strong boundaries within acceptable limits, don’t take anything too personally, remain professional, and channel your attention into areas of your work that will reward you both personally and professionally.

3. You dislike the work culture

Maybe you’re stuck in a negative work culture or you’re just bored. Find out what exactly what bothers you. Adopting an attitude of gratitude may be all that you need: identify the positive attributes of your job – for instance a regular income, stability, mentoring and/or work satisfaction. If you can’t identify positive aspects, then maybe it is time for a change.

4. You’re often overworkedBR>
Anyone would dread starting a new working year if they knew it meant long hours all over again. Look into why so much work is being delegated to you. Communicate with management if you need more resources and how it would benefit the business; identify where and how you can delegate to another; or are you are doing other people’s work for them and it’s simply become a habit? Take responsibility and stop it immediately as it is your health that suffers in the long run.

5. You don’t speak up for yourself
This can stunt your career progression: People will leapfrog you into better positions, they will take credit for the work you have done, your ambitions will be unnoticed and your career acceleration will be slower – leading to job dissatisfaction in the long term. Remember that you’re employed for a reason – you have expertise, skills and experience. Find a course on assertiveness (such as the ones conducted by Casey Centre) and learn how to confront issues and speak up for yourself.

6. You lack confidence

Self-confidence is the single largest quality that “opens doors” in the workplace – whether that door is a promotion, the best projects in the company, or working alongside the most talented people. Confidence is required to befriend and align yourself with the most important people in the company, who will reward you. “If you don’t have confidence in yourself, neither will your boss or co-workers, leaving you stagnating in your career growth. Could this be the deep reason why you dread returning from holidays? Shop around for a good course on confidence building (the Casey Centre runs several every year).

7. You allow people to walk over you

This is something that only you can be accountable for. It is up to you to have clear boundaries for yourself as to what is acceptable to you and what is not acceptable. You need to be perfectly clear on how you will be spoken to and treated. If you are not clear, others will walk all over you.

How do you deal with the work blues?