The weekend "glow" is ending, and you're starting to experience a feeling you might almost describe as "dread" as the thought of going back to work Monday morning becomes harder and harder to dismiss from your mind.
By bed time, it's almost as though the stress you felt last week has returned, with a vengeance.
But you can't even talk about it with your spouse...
in economic times like these, quitting that stress-machine job is simply out of the question.
Maybe it's someone - or more than one person - at work who's causing you heartburn.
Maybe it's the nature of the work itself.
Maybe the tough climate has caused you to lose hours or salary, and it just doesn't seem worthwhile any more.
Whatever the reason, unfortunately, it's becoming more and more common for people to hate their jobs.
About 50,000 people a month actually search "I hate my job" on the internet.
Over the years, it's been my privilege to coach and counsel many sharp professionals who've fallen out of love with their work.
In the course of those dialogues, I've developed two simple bits of advice.
Think back to your first day on the job.
There was some reason you took this job, wasn't there? In fact, weren't you happy to have it, back on that first day when you were still looking for the rest room? Before you do anything rash, try to rekindle your love for your job.
It's less far-fetched than you might think.
Is there just one person who is making your work life miserable? If so, why are you giving that person such power over such a large portion of your life? Sure, he or she might be able to stab you in the back politically, and may seem to have all the power at work...
but they only have the power over your emotions and motivations that you give them.
Does the work seem unfulfilling? Examine the reasons.
There was a time you thought this would be excellent work.
Maybe what you need is some advanced training, or the initiative to propose new solutions to your bosses, or some other spark to make it fun again.
Don't let the fact that you've become good at it (and therefore bored by it) cost you your job! If you don't solve this, that next job you think will be the answer will only end up frustrating you again.
If you've lost hours or salary, think about how you can become part of the solution there, too; can you help with your firm's marketing efforts? Can you think of new ways to bring in new business? A good job is a great asset.
The harder the times, the more this is so.
If you have a bad job, before you go looking for a new one, see if you can transform your current job into a good one.
That said, if your current job no longer matches your personal values, you will have to leave it at some point.
Healthy people seek healthy environments.
What would you do if, lousy as it is, you were to lose that job tomorrow? This is a clear and present danger.
Not only does the economic climate these days make it more difficult for companies to hold onto their folks, it makes most bosses look around for the "disgruntled" employees to be the first recipients of the pink slip.
Of course, you've done an awesome job hiding your dissatisfaction.
Or have you? Think about it: if you were looking for it (and your boss is looking for it, and looking hard), could you find evidence of a bad attitude in yourself? So don't just sit there and wait for the axe to fall.
Start working on falling back in love with your job; but meanwhile, think about what your next adventure will look like, too.
If you don't have a hobby to round out your life's fulfillment and make you a happier person both during and after work, get one.
Better yet, get a second income stream going as a hedge to any employment disaster which may befall you.
It's amazing how empowering a part-time home business can be, whether it makes you more confident in your day job, or more confident in yourself overall in case you should lose that job.
Your goal should be overall happiness.
If your current job isn't making you happy, that's at least partly your own fault.
The good news is that the remedy is in your own hands: find a way to design a job that helps make your life fulfilling, rewarding, and pleasant, whether that's this job, or the next one.