Friday, August 29, 2008

Hate Your Job?

As we get ready for a three day weekend with Labor Day on Monday, maybe it's time to evaluate your employment situation. From DLM:

Dumb Little Man - tips for life

Link to Dumb Little Man - Tips for Life

5 Reasons to Leave a Crappy Job

Posted: 19 Aug 2008 10:35 PM CDT

Written on 8/19/2008 by Steve Errey who almost died at age 9 as he choked on a grape. Today, Steve is still feeling the effects of some extravagant spending but remains remarkably upbeat and positive. You can catch him at his blog, The Confidence Guy.Photo Credit: mikecolvin82

I used to hate my job, and I left it way too late to get out. When I was made redundant at my company (expendable), the stress ended up putting me on long-term sick-leave. The result was daily cocktail of anti-depressants; I had hit rock bottom.

I don't regret what happened because it slapped me round the face and brought me to where I am now. However, I know that I could have made a move sooner if only I'd had the courage. Like many, I thought about leaving, but a never pulled the trigger.

Left unchecked, the impacts of putting up with a job you hate can be very real. I am not saying that you should get up leave today - we all have bills to pay. I am however asking that you consider these impacts and consider your alternatives if you are truly miserable.
  1. You’ll Pay in Stress
    If you hate your job then chances are you're already stressed by the situation you're in. Stress is about not feeling like you’re in control of what's happening, not being able to make choices about what happens, and feeling powerless about what's happening.

    By sticking at a job you hate you are, by definition, causing yourself more stress. You're forgetting about the choices you have and putting up with what you know full well you don't want to put up with. The impact of the stress is cumulative, and continued stress can be incredibly damaging – your fuse grows shorter, it gets more difficult to think clearly, your motivation slips away, you don’t get quality sleep (not even mentioning more serious conditions like depression and physical ailments like high blood pressure).

    Your primary responsibility in life is to make sure you're okay, so it's important to be brutally frank with yourself about what's happening, and you need to be prepared to make some tough choices.

  2. Your View of Your Life Will Shrink
    If you’re deciding to stay in a job you don’t like you're forcing yourself into a role that doesn't work for you in some important ways. There are things the role doesn’t provide you and the more time you spend in that role, the more you come to see it as the way things are. You slowly forget about what can happen and who you are outside of that role.

    If you let it ride your world-view shrinks to the confines of the role you've forced yourself into, and it becomes more and more difficult to see other options or to look at how else things can be. The more time you spend in that role the smaller your view of the world and yourself becomes.

    Never forget what's most important to you, the things you have 10,000 feet down inside you that make you who you are. Always keep your strengths, talents and values close, and always recognize that you have positive choices you can make.

  3. Your Self-Confidence Will Take a Battering
    What message are you sending yourself if you’re spending time in a job you hate? After standing by while your view of yourself shrinks, the message you're effectively giving yourself is, “I can't do anything else", "I'm nothing special" or even "I don't deserve anything better than this".

    Perhaps the most significant impact of squeezing yourself into a role that you don't want to be in is that it erodes your self confidence and self esteem without you even knowing it. You tell yourself that it's not possible to do anything about the situation you're in, that you should simply 'put up with it', that it’s not too bad and that you can’t do much about it anyway.

    Time goes on and as you feel more and more powerless, you lose trust in your ability to make decisions. You forget to listen to your intuition (that still, small voice inside you that knows exactly what's happening) and you lose the confidence to step up and play a better game.

    Don't allow your confidence to shrink and atrophy through inaction. Even though it can be scary as hell, trust yourself to make decisions and trust that you can deal with whatever happens next – that’s real confidence.

  4. Your Relationships Will Suffer
    Often it’s the people closest to us who see the worst of us.

    When you're stressed, frustrated, upset or angry, it's a good bet that it’s a partner, friend or family member who you'll snap at, be short with or not let fully into what's happening. Give it time and the impact on your relationships will be a significant one. You might vent or whine at those closest to you whenever the opportunity arises, or you might start keeping things inside because you don't want to have to talk about or think about what's going on. Your communication becomes less effective and your behavior in those relationships degrades.

    We've all known people who bring us down, who seem to be negative a lot of the time or just talk about everything that's wrong, and they're not much fun to be around.

    Be frank with yourself first of all, and then be aware of how your situation is leaking out into your behavior and affecting your relationships. Keep in mind that you value your relationships and have that positive intention in mind when you're with them. Talk about where you are when it's appropriate to, and always remember to be their friend too.

  5. You Won’t Deliver on Your Capability
    If you're running the very real risk of damaging your confidence, self-esteem, relationships and options by sticking at a job you hate, you obviously won’t be delivering on your true capability.

    Even though you know deep down that you can have, do and be more in life you're not exploring that capability or doing anything with it. You’re not honoring the things that are most important to you and you’re not even looking at what kind of work might slap a big grin on your face or make you proud.
So what do you want for yourself? If you had a choice (and you do), how would you like to think or feel about your work? How would it be if you could find a career that works for you, rather than the other way around? Go where you find a pull or some energy; go where you feel a sense of fun or excitement, even if it looks scary.

You're more capable than you know, and your capability is just waiting to be explored.

- Steve

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