Published on June 19th, 2011 | by thevyne0
“I Hate My Job, Now What?”: Part II
Last week we shared part one of the seven strategies to help you cope with the question, “I hate my job, now what?” If you missed them, click here for part one. Then read below for the remaining 4 -7 strategies.
Strategy #4 “Tell a Meaningful Story”: What if your job was chief “needle in the haystack finder”. And everyday you came to work the only thing you had to do was find the needles in the haystack. So you get up in the morning and what’s the conversation you have with yourself before you go to work? What would you be telling yourself every morning? You’d be saying “ugh! I’m sick of my fingers being punctured from these needles, my allergies are acting up from this dag-on hay, my back is sore from bending over…this bites!” But what if I told you that for every needle you find, money is donated from your company to go towards finding a cure for cancer. And, the stacks of hay get sent to farms to feed horses. So you taking the needles out IS very important. Now how do you feel about your job? What changed? You’re still picking needles out of the hay…but your story changed. You connected your job to something meaningful. Activity: Take a few moments to think about the story you tell yourself in the morning before you come to work everyday. Now I want you to rewrite your story to make it meaningful. You’re going to need to connect the dots a bit, but you can do it. Try to determine what makes your job an important one in the grand scheme of your company or perhaps even your community.
Strategy #5 “Do Damage Control”: So you’ve got your new, meaningful story in your head and you’re back at work. You’re starting to feel positive again and suddenly you remember, “wow, I was in a pretty negative space before.” Your start to recall those days where you were in just such a negative space that anyone who crossed you wrong got it, right between the eyes?! And maybe it wasn’t everyone; maybe it was just a couple of people. Regardless of how many people it was, if you can think of a few times when someone at work, deservingly or not, got the brunt end of your negativity you have to do some damage control. While you can’t erase the past, you CAN help other people at your job sing a new song about you. Think about the reputation you want to have at work with your boss, your co-workers and others. Have you done something to damage that? If so, you’ve got to circle back. Because you’re going to be in the job for however long so why not make it as pleasant an experience as possible for you and those around you. Likewise if you would like to get promoted at some point, then you definitely need to demonstrate that you are a “positron”/positive person capable of displaying productive interpersonal skills in the workplace. So circle back to those individuals where you really felt you did some damage and have a conversation with them. Activity: Think about anyone who you feel it’s necessary to do damage control with and offer to meet that person for coffee/tea/lunch. If the person you need to do damage control with is your boss, sometimes just going into their office and acknowledging that you could have handled yourself differently is all that’s needed. Bosses don’t like having to coach to attitude so let them off the hook by owning what happened and demonstrating that you’re in a different space now.
Strategy #6 “Create the Opportunities”: So maybe now you’re feeling better about the relationships you have in the workplace and even motivated to contribute of yourself in a different way, in a way that taps into your most positive energy. How do you do that? You do that by creating the opportunities. So maybe it’s not your job to teach people about time management but perhaps you noticed that lots of people have problems with time management and it’s something you’re particularly good at. Ask your boss if you can prepare a presentation and share some tips with your team. Doesn’t matter what the opportunity is, the point is to take the initiative to make something happen. Remember this is a way to add an energy reliever to your day and possibly a way to create a new job opportunity for yourself. Activity: Spend a few moments answering the question, “What would I enjoy doing that could bring about an improvement to my job?” You may find yourself brainstorming a whole new job for yourself, either with your current company or outside of your current company. If that’s the case, start thinking about the people you need to connect with and share your ideas with to make the opportunity real.
Strategy #7 “Avoid the Negative Spiral”: So that brings us to our 7th and final strategy for re-engaging yourself at work. Even the most positive of all people have their moments. After all, you’ve changed about as much of yourself and your environment as you could possibly change and although that often prompts different responses from others, it’s not guaranteed that you won’t get agitated or frustrated again with your job. If you find yourself coming into work, making your to-do list and at the end of the day the only thing that got ticked off for the day was you, then you know you’re in danger of spiraling back to that negative place again. And when that happens, the best thing you can do is to ask for a “rope” to pull you out. What do I mean by “rope”? The people around you, they are your “ropes.” And not just anybody, identify those people who are your confidants, friends, and generally positive people who are comfortable with giving you candid feedback and whom you can trust. Activity: Spend a moment to identify the “ropes” in your life. Write down their name. Debrief: It’s not enough to identify the ropes, you have to let them know that they are a “rope” in your life. That you trust them to be candid with you when you’re spiraling into the negative and that you’d like for them to call you on it and throw you a “rope” to help pull you out of it. You could even make it into a teambuilding thing. Each week/month someone has the responsibility for the being the team rope.
So at the end of day, you have the power to turn your situation around. Refer back to these strategies to keep yourself on track and engaged. I’ll leave you with one of my favorite quotes, I’m not sure who said it but it goes like this: “Things work out best, for those that make the best out of the way things work out.”