What To Do When You Dislike Your Job

 

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I’m going back to work in less than a month, my maternity leave is over and I really wish it wasn’t ending. Though it would be nice to earn real money again, short term disability and paid family leave is really nothing in terms of compensation.

During my time of just being at home with family, I realized why I’m always so on edge and why I’ve been so unhappy with my career. I finally have the job that I’ve been looking for for so long, but it’s the people that make it miserable.

You see, I thought I would be happy doing challenging work with competitive pay but I was wrong.

There’s not a single one of my bosses that I’ve liked. You can follow all my blog posts and see just how miserable this job has made me. Yet I stay because of the benefits; because I have to put food on the table.

  • I’m Beginning To Realize It’s Just Me.

I’m not a team player and organizations don’t like that. They want someone who’s going to do what they’re told, follow the pack, play fair and be nice, all while being trampled on. And I don’t know how to be a team player in that kind of environment.

Ever noticed whenever you question something at work or you you realize that you’re taking on more work than you should, they always throw out “be a team player?” Like that propaganda is going to make me forget that I am being used beyond my compensation. If I already know that I have no chance of being promoted mainly due to the culture of the company, why would I do more and why would I want to be a team player on a team that doesn’t recognize hard work and excellence?

The truth is I work better on my own. I like to solve my own problems, have my own system and have autonomy over the quality of my work. With team environments, generally, jobs want a systematic approach that’s not necessarily most efficient, consistency across the board and groupthink where everyone has the same opinion. And that’s just not me and that’s not going to change, I’ve tried.

So here I am, a black sheep in a white flock, trying to stay inconspicuous.

I Haven’t Met A Manager I Respect

I honestly have rarely met a manager I can respect. Just because you’re above me in rank or in compensation doesn’t mean you own me; the corporate world kind of forgets that.

The only manager that I have ever been able to respect was one that looked out for their employees, mentored them and wanted to see them succeed. Plenty of managers will pay lip service to that kind of idea but actions always speak louder than words with me. And someone who doesn’t walk the walk is less than a manager in my eyes.

So right now my manager is someone who complains a lot, wants to get things his way, a brown noser and someone who pretends to be nice but really isn’t. I’ve worked with him for about a year and a half now so I have low hopes that things will get better. I just can’t get myself to respect him.

So what do I do? When I’m working at a job that has no growth with a manager I don’t respect?

My goal for when I come back to work is to just keep my head down and take it day by day.

I’m not going to pretend like I love my job or that I respect my manager or that I’m even friends with my coworkers, because I’m not. What I can do is control my attitude and realize that I’m at this job for a reason. I can quit any day I want. But I don’t. And that’s because I still need to keep this job for whatever reason whether it’s benefits or pay.

A lot of career advice will tell you to just talk it out with your boss or change directions at work or put everything in emails, but sometimes that advice is just full of shit.

I’m giving real world advice here and that is: work’s not fair and work’s not always right. You have to keep a long-term goal in mind even when you’re doing something you hate because you’re not going to be at that job forever. And I want to say that there’s nothing wrong with you just because you can’t fit into corporate culture; it’s really not for everyone. It’s not for me either but you need to use it as an opportunity even if it’s only a short-lived one.

Worst than being at a job that you dislike is being the person who’s constantly jobhunting for the perfect job, which I don’t believe exists unless you’re your own boss and can control your work environment.

So my main point is to make an exit plan, find out what you love and find a way to monetize that. Then make a deadline on how you’re going to make that your full-time job and do it. Your day job can just be a steppingstone, something that can get you to the next place in life.

Maybe I’m not corporate made, it’s not who I am but somehow I’m going to find a way to make my job work for me and help me grow into a career that I can be proud of and love.

It’s OK if you’re failing at work or just getting by, as long as you treat it like an opportunity and a stepping stone to help get you the kind of work you love.

I Survived A Toxic Manager

That-Bitch

My manager was a b*tch. She was a bonifide b*tch. And if this goes viral and she reads this, I hope she knows I’m talking about her. (Thanks EK for being the worst manager I have ever encountered).

We all have that one manager that we hate. The one that uses their position of power to serve themselves and abuse others. The one that uses emotional manipulation to guilt you into staying extra hours, often unpaid. The one that tries to screw you over financially and points fingers when things don’t go well. The one that manager that makes you question your commitment to your job and makes you want to quit with anxiety. I don’t know who put these people in their roles but, holy crap, the hiring process needs to get better.

I had just gotten into a position that I was really excited about when I met EK, she seemed friendly enough. She showed me how to do everything; put the bare minimum in training me but I was okay with that. After all, I didn’t want to be a burden, she was obviously very busy. I told myself that I could learn from my mistakes and I could learn quickly with very little instruction.

There were multiple red flags and looking back I realized what a dupe I was to believe her evil manipulations. In reality, I was between a rock and a hard place. A lot of stuff she did didn’t really make sense or feel fair but she was the only person who could show me the ropes. Even though she was only a year older than me, she had much more experience in the company and was well connected. Her brother and dad worked in other departments. EK always used her experience as a point of reference, “Trust me, I’ve been with this company for 10 years.” I mean, who can really argue with that logic?

The dark side started to show when she would hold these “meetings” five minute before the end of the workday. Looking back I really should have made a complaint at this point because these stupid were keeping me over 30-40 minutes and she wasn’t paying me overtime. I just felt sooo isolated. The director who hired me wasn’t really investing into my training or checking in to see how I was doing. (Tells you a lot about this company, huh?). If I spoke out, who would listen?

I took on a lot of work beyond my scope because not doing so just made my job harder. Our receptionist isn’t trained? Well then, I’m fielding all the calls. Her paperwork isn’t closed out? Well then, her clients are going to be screaming at me on her days off when things don’t go their way. EK just liked to point fingers and not take responsibility. Apologies were not in her vocabulary. And with Upper Management not digging into their sites or taking a closer look, who was going to be the wiser?

She was the coldest woman I ever met. When she would get stressed she’d throws me under the bus and make sure I knew exactly how I was failing in my position. I could literally feel her satisfaction as I stuttered an apology and looked down at my desk feeling helpless and losing confidence in myself. Over time my work self-esteem just started slipping away. There were times she wouldn’t even bother to hide her nasty personality, her sneers at how incompetent I was still ring in my ears.

Why would I put up with that, why would I let someone disrespect me like that? Don’t I have any self-respect? How many times did I really think about storming out and throwing the towel in? So many times, but I worked too hard, got too far to let ONE person push me out. The truth is that my job wasn’t that bad. I’m paid well and reasonably. I’m doing something that I enjoy and am good at. The benefits and time off were good too. This was a GOOD JOB. And to quit now would be going back to the drawing board, career-wise. So I stayed and took it. I made sure to document the issues I had with her and keep her on edge. Over time, she was still a bitch, but a more cautious bitch. And eventually she became more and more jaded with her own position, found another opportunity and left.

It was such a breath of fresh air to be away from the negativity EK brought to the office.

It wasn’t until she finally left that I realized how toxic she was. I had always struggled to get deals through but apparently she had the system rigged. Which was surprising because for the past year and a half I was led to believe I just wasn’t trying hard enough. You know when someone points out some obscure yet plausible reason why something is happening, but in reality the two are unrelated? That’s exactly how she explained things to me. My manager had played the system so that she would get the bulk of the commissions. All her arbitrary rules, on what could be accepted plus her rules on which clients were hers, favored her heavily. She knew this full and well but still took the digs at me for being low performing compared to her. She went as far as to complain about me to upper management, saying, “I can’t focus on my own role because Alex is too underperforming. I need to make all the deals.” She suggested adding another agent, so that I would compete with them and then they could drop the lowest performing team member.

You would think women would lift other women up in the workplace, seeing how we’re underrepresented and all. So it really surprised me to realize that EK didn’t care to mentor me or help me grow. She was numero uno and that was all that mattered.

For those dealing with a toxic manager or coworker here are a few thoughts of advice:

1. Pick your battles but speak up! If something doesn’t seem right, say so. Plain and clear. Let the other person be defensive and show how they are not screwing you over.

2. Break down your interactions and minimize them. I only had to work with EK 3 times a week and sometimes it would be 2 or 1 times due to holidays and PTO. In the larger scheme of things we only worked together 135 days out of the year. Our overall interaction in a day might add up to an hour. Dealing with her was manageable when I thought of it that way.

3. Document Everything: most jobs will want to “build a case” against you if they want to fire you. Documenting everything can save your ass especially in a company that likes to point fingers. You can build a case too on how you were a good and reliable employee and how your employee committed wrongful termination.

4. Think about the bigger picture. Your manager is one person in a small part of your life. She or you may leave for a better opportunity. It’s hard to think about it that way when week after week, someone is using their position of authority to get ahead of you. But life has taught me that challenges are temporary.

5. Things are always changing: My bitch manager left! If she didn’t leave, I probably would have found my way out. The corporate environment is a living breathing organism, constantly changing.

My manager was horrible and I can only wish most of my readers don’t have to work in that kind of environment.  But at the end of the day we can’t always choose who we work with.  Stay strong and stay motivated!

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Check out my other posts

My Job is Killing Me…. and Status Update: Don’t Over Do It!

The Power To Change And Have Good Thoughts


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Can Good Thoughts And The Power To Change Really Make A Difference?

In a previous post I mentioned the power of positivity. I think now is a good time for me to discuss the power to change and the importance of good thoughts.

Right now I’m going through a lot of change at work and it’s really stressful. My manager left and it took 1 and a 1/2 months for them to bring on a new person. We are severely short staffed and everyone is stressed and overworked. Apparently this is a good time for my Director to come in and shake things up. In his time at our office, he changed our deal flow, set up a billion meetings and let our underperforming admins go.

Le Sigh…now all of us (me) have to pick up all the slack.

Change in an organization is scary, but it’s also a time to shine. It’s a time when, let’s face it, shit hits the fan.

While my director was there I did all my duties, with no complaint and then some extra. I took this opportunity to make sure all my strengths were known and I took on a lot more to show I was reliable.

My receptionist didn’t fare so well with this change. I tried my best to keep her spirits up but I think she was reaching the end of her rope. In one meeting she basically said, “This is not my job, this is not what you hired me to do.”

We’ll..she just signed her death note. A week later my Director was making plans to send her packing. “We need people with a positive attitude and who want to be here,” he said. He wasn’t wrong. She was getting paid for her time there, not just for her responsibilities. It wasn’t expected she would take on those responsibilities forever and her resistance to taking on the extra work made her look like a slacker.

Change is natural in an organization. One persons opposition is not going to stop the will of the organization and the change that comes with it. Accepting change and greeting it with positivity can help you be perceived as a “Team Player,” “Progressive,” and “Positive.” It can lead to more opportunities and career growth. And being open to change also gives your managers/directors confidence that their ideas are valid and worth consideration. (Since then, my Director has confided in me that his job is actually really thankless).

My receptionist is gone and I really wish she would have just put on a happy face. She knew her job but the additional tasks that she opposed so fiercely cost her a job.  Now she’s back on the job hunt searching for work.

Change is vital and necessary.   Professional growth rarely comes without price.

Even if you’re not sure what direction to take when organizational change is happening, here are my tips on how to survive:

Keep your head low
Not everyone likes change or will be even welcoming to the change. Heck, you probably aren’t interested in shaking things up at work. But to avoid the chopping block, you’ll need to keep those thoughts to yourself and present yourself as a team player. Fake it ’til you make it!

Take initiative on the changes that are happening
Whether it’s a new computer program or a new employee joining the team, make an effort to embrace the change. You can start by learning the new program and training others on how to use it, bringing up questions about the change, or training the new employee on how to do things. By taking initiative, you’re able to provide value to the company and, by doing so, can avoid a pink slip.

Bring up flaws
This needs to be done tactfully but when organizational changes occur, it’s usually without Upper Management’s understanding of how it will affect employees. By mentioning an issue that might arise, you’re putting yourself in a position to stand out as long as you’re also able to come up with a viable solution. If you point out a problem and offer a solution, and your superiors aren’t feeling it, then my advice is to just drop it.

Overall, you don’t need to make change at work a scary thing. Work is just work, and change comes with it. Having The power to change your perspective is so important, as well as good thoughts! The best thing to do is go with the flow and see how it all plays out.

Adaptability is not imitation. It means power of resistance and assimilation. –Mahatma Gandhi   Motivational quote of the day.

Check Out My Other Posts

Why Integrity Matters

How To Get Ahead At Work Without Brown Nosing

My Job is Killing Me: What To Do When Morale Is Low

 

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What Happens When My Job Is Stressing Me Out and My Job Is Killing Me.


I took this corporate job a year ago.  I thought it was the only way. My husband had been layed off from work around that time and it had seemed like a godsend.  I definitely do have much to be grateful for, but sometimes I still feel like a cog in the machine, the  little guy and, to be honest, irrelevant.  It’s honestly not where I saw my career at this point after 5 years in my industry. I feel like my job is killing me

I lost my drive; the motivating factor that kept me going when I was self employed.  I lost knowing that the work was MINE.  

I was okay during the transition.  Sure my job is very difficult at times but it seemed fine and dandy.  But I was the new kid on the block.  I slowly built alliances with my manager and coworkers and pretty much played the office politics game of testing the waters. The first red flag was when I saw that the receptionists kept leaving.

“Employee loyalty begins with employer loyalty. Your employees should know that if they do the job they were hired to do with a reasonable amount of competence and efficiency, you will support them.” -Harvey Mackay, author.

You see, they were outsourcing the admins through temp jobs, they weren’t getting invited to company events, weren’t getting benefits and weren’t even getting overtime.  The receptionists were the bottom totem pole and were not getting credit for the load they were supporting.  Nothing boring happens at my job, let me just tell you that.  It’s very intense environment with lots of customer service.

When I brought up the lack of admin support during my mid year review, upper management literally said, “A person in that position should not be making those types of requests.” I had mentioned the admin’s request not to change the schedule. She quit when she realized her job wasn’t going anywhere.

Second major red flag was when I brought up an issue I was having with a computer program I was using.  I pointed out all the relevant facts to the issue and just wanted it resolved, an answer or some sort of protocol.

The result?

“This is a total mess.”

That was the email sent to me and everyone cced in response to my work and emails.  He had no intention of removing the program let alone fixing it.  That was definitely a demoralizing moment. Not only is my job very demanding, but my job it important to me and I don’t need to be treated like my concerns are irrelevant.

Then there’s also the issue of my manager, the one below my director, undercutting me.  But I’ll save that for another post

Right now, I try to focus on the financial side of it.  I get paid X to deal with all these people and all these problems.  I don’t expect much and I’m sure there are other people who feel this way about their work.  In reality, the money isn’t bad. My commute and workload is shit, but the money pays my bills and then some. I take solace in know that my family is secure (for right now), I’m building my resume for my next big move, and that I’m able to encourage my coworkers; who more often than not are considering leaving the company out of frustration and burnout without a backup plan or new job.

Check Out My Other Posts:
Thinking About Working For Yourself? Consider These Strengths & Pitfalls!

Top 6 Ways To Maintain A Work Life Balance And Avoid Stress