Client Dev & Marketing
I was talking with a coaching client today who is a VP of Sales and Marketing. Great job. It uses her
best skills and she has made her company fifteen times her salary this year so far. Great result.
So, what is the problem?
She does not love the job, the location or the boss. Three strikes against it and she needs to stay in the game. Sure, she has discreetly spoken to recruiters in several states. She regularly gets email from all the major websites with job offerings. She has contacted all those fine people in her network in several cities. And, she's waiting...and waiting.
We know the job market is a little tight. In some places, its' more than a little. I know a computer expert, top of his field, who has been out of work for eight months. Every day he diligently does all the things he knows and still that lucrative...or interesting, enticing, or even, passable...opportunity eludes him. So, what to do?
Old wisdom suggests that 'if you can't love the one you want, love the one you're with'. There might be something to that in the world of work. What percentage of your time are you finding fault compared with time spent looking for ways to make a creative contribution? What percentage of your energy is absorbed in how much you dislike your situation compared with filling your time by doing the best job possible?
No, this isn't the PollyAnna approach to job management. It's a survival tactic that will support you in every area of your life. After all, it's your choice how miserable you choose to become.
You know that what you pay attention to expands. You know that's true because, if you buy a new Miata, all of a sudden you seen them everywhere. Why? Because you became aware of them in a new
way and now you see them. The same is true with the faults of folks you work with or live with. The more attention you place on them, the bigger they seem. Ever, all of sudden, become aware of the sound some makes when they are eating? Once you do, it's often impossible to hear anything else!
Focus on what you can change about yourself. Can you place your energy and attention on projects that allow you to demonstrate your skills and abilities? Then, do it. Can you remember who and how you want to be in the face of the smallness of others? Practice that.
Be scrupulous in the way you observe yourself and your current work ethic. It's been written that, when surveyed, 85% of folks said that they were not giving their best at work. Wow! It's no wonder it's difficult to get service in most places! Be one of the 15% focused on giving your employer value for the money they exchange for the hours you work. You're working on your work ethic, improving your marketability. When you do leave, your employer will have much better things to say about you when you've given great value. After all, it's just YOUR reputation.
Is there someone you can talk to in the workplace who has the power to improve things? Beware office chatter and gossip. Only speak about issues to people who can do something about them. The rest is idle, energy-draining, time-wasting talk. Keep away from it!
If possible, take your problem directly to the person with whom you have the problem first. If a co-worker is not pulling his weight, speak to him first. Tell him how making a change would benefit him and what would work for you. Do this with an attitude of team play rather than competitive righteousness. You know what I mean. No control tactics or one-upmanship, just low-key conversation with a strong intent to improve things between you.
If necessary, then, and only then, take it up a notch. Speak to your superior and ask for guidance. Notice, it's not a 'let-me-tell-you-this-about-her and how she needs to get her act together' kind of talk. Ask for help. That is a good way of letting your supervisor or manager know there is an issue without
drama and exaggeration. If the guidance is "Put up with it.", return to item one and focus on yourself.
Know what you want and learn to ask for it in ways that make people want to provide it for you. Be clear and specific. Once you have communicated your request...note: request, not demand...ask the person if they are willing and able to meet it. That's a fair question. Be ready to hear either 'Yes' or 'No'. At least you will have further information to make your decisions easier.
NOW, if after all this, nothing changes. You're back to two choices once again. Stick it out or stick it. At least, you'll know that you've given your best effort and folks know where you stand. You'll have had great practice with positive strategies. AND, you've been pro-active.
You know what Henry Ford said: "Think you can or think you can't, either way you'll be right." Same is true about your job. The more energy you give to what you don't like about it, the more miserable it becomes. Your choice!
Rhoberta Shaler, PhD, is a peace catalyst. She makes it easier to talk about difficult things. Founder of Sow Peace™ International, she focuses on empowering individuals, leaders and teams with solutions and skills that get to the heart of communication, conflict and conscious collaboration. A popular keynote speaker, Dr. Shaler has shared her light-hearted approach and value-packed content with audiences, teams and readers for more than twenty-five years. Author of over two dozen books and audio programs, including her most recent books, Wrestling Rhinos: Conquering Conflict in the Wilds of Work and Soul Solitude: Taking Time for Our Souls to Catch Up, Dr. Shaler teaches people to express themselves in ways that are totally kind and totally honest at the same time. That sows peace. Trained as a psychologist and professional mediator, she shares her insights through her blog at http://SowPeace.com
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