I Hate My Job!

Photo Credit: Theskooloflife.comAt one time or another many people have utter the words “I hate my job“. This is a loaded statement and can include a number of reasons one feels dissatisfied at work  like; not feeling challenged, dislike like boss, dislike co-workers, doesn’t believe in culture or C-Level leaders, no opportunities for growth, location, pay, corporate shenanigans’  and/or  lack of recognition.

According to a study done by Mercer, 32% of workers are seeking new employment and according another study done in 2012 by Mercer a total of 64% of the participants cited being somewhat to total dissatisfied with their job. That’s a lot of unhappy and disengaged people in the workforce. That information should be a HUGE RED FLAG to our business leaders but that’s another issue and post. We all know we can only control ourselves. So then the question is: “what can we do to take control the situation? Whining, complaining and crying is a waste of time and immature.

Here is what you can do to regain control of your work situation:

Evaluate and assess the situation: Slow down. Make a list of your the parts of your job that create dissatisfaction. Once you have your list to paper you will be able to see the true business issues and pure emotional issues. Then assess whether or not you have any control or impact on the items in your list. Then depending on your evaluation determine whether the best route is to A: Stay and design ways to solve your problems or B: If the issues are not in your control you need to design a way to move forward.

Develop an exit strategy: Many people cannot leave a company without another job, and honestly in this marketplace leaving without another job could be career death! It’s important to develop a job search strategy and then commit to finding another job. Or maybe it’s time to start your own business?! Regardless your desired path you need to develop a plan for finding and gaining new employment.

Create Enjoyment: Focus on the aspects of your job that you do enjoy or create new challenges. This will introduce a new zest into your workplace, making it easier to stay engaged. Or maybe just take a lunch break everyday, a walk, get fresh air and rejuvenate.

Shut-up: Stop talking about your job dissatisfaction at work. Chances are you’ve been unhappy for a while and have shared that feeling with a few trusted c0-wokers. Heck others may feel the same way you do, but after a while it really becomes annoying! Once you’ve decided you’re unhappy in the workplace keep it to yourself and work on your exit strategy. This is why you need to shut-up; other co-workers may be really happy at work and you could be bumming them out, or maybe they are unhappy and you’re making it worse. Honestly, after you’ve vented to your co-workers there is really no value added to your time or reputation in continuing to discuss it, it just becomes non-productive gossip. So suck it up and shut up. (Remember, if you are choosing to be proactive about your concerns then definitely don’t shut-up about your solutions.  If you have ideas for correcting issues that are making you unhappy then now is the time to bring those ideas to your leader and start working on implementing those strategies.) 

Game Face: Lastly, get a reality check! The company is not paying you to sit around and complain about your job, so put on your game face . Essentially I’m saying you need to be an actor. Since you don’t own the company and most likely don’t hold the power to change anything pretend that you are happy and satisfied at work. You’ll be surprised because not only will you start to feel happier, you’ll strengthen your resilience skills. 

We all go through these difficult moments. It’s important to take a little time to evaluate the issues and make a clear business decision about your career path. Stop wasting your time on a treadmill of “I hate my job” rants and take control of what you can (which mind you is a lot). Then make it happen find the job and company that will revive your passion and excitement, or take measures to improve the aspects of your job that you do not like. It all comes down to you and your ability to take accountability for your actions, control your destiny and motivate yourself to move forward!

Photo Credit

#DearGrads Your Work is just Beginning – Advice for New Grads

Courtesy Microsoft ImagesOver the last several weeks I have read many blog posts with great advice to the graduates of 2013. I figured it’s time I put  my experience to advice. Hopefully, our new graduates are in the social media world and reading all this excellent advice!! Al-righty, here we go…..

#DearGrads,

Your work is just beginning. Walking down the ceremonial aisle and reaching for that leather-bound folder containing that very important piece of paper is an awesome feeling. Typically there is a lot of emotion tied with this day. You’ve worked hard over the last 4 years to achieve this degree, you’ve built many relationships with people and lastly this day commences this part of your life’s journey. Your new chapter into adulthood is now beginning. 

My college experience was a bit different, I did not go away to school. I worked full-time while paying for classes with cash, so my journey was not only a little longer but lacked the full “college experience” dorms, friends my age, games, parties etc. I took night classes and many of my classmates were adults going back to school. This brought new appreciation to my pursuit of education and I felt like a learned a bit more about life experience from my classmates.

Here’s my advice for new grads:

  • If you know your direction and purpose then pursue it, hard!
  • If you’re not sure your direction, take time to figure it out. Employers want people who have demonstrated passion for the work they do. And by time I don’t mean take 4 years, while living in your parent’s basement rent free, I mean do some purposeful soul-searching.
  • Start planning your future, set some short-term career goals.
  • Get involved in your community and your desired profession. Join your local chamber, societies, associations, non-profits, meet-ups and volunteer.
  • Build your network your new professional network and invest in the relationships you built in school (the ones with friends, advisors and professors).

Transitioning into the workforce is harder than ever, developing a solid strategy for your entry into the “real” working world will set you apart from your competition.  So when you’re done enjoying a little vacation break from your last 4 years of hard work be ready to get back into that game!

Also check out my dear friends the Early Careerists. They are an excellent resource for new graduates and early careerists.

DJANGO Your Career Potential

DJANGO Your Career Potential(SPOILER ALERT: There may be portions of this blog that could be considered SPOILERS)

My husband and I finally rented DJANGO Unchained. Aside from being one of the best movies I’ve seen this year, this pre-Civil War western showing the brutality and utter cruelty of slavery, Tarantino style, brought depth to the characters of the film and the stories they told. I can’t say enough about this film and will simply say it was phenomenal and a MUST see at least one time! Oh and the end was totally kick a$s!

In my reflection of this film and this time in history my thoughts eventually swayed from the film content to the HR world. Mind you I’m obsessed with HR, I’m constantly looking at situations through my HR glasses. As of late I have thought a great deal about leadership and employee growth & development.

I then began to think about Christoph Waltz’s career. I questioned “Did he just bust out in the acting world at age 50?” I quickly learned that he’s been acting since 1977, but really hit it big with his performance in the 2008 film Inglorious Bastards. It was at that moment a light went off “Ah-ha”. It was the perfect match; Tarantino and Waltz. Tarantino (director/leader) was able to uncover the natural abilities Waltz always possessed. Tarantino’s direction and vision aided in uncovering Waltz’s his true potential.

Then my mind went back to the film and Jamie Foxx’s character Django. In the film, Django partnered with Waltz’s character, Dr. Schultz, to bounty hunt. Prior to meeting the doctor Django was enslaved. Shortly after working together the doctor noticed Django’s true potential. The doctor (leader) help Django by providing the tools he needed to uncover his full potential and to become the man he was always destined to be. Again, it was the perfect match.

Then my mind  took off and I was recalling many other Hollywood and well-known matches. It’s like the right mix is the path for true potential to be uncovered. In regard to our careers this formula is important to acknowledge. Why? Because when you find your match aka right leader the sooner you can develop and uncover your full career potential.

Ask yourself these questions:
Does your leader recognize your talents? Does your leader bring attention to your special skills? Does your leader provide insight, that helps to guide you on your career path? 

Is your leader uncovering your true potential? 

If you answered no to any or all these questions you may need to start searching for the right leader. You need to find that experienced person that will help guide you to be your best you. The one that will see your hidden talents and help you develop. The one that will help you unchain your full career potential.

Hire for Potential- Stop Dumbing Down the World!

Courtesy Microsoft Free Images

Courtesy Microsoft Free Images

When are we going to stop dumbing down the American Workforce and start hiring for potential? As an advocate of solid training programs and hiring for culture match over hard skill set I struggle with hiring people that claim candidates “MUST have 5 years of really specific list of skills for EVERY SINGLE JOB“.

We all went to school for some length of time thus showing the ability to learn new skills. Completing school requires one to learn and apply that learned knowledge in some form to show a level of competency. Even with this proven, many employers seem to dumb down the workforce by insisting only candidates matching the outrageously long list of specific requirements will be considered for even the most entry-level positions.

When a company lists a number of specific “required” skills for a highly trainable position, I think one of two things:

1.) The company does not place value and time into training programs. AKA Lazy, oh wait I’m sorry “Everyone is working so hard, no one has time. (bad excuse)

2.) The company believes  job seekers and applicants are morons.

I disagree with both reasons for not considering “hiring for potential“.  Here are a couple of reasons why I believe those reasons are poor business decisions:

  • Top talent comes in all forms.
  • It is human nature to learn, grow and evolve.
  • Hiring for culture match is more critical, values are ingrained.
  • Hard skills CAN BE taught and learned!
  • Companies that hire for potential have more opportunity to develop a diverse team, (diversity = success!)
  • “Fresh” eyes! Bringing someone with no to little experience offers a new fresh perspective to the team, opportunity for new ideas!

So let’s stop dumbing down the world! Step out of the “we don’t have time to train” box and start looking at real potential! You don’t need a Receptionist with “5 years of direct reception experience in your specific industry.” You don’t need a cafeteria worker with “At least 2 years of professional customer service experience in a food service industry.” What you need are high quality recruiters who have the ability to identify top talent and top potential. Start hiring for potential and just see the positive impact it has on your team!

 

What can we learn from complaining?

From Microsoft Images

From Microsoft Images

I’ve decided to start whine Wednesday on my blog. In my younger days I had a real wine Wednesday’s which included after work drinks with friends! This whine Wednesday is dedicated to allowing ourselves to whine a little. Please feel free to enjoy a little real wine, while you whine:)

The reality is we all need to whine a little from time to time. We don’t need to dwell on it but we need to release our whines into the world, pick up and carry on!

Many people have a tendency to whine whether it be about work, life, friends, family, our spouse (probably the biggest culprit, LOL) etc. I try to be a very positive person and most recently I’ve worked hard, and continue to, to change my mindset to instinctually think  “A majority of people are good. Most people are well intended and mean no harm.” Not surprisingly this mentality has helped tremendously with reshaping my attitude and feelings toward dealing with employee relations which leads me to today’s whine.

Today’s whine is a workplace whine about ownership. I dislike when people lack the ability to take ownership or accountability. The ownership/accountability whine is one that rears its ugly head now and then. We’ve all dealt with people who push blame onto others, onto companies, onto society, pretty much onto anyone/anything but themselves. I cannot tell you the number of calls I have received from employees over the course of my career that complain about the company, their co-workers, their managers and their work responsibilities, the list is endless. What these people fail to acknowledge is the role they play in their own lives, as if they are simple along for the ride and victims to the world. The reality is we are the drivers to our own ride!

I listen intently to employee concerns ( I have to because I need to be aware of any true harassment, discrimination or other sensitive issue) I often find the pattern of familiar behavior, the behavior “everyone else is the problem, not me I’m perfect!”  These people usually say things like “No body works as hard as I do!” “I do my job right but ABC is NOT part of my job and they should know that.” “My manager has never been in my position they don’t know what my responsibilities are, they don’t provide the right training.” “The computer I have doesn’t work that’s why I cannot complete my tasks.” Etc you get the point.

I like to be an advocate for self-control, accountability and ownership. When open to it, I share my advice with the employees. I do my best to coach them, to help them stand back and reflect on the situations. I say things like “We control our world and everything else is outside of our control. Take control of what you can, your behaviors are one thing you can control.”We can only be as good as we want to be! If you see in issue or problem find ways to fix it, not just complain about it.” “We can be influencers to others by setting a solid example of how work should be done and by collaborating with our leaders”. I don’t just spout out my sayings, keywords they come through the natural progression of our conversation. That’s my whine, I feel better already!!

When I whine out-loud I actually hear my thoughts and THAT allows me the opportunity to reshaped my perspective and get back on track. Sometimes it’s easy to harp on certain ideas and get caught in the downward spiral but hopefully Whine Wednesday will be a great support for us to share our whines, listen intently, share support & ideas, and collectively move along our happy ways.

Tips to move pass your whines: 

1.) Whine, or AKA vent. On a blog, to a friend, a trusted colleague and family member. Get the whine out of your head and into the world.

2.) Looks at the positive. Or try to at least understand where that other person could potentially be coming from, this helps put things back into perspective. 

3.) Remember a majority of people are well intended. If they cannot see their opportunities for improvement it’s because they are not ready or because they cannot recognize it. These people will either go through life miserable in every environment and never change or they will have that AH-HA moment and decide to take control of their lives.I can only control my world. In my world I help coach employees. If I’ve done my part to the best of my ability then I can walk away feeling accomplished.

4.) REMIND myself of steps 1-3:)

While this is a public blog site, lets consider Whine Wednesday our “safe zone”. What are some of your whines and how to you move past them?

This is Your Voice- Personal Branding

If you read my post This is Your Voice Battle Rounds – Interviewing, you can tell I’m an avid “The Voice” viewer. I love watching The Voice for couple reasons. First, I enjoy watching and listening to music! Second, I enjoy the human relations aspect of the show. Watching the artists journey, development and behaviors that relate to the human resources field. My last and most important reason for tuning in is the fact Blake Shelton and Adam Levine are hotties! LOL! There is a strong commonality from the coaches response throughout the season about “knowing who you are as an artist”.  There is great similarity between musicians knowing the music in their souls, and people in the business world knowing their unique talents. The way we can differentiate ourselves from the rest of the bunch is through personal branding.

Personal branding is a process when people create a brand and image for themselves, much like the way companies and celebrities brand. While watching the artists perform I can feel when the artist is 100% comfortable with who they are and what type of music they represent. Their confidence allows for their real, raw, unique selves to power past the lyrics and melody of the song and deep into the ears, mind and hearts of the audience. When an musician knows who they are is when they are a true artist. Their singing is more than just a song, their performance evokes real, connecting emotion in the audience and in that moment, that artist is rocking their personal brand! In the business world, when someone knows and embraces their true selves is the moment they really shine. Everyones path to personal branding is different. Some people are born knowing their brand, some people discover their brand through another passion or pursuit and some grow their brand slowly and steadily while they are discovering the wonders of the world. Here are some thought provoking questions if you want assistance in rocking your personal brand.

  • If you were to die tomorrow what would people say about you?
  • Recall a time when you were so passionate about something that all you could do was focus on that one thing. What was that thing, event or discovery? What did you learn about yourself?
  • If there were no boundaries, no fears, no end of the road where would you go? (Figuratively….Or literally I suppose!)
  • Listen to your heart. What is it telling you?
  • If you did not care what people thought you’d……..
  • What ignites your internal fire?
  • Think back to 5 year old you. In your “fresh” eyes describe yourself.

Sometimes knowing who you are takes time, reflection and discovery. Once you know your true self, your personal brand will practically create itself. People are drawn to others that convey a strong message. Their message, their brand is powered by unique knowledge, skill or expertise and self confidence. Everyone has something special to offer the world, its just a matter of taking the time to uncover the real you. Only YOU can do YOU best! So go on and rock your personal brand! Be YOU and people will LOVE it! And if they don’t, that’s ok because you know who you are!

The image is The Voice contestant Melanie Martinez, who is re-defining the boundaries of personal branding. She has touched the lives of thousand with her unique perception of the world, and amazing self-confidence and incredibility special and brilliant voice. 

“She’s a Juggler!”

Photo from Microsoft Free Images.

So here I am on a Friday night, at my house, searching for something to watch on TV! When I happened to stumbled upon (no pun intended) “I don’t know how she does it!”. This movie stars Greg Kinnear and Sarah Jessica Parker. The title of my post really says it all “She’s a Juggler.” Woman play multiple rolls all in the course of one 24-hour period, and we do that 7 days a week, 365 days a year!

If you haven’t seen the movie here it is in a nutshell! “I’m in a nutshell, baby!” (Austin Powers reference. Yes, I am both old and a dork, LOL!) Greg’s and Sarah’s chartacters are married living in the city of Boston. Full time working parents of two children. They balance the responsibilities of worklife and family life. The adventure all begins when Sarah’s character is asked to lead a major project at work. A project that challenges her ability to fulfill her family commitments. The course of the movie follows the woes of a working mom and the pressures woman (and really working parents) experience when work takes over life.

It is truly coincidental that I happened upon this movie tonight, because it is this very week that I really started to question the decision I made 9 months ago; the decision go part time. This entire week, I have felt like I’m failing at everything! I’m failing at motherhood, wifery, working professional world, spiritual realm, my health and my wellness. While woman are expected to balance it all with a grandiose smile and kick in our step it’s far from the reality of the internal struggles that we go through to do our BEST to make it all work!

For the simple fact I have only walked in woman’s shoes my entire life, I feel like woman are really pressured and put in a hard place with our family and work expectations. We are expected to do it all, and all at the same time we are critized for everything we do. For example how many times have we heard “oh, she’s part time because she has children. She doesn’t take work as seriously as the rest of us.”  Then the flip side “Oh, she works, she’s not fully dedicated to her family!” These are the stigma’s that are our reality, the words and beliefs that make woman work harder to meet the needs and expectations of EVERYONE, ALL the time!

I have a constant “TO DO LIST”. This “TO DO LIST” must be done, and until it is done I cannot do anything for myself, even if it is cutting and filing my nails, that takes a matter of 20 mintues TOPS, I cannot do it if I know I need to call so-and-so for an interview, post a job, make dinner, schedule my daughter’s doctors appointment, vacuum, do laundry and/or make dinner.

How do we put the “TO DO LIST” to rest? Even if it is just a couple minutes for some peace and quiet. Personally, I turn to meditation. However, in recent time I have found this more challenging. I cannot quiet my inner “MUST DO LIST” and frankly it’s driving me mad! I need to regain my inner peace and balance to that I may continue to be the best juggler I can be. What do you do to quiet your mind? Tips, tricks, life experiences??? What have you learned about balancing work and life?

P.S. If you’ve seen this movie I really could have written about several different relatable topics but this one so happens to be the one I followed:)