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

Lance Armstrong “All apologies” -Personal Accountability

If you haven’t been living under a rock for the last 10-15 years then you know the drama that has followed the professional cycling industry’s top gun, Lance Armstrong. After years of brutally aggressive denial (to say the least) about accusations of his participation in “doping” and other banned performance enhanced substances Lance finally took ownership for his actions, well for the most part. He selected to interview with Oprah Winfrey about this topic. The interview aired in a 2-part series on OWN on Thursday and Friday of this week. I watched both episodes and here’s some of the discussion that ensued.

My husband, an avid sports fan and Lance Armstrong fan, was angered by his interview. In a nutshell, he felt Lance was withholding information and that Lance has a lot of work to do to regain his reputation within the professional sports industry. He mentioned several other athletes that did wrong and apologized “quicker” than Lance did based on that information it appeared he had a little more respect for those individuals. He felt Lance’s extreme behaviors and actions attacking those that accused him where in the least disgusting and as he said “He’s a douche-bag!”.

I can admit I agree the apologies are a little late for most, however he will get everything that is coming to him for his delayed reactions. As you may have read in my last post “Welcome to Whine Wednesday”, I have an issue with individuals that lack the ability to take ownership/accountability for their own actions. At the same time I completely understand that I have never lived another person’s life. I have never experienced another persons triumph, challenges, heart breaks, traumas, successes therefore I cannot say “If I was Lance I would have done A,B,C.” I’m not Lance I haven’t lived his life. 

While my husband pointed out Lance was a star from early on, and hand life handed to him, it still doesn’t change the root of who we are, however our environment can influence the surface of who we are and how we feel and act. Basically, my point is you cannot fully listen to someone when you are judging them.  I said to my husband I wasn’t going to jump on the “I hate Lance bandwagon“. I don’t care what analysts’ have to say about their perceptions on whether Lance was telling the truth in the interview. Anything outside of the words Lance uttered in the interview are just pure speculation and stories. The fact is Lance did not savagely murder his entire family, he lied about cheating in professional sport, an act may athletes take part in. Yeah, he took things to far I get it! But guess what he’s human, not perfect. No one is perfect. Everyone has weaknesses and demons. As a society we place too much unrealistic, and unnecessary expectations on our athletes and celebrities. We are all human and we all make mistakes!  He has to live with his mistakes, he has to learn from his mistakes.

This blog could be much long but I want to get to my point and move on. Here are my final takeaways:

  • Taking ownership for your actions earlier on is better. However, if you miss that boat owning up to your mistakes at anytime still offers you an opportunity to grow and better yourself.
  • When interacting with people try to zone in on their words, their story. Do not listen to all the “white noise” the stories and drama created by others. 
  • When you judge others you are loosing your opportunity to grow and be a better person.
  • Looking back is always clearer, we all wish there was something in life we could do differently. 
  • Lastly, remember we are all human, we all make mistakes no matter how perfect some of us may seem we are not. 

Live for today, Learn for tomorrow! ~Bonnie:)

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?

Workplace Bullying – A Whitney Kropp Inspired post

I’m sure you’ve heard about the Ogemaw High School student nominated for homecoming court as a prank. If you haven’t learned of this disturbing story check out this article from the New York Times. In the last many years horrific and truly disturbing bullying situations have made headline news. The fact is bullying has been an issue long before recent time. Social media and the viral nature of communication has made it possible for these stories to gain momentum and the attention they deserve.

When I think of bullying, my mind naturally goes to middle school and high school aged people. It’s common for this age group to taunt, ridicule, tease, and pick on other people because of their differences, and or “odd” ways. In my opinion they do so because of underdeveloped minds, lack of understanding of culture and vary background, consequences and plain immaturely.

When I read about workplace bullying it’s not just disturbing, it’s incredibly appalling. There is no reason workplace bullying should even be an issue  in an environment consisting of mainly adult people. At the age of 18 and beyond there is no reason, an adult should act in hostile, temperamental, violent, abusive or bullying way in the workplace. Or anywhere for that matter.

When hired into a company we learn about the culture, company code of conduct, and policies. A majority employees know how to read, comprehend, and apply that knowledge to the workplace. I find it completely 110% unacceptable to keep workplace bullies in the employed. I don’t care how technically skilled a company top sales person, manager, director or vice president is, if they yell, scream, hit, throw, slam doors or lose their temper in any way that person should be gone immediately! Not only is it unacceptable, but this person is likely a ticking time bomb waiting to explode with violence and wreak havoc on any person in their way.

While bullying is more common in the younger ages, I feel it’s unacceptable at any age! There are no FINAL WARNINGS when it comes to bullying in my book. People that act in violent, abusive and hostile ways need should be dealt with immediately. And by dealt with I mean TERMED! It is plain and simple, we are ADULTS we know how to act, so act right at work and in life!

“Treat others as you want to be treated” 

What do you think about bullying? What about workplace bullying? Have you ever encountered a bully in the workplace?

Shaun White “I’m Sorry!”

“I’m sorry!” How often do you hear the words “I’m sorry” from your spouse, friend, family member, co-worker or any person in the course of your day? A common response in place of “I’m sorry” is normally words of “That is not my fault!” “No one told me…” “Someone else does….” The excuses to replace ownership is endless.

I have a strong passion for personal accountability in both life and in work. Personal accountability is the ability to take ownership for your actions and the outcomes and potential consequences. This can mean taking credit, when credit is due. Or taking constructive feedback, when feedback is due. Or even worse, punishment.

Early in life  we are taught the decisions we make have consequences. Somewhere between kindergarten and adulthood some people loose the ability to hold themselves accountable. In life, the workplace, the public, everywhere we turn we see people blaming. Blaming other people or blaming the system. Sending blame to where ever possible to take the attention off them.

The truth is I could write a 10 part series on personal accountability, there is so much to analyze, dissect, and talk about, but for this post I would just like to pay credit to Shaun White. If you are not familiar with Shaun, he is a 26-year old professional snowboarder, olympic athlete, and business man.He was recently arrested for public intoxication and vandalism.

In a statement released by Shaun he concluded with ….I’m truly sorry for my poor behavior.”  When I read this article all I could think was WOW, WOW, WOW! Someone finally did it! They admitted to being wrong, took responsibility and apologized. And guess what, we probably will not hear any more about this story. Why? Because “I’m sorry” is boring. There is no drama with “I’m sorry.” He’s sorry, case closed, move along people nothing to see here!

Using the words “I’m sorry” is a very powerful statement. The ability to recognize the actions you are apologizing for allows you the opportunity to grow as a human being. Growth leads to success in life and in work.

Do you say sorry? When? Why? What did you learn?

My motto: Live for today, Learn for tomorrow! 

Jay Cutler loss to Packers

Microsoft Office Images Photo

Watching the interview with Jay Cutler on the Bears loss to the Packers got me thinking about employees in the “real” workplace. Here are some of the questions that came to mind:

Imagine being interviewed by the media after every work project you completed, especially after a failed work project how would you response? How would you feel? How would you react to hard-hitting questions that demanded immediate responses? Answers that would reflect upon your reputation in your industry? Would you react and communicate differently than you do now in the workplace?

Jay Cutler Reacts to loss video

In the real workplace most employees only have to answer to their boss, manager or superior. Higher level positions such as CEO, President or owners are expected to answer to board members, key stakeholders, clients, customers, possibly the community and more. This level of responsibility brings added stress to the workplace. Do you think this level of stress can impact an individuals performance? If you had to report your job performance failures and successes to multiple groups of people do you think you would have more or less motivation? Or would it even impact your

motivation?

Bachelor Pad – Take the drama out of the game

Image from realitynation.com

My husband and I watched ABC’s Bachelor Pad finale tonight. I was pleasantly surprised by the outcome. In the past two seasons the winning pair split this money 50/50, but this season was different. One winner walked away drama free and $250,000 richer. How did he carry out this winning? Answer: He took the drama out of the game!

Recap of the final 4: It all came down to the final 4 contestants.  Nick and Rachel became partners late in the game. Chris and Sarah were your typical new Bachelor Pad lovers. Throughout the course of the game Nick stayed low-key. He did not get involved in the normal drama, and emotion that ensues on the show. Rachel partnered with Mike and fell in LOVE. Mike was evicted from the show, and Rachel was left to stick it out with Nick. Chris partnered with a Blakely, then Jamie and lastly with Sarah and fell in love.

The drama of the drama free game: The eliminated players selected Nick and Rachel as the winning pair.  Nick and Rachel then had to decide if they would SHARE the money, or KEEP the money for themselves.   The trick of the game was Nick and Rachel had to cast their votes alone. Should one partner have chosen KEEP and one SHARE, the person that choose KEEP would keep the full $250,000. Nick choose KEEP and Rachel choose SHARE. Thus, Nick was the first full $250,000 winner on the Bachelor Pad series! Rachel, of course began to cry because she deserved the money. The eliminated cast members chimed in with their responses of “That is not fair” “How could Nick do this?” etc. While I understand the emotional ties other cast members had in the game, it is just a game, so I was surprised by the level of shock the other cast members demonstrated.

Nicks game: Nick explained his logic, and clearly stated he was playing a game. Nick explained that Rachel told him many times that she did not want to be his partner, and that she wanted to leave. Nick said he strategically stayed out of the drama and remained low-key throughout the course of the game. Nick also viewed the entire season prior to the finale show. In the viewing he saw and heard the negative comments other cast members made about him. Nick said several times “I played a DRAMA free game. It’s just a game.” Drama free is almost a foreign phrase to reality TV, because the heart and pulse of reality TV is DRAMA, but to be successful in a game it is important to remove the emotion. Since Nick remained drama free he maintained the ability to remove the emotional aspect of the game and stay clear, focus and committed to the end goal.

Real Life Impact: You might be thinking this is an HR blog “What does all this have to do with HR and the workplace?” In my experience drama and emotion impact our ability to think logically and make clear, sound business decisions. When drama enters the workplace our emotions control our responses. Emotional responses lead to drama. More often than not emotion filled responses are not well thought out, inappropriate, unprofessional and damaging.

Reality Check:  There are certain circumstances in the workplace when emotion is right. For example, situations when we need to show compassion, caring, or passion for a topic. The reality is we are human, and we do feel. Feeling helps us build trusting relationships with other people. Trusting relationships create an environment where people can succeed.  There is a right time and place for emotion to be shared in the workplace. We need to exercise our ability to identity the appropriate times to be emotional and use it to our advantage.

Lessons Learned, Questions Asked: “What can we learn from Nick and apply to the workplace?” “How did removing the drama and emotion from the game help him meet his goal to win?” “How can we (as employees) remove drama from the workplace?” “How would a drama free workplace help you, and your company?”

Learn more about creating a drama free workplace with Reality Based Leadership from Cy Wakeman.