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

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?

Getting High and Getting Jobs! Employer Drug Tests

Photo Darren J Bradley from http://www.mnn.com

Soon after the re-election of BO the legalization of marijuana aka (POT) made headline news for Colorado and Washington State. They announced the legalized use of pot for recreational purposes in small doses, 1 ounce or under. From what I have heard and read it doesn’t appear to be in full swing, it should take another month to “iron” this all out. Anyway, Here’s the interest thing there has been no changes to our federal laws concerning pot. I’m not an attorney but from what I know on employment laws is that federal laws supersede state laws. In a nutshell people with possession of pot could still be prosecuted. However, I’m still wondering how these statewide changes will impact employer drug testing if at all? 

A good amount of employers use pre-employment and reasonable suspicion drug testing in the workplace. The reason drug testing is widely utilized is because of high percentages of substance abuse do exist. Research has shown people under the influence in the workplace pose many risks not only to their own well-being but to their co-workers and customers. Aside from injury and liability, I would assume these individuals would produce low work productivity.

Back to the issue at hand, will this change the way Colorado and Washington State process applicants and new hires? The only close example I can think of is alcohol and prescription drugs, while neither are illegal, most employers have a drug-free workplace policy. So if an applicant or new hire tests positive for non-prescribed drugs or alcohol an employer with a drug free workplace could retract the employment offer for failure to pass the drug screen.

Here is something else to consider, cigarettes! Last I checked cigarettes contain a highly addictive drug called nicotine, while not illegal its still a drug. (See National Institute on Drug Abuse) Many people smoke cigarettes at work. Many people take multiple cigarette breaks throughout the course of their work day. How is smoking cigarettes and pot different? Is it the mind altering agent that differentiates the two?

I’m not a legal person, I’m not a “drug” expert. These are just a couple questions rolling around my HR mind!

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!