Hate your job? Here’s why and how to fix it
The actor Omar Sharif once said “working gets in the way of living.” In a certain way he was correct. The time we spend working takes away from the time we could be doing other things that some might feel are more important to living life to the fullest. However, not everyone sees work this way. For many, work is something they enjoy doing and something they consider worthwhile. Nonetheless, some would argue the vast majority of people see the world through Sharif’s eyes. The latest Gallup State of the American Workplace (2017) report it is found that:
The more disconnected employees feel, the greater their readiness to job hop. While 37% of engaged employees are looking for jobs or watching for opportunities, higher numbers of not-engaged and actively disengaged employees are doing the same (56% and 73%, respectively). Actively disengaged employees are almost twice as likely as engaged employees to seek new jobs.
Why are so many people actively looking for another job? Simple, because they don’t like their job. I know, rocket science.
Recently inc.com wrote an article about the top ten reasons why people hate their jobs. In the interest of time, I have narrowed it down to what I feel are the most common reasons.
Often times those in management can be overbearing. Ilya Pozin’s inc.com article suggests that employees are adults and “shouldn’t have to jump through hoops like checking in with a manager once an hour or running every decision past their superior.” This kind of micromanaging can cause employees to lose confidence in themselves and not reach their full potential.
What to do about it
Instead of giving up on our job, like Peter did in the above clip, there are other ways to handle a micromanaging boss. A fantastic article about this topic was published on The Muse and the author, Katie Wolf, suggests we implement four behaviors in order to deal with a boss that over manages.
- Eliminate Any Possibility That She Needs to Micromanage
- Anticipate What She Wants — and Act
- Provide Updates Proactively
- Use Your Words to Explain How Micromanaging is Negatively Impacting Your Performance
Not surprisingly, three of the four are related to communication. The first two have to do with non-verbal communication. The author suggest that we improve our attitude and give off the impression that we’re capable of doing things without our boss constantly being over our shoulder. This can be achieved by learning from the past, anticipating what your boss would like you to do, and acting on that information before your boss asks you to. This will help improve the confidence that your boss has in you and limit their perceived need to micromanage you. The last two behaviors are related to verbal communication. The author suggests that we use our words to both give our boss periodical updates on the progress that we are making and explain that we’re capable of doing our work without being constantly monitored.
We’ve all been involved in some sort of activity that we enjoy doing and had someone join in that ruined all of the fun. Often is the case with a boss. Even those who truly love what they do can grow to resent their job due to their boss. A boss doesn’t have to be a bad manager to be a bad boss. They can have conflicts with their employees on many levels. This includes, but is not limited to, a lack of mutual respect, the tendency to belittle their “inferiors”, the desire to create a relationship of fear, etc.
Unfortunately, there’s usually not much we can do about those who are our superiors; we usually aren’t the ones who hire our boss. This realization coupled with a dislike of one’s boss may be so overwhelming that it does not allow for an employee to enjoy their job at all.
What to do about it
Though we may not be able to choose our boss, there are a few things that we can do in order to make our struggle with a bad boss more bearable. Another great article from The Muse lists ten effective ways we can deal with a bad boss. Of these ten things, I have selected the three that I feel are the most important.
- Identify Our Boss’ Motivation
- Don’t Let it Affect Our Work
- Identify Triggers that Set Our Boss Off
The first is to try and identify our boss’s motivation for acting the way they do. By identifying their motives, we are better able to improve the things we can do and lessen the chance of upsetting or disappointing them. Second, do not let it affect our work. We should strive to do our best no matter what they do or say, which will help us stand out to other leaders in the company. Lastly, we should identify triggers that will cause our boss to become upset or disappointed, then avoid doing those things, which will ensure their behavior towards us will improve.
Everyone has been through something in their life that has made them feel as if they haven’t received as much credit or recognition as they deserve. Sometimes other people even take it upon themselves to point the lack of recognition in regards to one of their peers.
No matter how this feeling comes about, it does eventually creep its way into our emotions and can often cause us to lose motivation. When we feel we are not recognized for the things we do well we often tend to lose the motivation to continue doing them well. This lack of motivation can lead to a decline in productivity and even take us to a spot where we no longer enjoy what we do for a living.
What to do about it
There are things we can do in order to stay productive, even when our work goes unrecognized. Thebalance.com recently published an article that shares 5 effective strategies.
- Focus on Small Victories
- Motivate Yourself With Goals
- Exercise Before Work
- Recognize the Significance of Your Work
- Speak Up
I can personally recommend the first and third. Sometimes all of the focus of our job is on the long term goals, what we want to accomplish by the end of the year. Most projects are not recognized or seen as being useful until they are completed. This can make us feel as if we are not doing much. However, I have found it extremely helpful to set smaller goals that guide us along the path to completing our larger ones. When we are able to measure our progress in smaller intervals, we are able to feel a sense of accomplishment throughout the journey of the project, which will help us stay motivated while struggling with feelings of underappreciation. The second, exercise before work, has really helped me stay motivated at work and school. Exercising helps us feel good, makes us more alert, and helps us stay mentally awake. These things can all help us to be more productive and stay focused on the tasks we have at hand.
One Last Thing
The above suggestions can help you vastly improve your job situation if it’s really bad. However, one of the best ways to prevent that situation is to ensure you are in a career that you love, which will make a bad job more bearable. At Kareerly, we help students and career seekers explore any career they want by connecting them with working professionals who are excited to share their career. Come give us a try (kareerly.com), before you get into this situation!
About the author — Nicholas is an intern at Kareerly and currently studying Business at Brigham Young University. He enjoys traveling, exercising, and spending time with family and friends.
Check out Kareerly.com and join other experienced professionals who are willing to share their career expertise with career seekers looking to find their best career fit!
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