One of the biggest irritations I find is when I go in to a place of business and hear workers complaining about it – the company, their boss, systems, etc. It happened just today: I went in to buy lunch at a fast food restaurant, which had two workers – one cooking, one waiting on customers. There was one customer waiting for her order; while I was getting checked out, the phone rang. The worker told the cook, who was going to answer, to let it ring, stating “That’s what they get for leaving me with one worker.”
Now, first off, I did not need to hear of her unhappiness with the schedule; I was thinking, however, that it wasn’t like they were busy or slammed with customers. I also thought how sad that she could not handle her job or appreciate her work – after all, she did apply for it. Another thought was that she did not thank me for coming in or buying their product – she was too busy complaining and being in her own ‘stuff.’
Jobs are not going to meet everyone’s needs and not all the time. However, others don’t need to hear the complaints or know that information. All it does is breed negative energy, which can spread like a virus. Others will either avoid you due to the negativity or join you, creating a very unhappy workplace that only they want to be in. It also puts customers off, who could make a complaint against you, or a coworker could as well. The result? Not good.
So, to those workers who are dissatisfied with their job, please keep those comments to yourself. Take some action on changing your outlook and perspective (only you control them) by focusing on an aspect you do like, whether that is ‘making the donuts’ or helping customers. Think of how your actions affect others. Bring your concerns to the one person who can do anything about them – your boss. If those don’t work – look for another job!
I just got off the phone, after at least 6 attempts, trying to reach a business who called me several times to discuss my account and marketing through them. What the person didn’t tell me is that the company is emailed-based. What the heck! If she had left this tidbit of information, I wouldn’t be so frustrated and irritated with them – doesn’t exactly make me want to continue with them.
This led me to wonder how often we don’t think about the end-user of our work, or the person who is benefiting from the product or service we provide. As I do my work with clients who are very frustrated with their job, I always try to bring their focus back on who is really benefiting – are you doing the work for yourself or for someone else? This brings pause and takes the focus off of what they are not liking about the job to a more positive stance of ‘what can I do to make my work the best that I can to deliver the best to whomever is going to use it?’
Answering this question brings self-empowerment and taps into one’s intrinsic motivational needs of recognizing that ‘doing the right thing’ is the way to go.’ They take their focus off of the ‘lazy’ coworker who slows them down, to taking ownership and getting the work done. When we get in our ‘own space,’ it doesn’t allow us to see the bigger picture of why we are working; for some, that is just paycheck or it’s for healthcare benefits. But we all have an inherent need to want to do the best we can and produce good work; focusing on the person who will receive your work helps with overall job satisfaction and higher performance and fulfill those needs.
So you’re going through your career, making strides daily, but then slowly you feel stuck and unsure of the next steps. You wake up daily with thoughts of doing something different, perhaps having a great idea, but hold back on the exact steps to take to get them. Other days you just feel…lost. Do any of these sound familiar? If so, then you are caught in career paralysis; if not dealt with quickly, the paralysis can remain forever.
Before getting into how to deal with it, let me discuss why it occurs or what leads to it. The bottom line is that you are dealing with a fear of some type. Fear can rear its ugly head at any time, as 95% of our thoughts are buried deep down; we push unpleasant thoughts and experiences away but they have this nasty way of coming back – and when you least expect them. Fears can include:
- fear of not being good enough ( the main underlying fear for us all)
- fear of failing
- fear of success
- fear of not having enough money
- fear of not having enough opportunities
- fear of the boss not liking me (or fear of the boss in general)
I could go on and on as fear are limitless since they are individualized to each of us. But fear is not always bad – actually, fear can help us to dig down inside and find the inner strength we all have so we can push past fear and get done what we need to do. When we look at fears that are leading to being ‘stuck’ in your work and are depleting the joy and life out of you, if something is not done it can lead to catastrophic results, such as health or emotional issues or poor performance. Over time, you won’t be able to work, one way or another, as you’ll experience disengagement and join the 69% of people who are (Gallop, 2015), or you won’t be long in the job as your employer no longer needs a poor performer.
Here are three questions to ask yourself to turn move past any paralyzing feelings and find fulfilling work, which can be in your current work (you may need to think of moving on if these don’t work):
- What is holding me back? Name the fear exactly so you can now challenge the thought. That is the first step in becoming clear on the underlying reason you are staying stuck
- Is this absolutely true? Following the principles of The Work, by Byron Katie, challenging our thoughts can show us that nothing we think is an absolute, even though we believe it to be so. Knowing we can’t predict a belief of the end-result can lead us into looking at ways to find solutions to our perceived problems. It can also stop the focus on what is wrong and redirect to what it
- How can I become reengaged in the work I do? Starting small and finding one or two way to find enjoyment in your work tasks can go a long way in pushing you to start using your strengths and skills for your job tasks, as well as ownership and empowerment, all of which leads to feelings of satisfaction and personal happiness. You will then take responsibility of your work – the more you do the more motivated you become and the better your performance
Career paralysis is created in the mind; we begin to feel comfortable feeling stuck as we adapt and adopt coping patterns which become our behaviors. When you begin to make the uncomfortable actions new habits, your overall happiness levels will increase and you will begin to like your job all over again. Here is a last question for you: Do you want to stay where you are (meaning you’ve done nothing to change your circumstances) or do you want to have a job you love and that brings you fulfillment? The choice is yours (and ‘ain’t’ that great)!
If you feel stuck and are in career paralysis, why not get some help to push past the barriers and find joy in your work again. Contact us today at http://www.cyscoaching.com to get started.