Anyone who says they are 100 percent satisfied with their job in many cases is either being dishonest or their boss is standing nearby. Anyone who says they are zero percent satisfied, on the other hand, can most probably be believed and really should be looking for another employer.
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The majority of folks are somewhere in the middle and are just looking for a way to make the best of their current situation (while also keeping their feelers out). Maybe they like their boss and fellow employees, but don’t really like the job itself. Maybe they love their job, but can’t stand the sight of their manager, or their company's CEO behaves in ways that severely oppose their values.
Are there ways to make the leap to a new company, with more clarity on landing a culture-rich, more satisfying environment? If you choose to stay at your current job, can a compromise be reached that won’t have you so conflicted that you don’t know which way is up?
The simple answer is ‘yes,’ and here are a few tips on doing just that if you find yourself in this situation.
If job searching:
1. Research Potential Employers. If you are in job search mode, research, research and research some more. Ask friends, and friends of friends about the company in which you are targeting your next position. Are they people friendly? Is the culture laid back? Does a positive culture emanate from the top (CEO) through to the front lines? Do other employees help one another achieve goals, or do silos, self-centeredness and narcissism wreak havoc on happiness, productivity and results? Is the leadership grounded in good principles? You can jump start this research by reviewing companies on Glassdoor's Top Companies for Cultures and Values.
2. Ask Good Interview Questions. Additionally, be sure you are asking questions at the interview that will keep you from feeling compromised later on should you accept the job. If you don’t like what you are hearing, decline the position. That is being fair to yourself and your potential employer and will go a long way to ensuring job search zen. The odds that you will be able to fix things after the fact are slim to none and will have you looking for a new opportunity before you’ve cashed your first check.
If remaining at your current position:
3. Smile and Carry On. If the boss is an overbearing ogre, avoid them when possible. On the occasion you must be in their presence, leaning on your own understanding of who this person is will help you to suffer their company. Remember, in many cases it truly is them, not you. Smile and carry on as only someone with your strength of character can.
4. Own Your Power. Difficult coworkers are a fact of life. There will be those who have no social graces or tact of any kind that will crawl up through the cracks of a corporate structure. Do not empower them with the ability to ruin your day. At the first bristle of the hairs at the back of your neck, make a stand. Don’t be confrontational. Don’t repay crass with crass. Rather, as quietly and as matter-of-factly as possible, state your position. You will be heard.
5. Keep Blinders On. Not every project you are assigned to will be fun. Tackle those onerous tasks with blinders on. Don’t overthink all of the reasons you dislike them. This will only add to their misery. Become that 8 year old that cleaned their plate because doing so meant a nice treat at the end of the meal. Your ‘treat' of course, will simply be the knowledge that you completed it and are now prepared to move on to bigger and better things.
6. Take a Deep Breath. The day has been long already and there is no end in sight. Everyone has been there and survived. You will too. Take a deep breath and try to relax. Be in the moment, even if it is not your favorite moment. Long days at work are rarely fun, but they can be fruitful with the right attitude. Stepping back and looking at the bigger picture will help to put things in perspective and help you to keep your cool when your patience has been stretched to the breaking point.
Remember that you and you alone are in charge of how things affect you. Nothing and no one can steal that power from you. But, you can give these people and circumstances the power if you choose to. That’s your choice and your battle to win or lose.
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