Stuck at a job you hate ?

Should you stay at your job that makes you miserable ?

So many times in life I just wanted to jump from my job, but if you do not have a safety net in place, that can be a dangerous thing.

I have heard stories of people getting ill from work, not because they were exposed to something (in my line of work that is a possibility), but from stress. Unless you work at a mine, or an industrial facility, then your worse exposure is probably from the guy who sits in the cube next to you who came to work sick.

Headaches, nausea, anxiety, I have experienced all these symptoms from too much stress at work. The first job I had out of college was in a high pressure, deadline drive, profit machine of a job. My job directly involved making or losing millions of dollars for the company. The job was very stressful, but it paid very well, and the stress got to everyone at one time or another. I had constant headaches, panic attacks, stomach aches, things I never normally experienced. I saw the life force literally getting sucked out of people, just so they had a few extra bucks on their checks.

A lot of people hate their jobs, they do not believe there is a dream job. I am feeling myself slipping into that category, I grew up with the belief that everyone hates their job, but they go anyway. I have a limiting belief that I am stuck with my current job, and there is no such thing as a dream job.

But what can you learn from job that makes you miserable? What you learn certainly cannot be taught in your dream job. I hated my corporate job, but it was a learning experience that I could have not learned anywhere else. A few key lessons for me;

Money does not solve your problems. I earned a very generous raise, and I thought it would make me feel better, but it did not. I could not even enjoy spending my money, more money did not bring me happiness. The stress , headaches, nausea was still there.
I enjoy working hard, but on my terms, not anyone else’s
There are some, actually most people that are motivated by money, and they will become monsters to get that money at any cost
If a company pays you a lot of money, they OWN you
So many people will stab you in the back if it makes them looks good
You always need a plan for your next move, have plan A, B C all in your back pocket and ready to go.

Any job that steals your life force, you need to quit. Fortunately when I was working for corporate, I knew from the get go that I was only going to stay a few years, make some money and jump ship. I had an escape plan from day one.

If you don’t have a plan, make one ! Plan your escape and your next move. Once your job has gotten to the point where you are getting sick and miserable, you need to get the fuck out ! Change your life situation, and take a hard look at why you are still there. If you are in a job that you hate why are you still there ?

Are you trying to impress someone ? Family or co workers?
Will you let someone down if you quit ?
Is it your only option in town ? Would you have to move to find a better job?
Would you have to take a pay cut to leave ?
Are you the breadwinner in the house and you have others depending on you?

There are countless reasons , but what can you do to get out ? Think about what lessons you have learned from this job, what skills you have picked up ? Are there anymore to learn before you leave ?

Public Speaking for Introverts

So, you have to make a pubic speech. Whether it is for school, or work or something different, many introverts have found themselves in this same situation. So what do you do ? Freak out that you have to get up in front of a bunch of people who you may or may not know, and talk for a while, no matter how long you have to be up there , it can seem like torture.

But, there are things you can do to make it easier. Yes, I know what you are thinking, you can’t hop on the bus out of town and skip the whole thing.

Its not all that bad, in fact introverts can be some of the best public speakers.

The key is to prepare, prepare and prepare !

I used to have weekly meetings where all the upper management would be there and I had to present my agenda. At first it was daunting, being right out of college, and having to present an something to a bunch of seasoned professionals.

I saw one of my co workers go into the meeting un prepared, he was late, didn’t remember what the plan was, he didn’t have his paperwork in order. I watched the management tear him to shreds, it was not a good day for him. I was not going to let that happen to me. Long before each meeting I would go over my plan, have all the paperwork printed out ahead of time( you know in case the printer decided to go all Office Space right before the meeting). I would go over and over all my materials, and try and think of every angle that could be asked. There were certain people who would not question me, but there were others that would want to know every little detail. I prepared every detail, every angle, tried to think of every question that could possibly be asked. I had an answer or plan for every single one, I didn’t want to be caught off guard.

Practice , and preparation are the key to a good pubic speech or meeting. Find someone who you can can be your audience, who can play the devils advocate. Make notes, but you should strive not to rely on them, keep them as a reference in case of a brain fart, or someone asks a question to throw you off topic.

Try to involve the audience at some point. Ask someone in the front row their name, and involve them a little bit, I find this helps you relate to audience, even if you are speaking to a complete group of strangers.

I still don’t enjoy pubic speaking, and I probably never will, but I can do it if I need to, and so can you. Its not as bad as you think, and the more you do it, the easier it will get. Once its over, you can breathe a sigh of relief.

The many faces of people at work

The work world is full of many types of people, some are more suited to deal with a noisy and competitive environment, and some are not. There are co workers you like, and others you want to see rolled up in a carpet and tossed off a bridge. Some are good mentors, and others will look out only for themselves and yet others are good company men. Here are a few types of people I have worked with and how to deal with them.

The Mentor;

Genuinely wants to help you learn and progress your career. I have found this type to be pretty rare, most people at this level of management are only out for themselves (see company man ). They will help you get the resources you need to do your job, and will drop what they are working on to help you for a few minutes. They are high achievers and really like to share their achievements with you, and help you do the same thing. The mentor has a stake in the company and really believes in people. They will not tolerate laziness and give the slackers fair warning and will get rid of the people that don’t pull their own weight. The mentor is good for the company, and good for the people. He will challenge you and keep you on your toes. He brings up the level of everyone. If you find one, learn as much as you can from them.

The Company Man:

This guy is only out for himself and the company, and will bulldoze what ever is in his way to get things done. Will take out people who slow him down, does not help others achieve, and will surround himself with yes men, and will knock down the level of anyone around him. The company man appears very confident, but on the inside he is full of fear, fear that someone will come along and knock him off his pedestal, and he will do everything he can to keep himself alone in the high tower. Don’t trust them, and don’t get personal.

The person who knows they wont get fired:

If you have ever worked a union gig, or a place with shareholders you know who I am talking about. They whine and complain, and do just the bare minimum to get by. They know its difficult to get fired and will exploit the shit out of it. They don’t pull their weight, and try to make everyone else miserable. Others have to pick up the slack for them.

Goldenboy/girl:

Similar to The person who knows they wont get fired, but they have some sort of inn with the boss or higher ups. Maybe their Mom is in management at another location or their uncle is upper management. They name drop a lot and are always on the defense. They are usually useless and they only reason they got the job is because they are related somehow, they most likely could not land a job or cut it anywhere their “mommy” hasn’t pulled strings for them. Let them burn themselves down.

The Narcissist:

One of the worst people you can run into. They are smart, conning and very manipulative. Its all about them, they will bring everyone down to their level, and tear down concrete walls to make sure that everyone knows that the world revolves around them. They are never wrong, and will never admit fault. Watch out for the narcs, and avoid them at all costs. If they are really smart, and most of the ones I have ran into are, they can be hard to spot at first, but eventually their true colors will come out. Eventually will burn themselves to the ground and look for a new job. If you are a threat to them, they will try to take you out.

The introvert:

The one who gets things done behind the scenes. They will do an amazing job, but you will never know how they did it. Always at their desk working on something, usually with headphones on or the door closed. Leave them alone and let them work, they will come to you if they need something. Quiet and outspoken , but never underestimate an introvert !

The needy co worker:

The person who is always roaming around looking for some poor soul to listen to their problems. Their work ethic can be good or bad, as they are usually combined with one of the other types. When they walk by, pretend you have to go to the bathroom for an hour.

The fall guy:

The person you blame when the shit hits the fan. Also known as FNG.

The short timer:

Just there for a little bit to earn a few bucks then skips town. Bad attitude, and just there for a check.

The gray wolf:

Does what ever he/she wants to and gets the job done, usually very good at their job. They are good to have around, but don’t expect them to be much of a team player, as they do jobs best when working, alone similar to the Introvert. Wont take part in gossip or politics, wont follow the rules, they just want to do their job and go home.

Golden Handcuffs:

Been at the same job for years on end, makes a ton of money, but hates the job. Hence the golden handcuffs, usually just winding down the clock till retirement. They want to leave, but wont take a pay cut, making themselves miserable. They might whine and complain, but they will diligently do their work.

The guy who refuses to change:

Stuck in their ways since 1986. Refuses to change and adapt, holds onto old technologies and ways of doing things. Hates change period. When they are forced to change, they will sink or swim. If they refuse to change, they are shown the door.

The straight shooter:

Does their job, doesn’t whine, complain, bs, blame anyone, follows the rules to a T. Does what the boss says, no more, no less. Does their job and goes home.

The endless dreamer:

The one who is always coming up with crazy and impractical ideas, often flighty. Sometimes comes up with a good idea, and when its good, its good. Often the fall guy, they have a hard time following rules , and often get into trouble when doing one of their crazy ideas, loves attention. They can do a really good job if they put their mind to it, but their head is often in the clouds. They usually are cheap entertainment, as long as they are not putting anyone in danger.

The Diva:

This applies to guys and gals ! The perpetual complainer, whiner and moaner. But most of them do their job well, they just have to complain about every little thing over and over and over. Nothing is perfect in their world.