We are continuing the second half of 4 Job Harms. (Click here if you’d like to read part 1)
As mentioned yesterday, when you have negative influences at work, creativity will reduce, relationships will suffer, and self-esteem drops. Your attention will be divided between thinking about what’s going on at work and trying to pay attention to the moment. In particular a negative job situation can impact your ability to produce good income.
Let’s explore the final 2 ways your job may be harming your life and what to do about it.
If you are often stuck stewing about a co-worker when you are at home, that person is occupying too much of your life. I’m not talking about the little disagreement here or there. I’m talking about a continual abrasive interaction with that person.
The problem might be you. It might be them. It might be the two of you together. It really doesn’t matter who is to blame. Continual abrasive interactions aren’t good for either of you. And you have the same options regardless of who’s at fault.
- If you have a supportive employer, you can try to work through the issues.
- You can spend as little time as possible with that person.
Position or Role Doesn’t Fit
The job may just be a bad fit. You don’t get to use your strengths there and your work drains you.
I had a job like this. I was in the same position at this company as I was in other companies. I had loved my work in other companies, so I thought I’d like this one too. Boy was I wrong.
I learned some important things about myself through this process. I thought my strength was in developing software. When I took this job, I thought I should be happy. I was doing what I do best, but I kept getting more and more depressed about it. I discovered that my strength isn’t developing software. Instead one of my strengths is in taking something good and making it great. Software is just a means to that end.
In my previous jobs I was taking good software and making it great. In this job, my task was to adjust to new hardware electronics and make sure that the software was no worse off than before.
The employer wasn’t abusive, but the job was still sucking the life out of me. And I believe this was a contributor of the heart attack I had in 2005.
If your job is sucking the life out of you, it’s probably because you’re not using your strengths a little bit each day in your job. You need to either see about changing your job responsibilities or find something that fits you better. You may need to change careers, or perhaps you just need to change your role in your current career.
As you can see, job harm can flow through and affect all areas of your life. How hard is it to focus on getting out of debt, or build an emergency fund when you’re continually worried about your work situation? What if you’re having some challenges in your marriage and you’ve got this job monkey on your back?
How successful will you be at your work when you’re being harmed little by little every week or every month? As your self-esteem drops through the floor, what effect do you think this will have on your income levels?
Your job may be harming you in ways that you can’t see yourself. Sometimes when a job keeps nicking at your self-esteem, you don’t notice it. The effects are gradual and often go unnoticed. Or maybe you notice it, but it really is much worse than you perceive.
It might be a good idea to check in with friends and family and ask them what they notice in you. You might be surprised at what they say.
If your job is harming you in some way, you always have the option of changing jobs. I don’t care about the unemployment statistics. If you are really good at something, you can get a job doing it. Employers are always looking for good employees in any economy.
If your self-esteem is in the dumps because of your current job situation, you need to do something to start building success back into your life. Start with small successes wherever you can create them. Celebrate those successes and build from there. Get your mojo back.
Your other option is to change the problem area at work. This option is more difficult as it involves the cooperation of other people. This option will also take time – maybe too much time. When considering this option, set a deadline. “The problem area must have an improvement by m/d/y date.” If that doesn’t happen, ditch this option and look for new work. You can’t wait forever for your employer to get a clue.
Have you ever been glad you were laid off from work?