June 19th, 2020 by Gina May 8th, 2020 by Gina
“It’s better to receive a smaller raise now so you can get a bigger raise later!” Have you heard, “Working 60+ hours a week without overtime is an opportunity for you to shine.” I could go on as you nod your head yes, but you get it. This common rhetoric is no laughing matter. How are you supposed to be a motivated, impactful employee when your employer breaks a promise to you?
A Grain of Salt
Imagine a time when your friend, spouse or loved one make a promise they didn’t keep. Were you devastated or disappointed? In hindsight, you might be able to see the signs clearly and you can’t believe you were so naïve. On the other hand, some people keep their promises. And you know you can count on them.
What about when your employer breaks a promise to you? First, for anyone to break a promise, a promise must be established up front. This is tricky and the nuances can be inconspicuous. Secondly, if your employer clearly makes a promise to you, it is your choice to believe or disbelieve. Sadly, employees tend towards believing the promise and simply hoping for the best. Lesson learned is that sometimes promises should be skeptically received with a grain of salt. Or several grains of salt.
Who Needs Promises
Where does that leave you, what are your options when your employer breaks a promise to you (see Post #21)? Rewind back to the point when your manager made this so-called promise. It was your self-obligation to decide if this promise was believable. Do you know how to find out if a promise is believable? You request the conditions in writing, to be signed by management. When the signed agreement is in your possession, congratulations, you have yourself a promise! If they don’t agree to their promise in writing … well, you can form your own conclusion.
Your management, by the way, is within their rights to tell you what they think you want to hear. They can promise the moon. The point is that people tell you things all the time. Your self-obligation is to use the best judgment and decide whether to believe. It’s a crappy road when your employer breaks a promise to you. The wrong question is, ”How could they do that to me?” The critical questions are, “Why did I want to believe their promise in the first place? How is it I put myself in that position?”
January 3rd, 2020 by Gina
They have screwed up again. As you finished telling your colleague about a terrible management decision, leadership makes another bad call. You’re astonished at how some of them obtained their positions in the first place. More importantly, you wonder how long the company can sustain such ignorance. You keep asking, “How am I supposed to work with incompetent leadership?”
Truth or Narrative
Imagine asking every living adult if your leadership made a horrible decision. They will reply with yes, no, maybe and everything in between. Unless everyone were to agree that your management is incompetent, it’s only a belief you hold. Here’s another way to think about it: can you prove it in court? It is probable you are creating a narrative from which you feed if a court would not accuse your leadership of incompetency.
We have our own definitions of good versus bad leadership. Good to me is bad to you and vice-versa. When you are explicit about sharing your opinions, you are reinforcing a thought that feeds your mind. It is a subjective belief stirring about: “I have to work with incompetent leadership.” I challenge you to recognize your thinking and take ownership of your beliefs.
Perhaps your leadership is incompetent; that is truly not the issue at heart. The stinging question you can ponder for yourself is, “How is this belief helping me?” What is the upside to believing you must deal with incompetent leadership, how is that thought moving you forward?
Life is easier when leadership makes decisions in your favor. When management decisions translate to a burdensome life, it seems logical to point the finger. However, consider opening up to alternate perspectives. For example, management decides on XYZ and it poses some unusual challenges. This is a perfect scenario to teach you about yourself, if you are willing (See Post #18). Can you be open to believing this is a teaching moment? What if this needed to happen as a catalyst for your self-development…is that possible?
Allow some self-compassion and mental space to be curious about your beliefs. You are like a player consistently trying out for your own life. Your attitude towards leadership is a function of how you feel about yourself.
November 15th, 2019 by Gina
Why do you do what you do, i.e., are you fulfilling your why? I dare you to write down your answers. Do your answers feel good? Perhaps they bring about genuine sadness … or a sense of longing for something more. Maybe your answers are superficial enough that you don’t recognize the person who wrote them.
The Negative Build Up
If fulfilling your why is compatible to, “This is my passion … it is fulfilling … there’s nothing else I’d rather be doing…”, congratulations, you’ve made it! However, if your answers are less than thrilling or flat-out depressing, then let’s take action (see Post # 05). Because if you don’t process the negative emotions of feeling stuck, bitter, confused, etc., then you may continue to ignore. When you continue to ignore, the negativity builds and eventually combusts in one form or another.
Reclaim your WHY
Perhaps you can acknowledge you are suppressing your feelings and sweeping them under the rug. Now what? You don’t have to change your job (or your circumstances) in order to be happy. This may be a new concept to you so allow some time to digest. But the source of your unhappiness or negative feelings is not due to your job, your boss or any external entity.
Rather, your ways of thinking, i.e. your beliefs, are causing you to feel negative emotions. It’s tempting to blame your career or an external entity, but the root cause of your problems is due to your own beliefs. Blaming external causes for your feelings depletes your wellbeing because it makes you feel powerless.
A significant life coaching lesson to my clients is that the sources of our pain are not other people, our jobs or external circumstances. The source of our emotional pain is due to the way we choose to label the world around us. How do you choose labels and how do they influence fulfilling your why?
September 20th, 2019 by Gina
You find yourself less than satisfied at work. But your boss wouldn’t trade you for the world. Despite your stellar performance, you’re not loving the work. There’s a lingering thought that won’t go away: “This work matters to my boss, but it doesn’t matter to me.”
I challenge you to think about the purpose of your job – of any job. Is it to fulfill your intellectual desires, to promote your professional development, to produce results in exchange for benefits? Let’s suppose the purpose of your job is to complete X, Y and Z. In return, you receive a paycheck. Is that not the deal you made with your employer when you accepted the offer?
If you find yourself less than satisfied at work despite your boss’ praises, the solution does not start with finding a new job; it starts from within. I guarantee if you were to brainstorm ways to become more creative, more resourceful, more engaging, and most importantly – more giving, you would start a personal and professional transformation.
If you are less than satisfied at work, first, try to think from an alternate perspective. Imagine providing a service due to your desire to serve. “How can I serve my customers/colleagues today, how can I go above and beyond, how can I meet someone new today, how can I engage with the person who avoids me, where are gaps I can fill, how can I help the new person, what can I learn today that will allow me to contribute more…?”
Secondly, investigate your WHY…why do you choose to currently exist in your job (see Post #12)? If you perform a mental deep dive, you will find your WHY is proportional to your satisfaction. To gain more fulfillment and/or happiness, you must first understand your WHY. Then, you can work towards changing it.
In conclusion, if you are less than satisfied at work, help yourself by redirecting your focus. Mentally perform in a way that comes from an attitude of serving, and investigate a powerful WHY that resonates with you. It is a start towards permanent job satisfaction.
September 6th, 2019 by Gina
I’d like to challenge you to a brutally honest conversation with yourself. Sometimes, admitting things have not gone as planned is the first step to making changes for the better. So, ask yourself: “How long have I been going through the motions at work, and why?”
What it Looks Like
Let’s first understand what it means to be going through the motions at work. For one, you most likely wake up dreading the day ahead. Upon arrival, you choose to put forth a satisfactory effort over a spectacular effort. Boredom, daydreaming and job searching have become part of your daily ritual.
When you are going through the motions at work, your effort is deliberately proportional to your salary – why do more? If you perform your work in accordance with feeling unmotivated, resentful or worse, you are probably going through the motions. See Post #18.
The good news? Your professional life does not have to suffer this fate. There are myriad options when you find yourself going through the motions at work. Obvious choices include new employment, new certifications, college degrees or quitting and residing at your in-laws’ basement. Are you ready and willing to take those leaps? If so, make a commitment and go all in!
If no, I would like to offer an alternative. What if you could remain exactly where you are and be motivated to do your job? How would your world improve if you did not have to go through the motions? This powerful alternative is available to you because I understand what it takes to get you to that place. My specialty is to save you from your professional despondency.
What kind of price have you been paying by doing nothing?
You earned one of the most difficult bachelor’s degrees. But you wanted more challenge, because more challenge equals more reward. Therefore, you earned a master’s degree. Now, after years of professional experience, you’re telling yourself, “this job is not what I signed up for.”
Been There, Done That
You did exactly what you thought you should do. Your vision was crystal clear back in the day. Its been years since you started your profession, but you’re not satisfied. You feel deceived, resentful, perhaps regretful. See Post #13.
But, something plagues you and it’s frustrating because you can’t precisely verbalize the problem. Then, the lingering voice haunts you: “this job is not what I signed up for.”
What you do know is that you’ve sacrificed a lot. You’ve been there done that enough to know the payoff is not what you thought. You achingly wonder, “Did I get the wrong degree? Did I go to the wrong engineering school? Can I really do this the rest of my life?”
The Life of Luxury
Family and friends don’t understand the dissatisfaction with your day-today. They unintentionally make you feel guilty with innocent statements like, “You have such a good job! You make such good money!” As if you’re living in luxury.
But, they don’t need to understand you, because I do. I know where you’re coming from, and I’m here to tell you it is not your fault.
So, you do not have to blame yourself for past decisions, just as you do not have to feel guilty for your career despondency. Many engineers and technical professionals suffer the same dilemma: “this job is not what I signed up for.” My purpose is to help you end your professional suffering and learn how to thrive exactly where you are.