Are you unhappy in your job or career? Maybe you find yourself watching the clock, having tension headaches or an upset stomach, avoiding certain people or tasks, and suffering from degraded self esteem.
And then perhaps you go home to your family and relieve all that tension and frustration by talking it out or doing something physical like going to the gym. Unfortunately, that only provides a temporary respite, because the next day the problems are still there, sometimes looming even larger than ever.
You may feel it’s impossible to deal with work-related stresses because there is so much in your work space that you cannot control. A life coach can help you put all that into perspective and give you a balanced view of your job in the context of your whole potential and your whole life.
We often blame other people—our supervisors or co-workers—for our unhappiness. They frustrate, disappoint, insult, manipulate, and complain. I had a friend in college who was very unhappy in her job, but as I watched her transition through two more jobs I noticed that she always had an elevated level of “trauma drama” with her associates. An outgoing and talkative beauty, she was investing way too much energy in her work relationships and reacting to everything as if it were personal affront.
Her method of dealing with the issue—gossiping, complaining, whining—was undermining her position even more.
Especially in a tough economy, how you deal with workplace issues may be critical to your advancement, success, and ultimately your day-to-day happiness.
Some of the reasons you may not be happy in your job:
- Not allowed to excel
- Not allowed to use your best skills and talents
- Bullying supervisors
- Back-stabbing associates
- Overly needy employees
- Company confusion, lack of direction, misplaced blame
- Gossip and cliques
- Unfulfilled promises, lack of advancement
I probably don’t need to go into detail, do I? We’ve all experienced it! But what many people don’t think about are the extended results of workplace misery. Job stress can create a long list of physical symptoms that affect our quality of life. Then we take all that stress, anger and resulting physical misery home to share with our spouses, friends, and family—who are probably getting pretty sick of hearing about it. Or we just swallow it and suffer in silence. But suppressed rage and frustration can lead to misplaced anger in the home, resulting in arguments—or compulsive and destructive behavior like drinking or an affair.
Personal career coaching can help you map a strategy for dealing with these simmering frustrations. We will look at all the factors affecting your emotional balance in the workplace, and extend your current map out into your personal life and your body. At first it may look like the opening sequence of a video game, with a landscape of ruined fortresses, burning forests and hiding villagers. But trust me, you will vanquish the demons and collect the gem! I can help you develop a career strategy that includes:
- Defining your goals and breaking them down into manageable steps
- Rebuilding your resources
- Managing, refreshing and balancing your energy
- Recognizing and containing “threats”
- Negotiating techniques
- Building your skill portfolio
Depending on your personality and situation, you might also want to seek a combination of goal-oriented steps that allow progress inside your career, while also working toward an independent solution. For instance, many people—especially in a distressed economy—are considering starting a home-based business or consultancy. Whether this is a part-time money maker, an adjunct to a full time career, or a move toward total independence, sometimes simply establishing a little autonomy goes a long way toward restoring confidence, self esteem and balance in your professional life.
It’s important to have a workplace strategy that is customized for you—a strategy that will help you thread your way through all of the frustrations and blocks on your path. And this is where a personal career coach can help. As a coach, I have no invested motive in directing your workplace behavior so that it benefits the company. My sole concern is you—your happiness, your family, your health, your success.
Curt Canada MSW, Board Certified Coach at Adapting2change in Washington DC provides feedback, assessment, and coaching with clients facing career and relationship challenges.