Career Choice Mistake #3 – To Suffer At Work…

We all know someone who has worked for years and years in a job they constantly complain about.  Hopefully, it’s not you, but this behavior is typical of someone who is committing Career Choice Mistake #3 - To Suffer At Work…

If you were searching for a love relationship this mistake might look like becoming a victim of “singlehood” – growing old and bitter over never finding the perfect mate possibly surrounded by a few cats.

So unless you work in a place that allows you to bring your cats to work everyday, you might want to overcome this mistake.  You know your “suffering at work” if you:

  • Easily notice and openly share complaints about your job or the people you work with/for (i.e. everyone’s a jerk/a back-stabber/uncaring about people or the work/a bully/selfish/cheap/mean/crazy/demanding etc.) – and you struggle to notice things that are good about your job
  • You believe everyone and everything around you is the reason for your lack of advancement or ability to be happy
  • You are annoyed if you have to do anything for work outside of your normal working hours – anything about the job that intrudes into your personal time or life creates a problem for you (i.e. overtime, training, social or networking events)
  • You make sure you take every vacation and/or sick day coming to you (no way will you lose any opportunity to be away from your job)
  • You say things like “that’s not in my job description” or ”why should I worry about X, no one else does”

And one thing that people who suffer at work definitely do….

nothing to try to change, accept or move on from a situation that seems to make them miserable.

Why suffer at work?  The individual reasons are certainly unique and the person may not even know themselves why they suffer at work – possibly it’s fear of the unknown – i.e. “what if the new job has even more negatives than the job I already have?”  A new job certainly requires us to be on our toes and best behavior – at least for a year or two before we can guiltlessly slink back into a comfortable state of bare minimal performance and externalizing blame for our lack of advancement and favor with the boss or peers – so that doesn’t feel like a better situation especially if we are already feeling drained of energy which is so common for people who are unhappy with their work.

But here’s the real deal – studies show that some of the top reasons people stay in their jobs include that it fits well with others areas of their life (i.e. it pays the bills, it’s flexible/close to home, or they are too close to retirement to make a change, etc.).  This reason can apply to those who like their job and to those who do suffer at work.  But what’s shocking is that this reason ranks just as high as what you can imagine would be the #1 reason people don’t leave their jobs – because they actually enjoy their work!  Studies also show that another top reason people stay is because they believe there aren’t any other suitable opportunities for them.

To suffer at work is so selfish – it doesn’t factor any consideration for others – maybe that’s why it’s such a miserable state!  It’s  a state that screams “who cares how my misery affects others around me, as long as my bills are paid and my other areas of life are taken care of” or “poor me – there’s no other opportunities out there for me!”  When it comes to seeking fulfillment, too much focus on the self typically assures misery to follow in some sense.

So aside from loving our work, if a top reason we will stay and suffer in a job we don’t like is because it suits other areas of our life – then doesn’t that logically state that we value “other areas of our life” more than loving our work?  If that is true – then why do we complain about our jobs so much – especially when many of us don’t seem to value our work life as much as we do other areas of our life?  I think the answer is simple – it’s because although we may value other areas of our life more, the reality is that if we work full-time, we spend the bulk of our awake time at work (not on “other areas of our life” despite valuing them so much) – so why choose to suffer at work for the majority of your awake hours?  Why not find more gratitude for what a job (even a job you may hate) enables in your life?

So, if you are not enjoying the life experiences and personal development your current job provides you – then seek to participate in opportunities that will take you out of your comfort zone – to grow and be exposed to new experiences – to give more of yourself.

Don’t ever be a person who chooses to suffer through unfulfilling experiences or be unsatisfied with their degree of development.  It’s better to be someone who is chasing fulfillment (through new experiences and personal development) than one who is content to suffer at work (which often happens by not participating in new experiences or developing at all).  And what is better than chasing fulfillment?  Having it!!

So how do you have it?  Well, there is a fourth option - an alternative to sinning, settling or suffering in your career - stay tuned to another “s” option – a true remedy for sinning, settling and suffering.

About Gina Calvano

Gina Calvano is a certified coach and Senior Professional in Human Resources, with over 20 years of experience as a talent management professional in both the private and non-profit sectors. With a unique approach, she combines her strategic corporate expertise and accreditations with metaphysics and transformational thinking which has resulted in people all over the world feeling good about themselves and connected to a sense of purpose.

She created the Success Readiness Bootcamp™, a step by step process that enables people to easily discover their unique talents and abilities and match them to majors, jobs, industries and leisure pursuits. Gina is also the co-author of Breakthrough! Inspirational Strategies for an Audaciously Authentic Life with NY Times Best Selling Authors Marci Shimoff, Janet Bray Attwood and Chris Attwood and Powerful Connections Made Easy™ with Aprille Trupiano, and is currently working on her next book — Caged in My Cube: The Turnaround Guide For Loving The Job You Hate.

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