Feel like everyone else’s agenda runs your day and you can’t get anything done at work? You can break this cycle – here’s how…

Do you feel incompetent, insufficient, discouraged or powerless to get done what you need to or want to accomplish?  Welcome to inefficacy.


How much would you agree with these statements:


  • I accomplish the things that really matter every day at work.
  • I have the resources I need to get my job done.
  • I feel supported and encouraged at work by my colleagues.
  • I value my contributions at work.
  • Others value my contributions at work.
  • I feel qualified to do my job.
  • I feel I can handle anything that may come up in my job.
  • It’s ok to contribute to others in my unique way.
  • My job matters.
  • I play an active role in addressing issues that come up related to my work or workplace.


If your degree of agreement with many of the statements above is low, you may be at risk for experiencing a feeling of powerlessness at your job which can lead to disengagement and eventually burnout.


Feeling powerless at work is especially concerning because it can directly affect the quality of your work.  We all know when the quality of your work falls, we stand out – and not in a good way.  In my experience, management tends to tolerate a degree of cynicism from workers who are still producing strong results – and everyone can easily empathize with exhaustion because we all experience it from time to time.  But when you don’t produce – your boss isn’t producing – so it’s a problem that quickly gets noticed.


Although there is a lot an organization can do to improve an employee’s ability to recover more quickly from inefficacy – but often it’s left to the individual to “shape up or ship out.”  It usually goes down something like this “It might be a tough time/situation, but your _____________________ (fill in the blank with some negatively perceived quality you may have – i.e. anger, complaining, lack of confidence, unwillingness to participate, etc.), isn’t helping.”


The organization often sees feelings of powerlessness as the employee’s problem to fix – not theirs.  Organizations tend to do their part by starting performance counseling – a “talking to”, poor reviews,  written documentation, demotion, etc. or threats of those things come your way to put you on notice that you need to improve.


So, do you feel like everyone else’s agenda runs your day and you can’t get anything done at work?  You can break this cycle – here’s how…

We cannot control how much an organization will get involved in dealing with what is contributing to employees feeling powerless to perform – we can only focus on what we can do to help ourselves not fall victim to feeling powerless.  And there is some good news in that because corporate efforts however will never be more powerful than what employees can do for themselves to become engaged and satisfied at work.  This involves getting a Personal Power Practice for yourself.  I talked about this a few blogs ago – to recap…


“… just as you would start a diet and fitness routine to shed some weight or as you would have a wellness routine such as regular visits to a chiropractor, massage therapist, dermatologist to combat illness, sore/stiff muscles or acne (heck, even manicures/pedicures are a dedicated act to your well-being), a Personal Power Practice can help you to keep your attitude or mindset in top shape.” 


Here are some of the most powerful strategies for restoring your sense efficacy:


  • Skill development – if there is any aspect of your job that you don’t feel qualified to do – invest in your skill development.  I know a lot of employers may not be very generous with how much they will pay for development opportunities – but it’s simply something you must invest in yourself if they will not pay for it.  The longer and more rigorously you invest in being a student of your profession/field, the more powerful and valuable you become as a master of your profession/field.


  • Behavioral improvement and coping skills – this can range from mindful meditation, self-help to coaching to therapy.  Identify what behaviors or beliefs might be holding you back from connecting with what you do for others and offering your best to others.  Better yet, connect with your best talents.  Let go of the idea that your best talents are related to sports or artistic abilities – your best talents are most likely not TV-worthy (thank God!).  They are more important that being worthy for TV – they are more likely to be human-worthy.  Another way to get in touch with your best talents is to ask yourself “What do I intend for others and what do I do better than most people that I know can make a difference for others in this way?”  Check out the bottom of my newsletter for a special offer to get help with discovering your best talents.


  • Physical activity – a fitness practice trains your brain to believe that what you say and your behavior matters – 3x a week is a gift to your body, mind and spirit!


  • Active involvement in workplace issues – You cannot complain about how things function at work and then do nothing to try to fix them and expect your sense of efficacy to improve.  Doing nothing IS doing something – so no matter what – you are either actively contributing to things improving or staying the same at work.  Some of the most powerful initiatives to get involved in if you are feeling powerless are:
    • resources – get involved with making sure you and other have what you need to do your job.  Lack of resources alone can contribute to feelings of powerlessness.
    • building relationships – support and encouragement matter big time!  It’s easier to get this from people if they know, like and trust you – so get involved in things where you get to know, like and trust others for yourself too!  Studies show that people who have people at work who they feel supported by, report feeling more engaged and enjoy a greater sense of accomplishment than people who don’t enjoy supportive relationships at work.
    • understanding goals – the more you can see how your work directly impacts the company, it’s goals and people the more likely you will feel like your contribution matters.


I know you may see that some of these strategies involve a cost to you – but it’s not a cost to you, it is an INVESTMENT IN YOU!  It’s also an opportunity to restore your sense of personal power.  No amount of money is too much to increase your own value.  Plus, don’t expect anyone – including your employer – to pay for something you are not willing to pay for especially if it’s for YOU!  You wouldn’t deny yourself healthcare – this could be the greatest investment you make for your own health!


Getting in touch with your personal power means you will have to let go of looking for evidence that your current place of employment is not worthy of your engagement.  Let me remove the need for you to look for this evidence – as a former head of HR I can assure you that no company is worthy of your full engagement – but YOU are and so are the people in that organization and the individuals served by that organization absolutely are – no matter how terrible their attitude or how underserving they may be at times.


The more you commit to giving your talents forward without regard for what you get in return, the faster you will be on a path to giving them in an environment and to people who appreciate and value your contributions on the level you want and deserve.


Want some help discovering your best talents…


Not sure what you do for others?  Let indigoforce guide you step-by-step…


The words we use to describe ourselves and the intention we have for others by doing what we do for them is one way we express our personal brand.


Employees who demonstrate who they are, are reliable to deliver their talents and make a difference for others are the employees who enjoy working with passion and feel a profound connection to their company and those they serve. They drive innovation and move the organization forward. They enjoy the personal and professional rewards associated with engagement at work.


This is also a great session if you are interviewing for jobs.


Candidates who can explain who they are and what they can be relied upon for and how that can matter for others are the candidates who get the job time and time again. Those words we use to describe who we are and what we do are so important because if people can relate to how you describe yourself – if they are intrigued and want to experience the benefits you intend for others (and they see what’s in it for them to have you around every day), then that makes you more memorable and attractive than other job candidates – even if the other candidates have more experience than you.


Invest in a “Personal Power Confidence” session for only $147.  Here is what you get:


  1. 1 live, audio-recorded coaching session (up to 1 hour), with Gina Calvano – be guided step-by-step to discovering what you can be counted on for time and time again – no matter what – it’s your unique value proposition that sets you apart from others.  Learn to live by your statements – to demonstrate the qualities, actions and intentions you clarified about yourself and notice opportunities that will better value what you have to offer.


  1. A guided notetaking tool to help you document what you do and intend for others.  Get the language – to share your value proposition on your resume, in your social media profiles, on your website, and know what to say about yourself in job interviews too.


Sign me up now! (call me or send me an email to set up your session today!)


A lot of my clients report that this session helps them to see what is unique about themselves.  It helps them feel confident because the language they secure through this session inspires them to consistently give all they can to those they serve and to explain what they can be relied upon for in job interviews without sounding boastful.  They become in touch with something that is profoundly true, reliable and unique about themselves – something that makes a difference in the world.


Help me discover my “Personal Power Confidence” now! 

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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