Here’s How You Can Feel Fulfilled – Even in a Job You Hate

Client profile #4:


Name – it’s me!


Age range (at the time) – 26-38


Initial situation – I was working in a financial services firm in NYC straight out of college.  It was a dream job for me when I started – it was a job that complimented my business management major, in the field I wanted (HR) and in an industry that suited my personality – smart people, super fast paced, posh, polished and professional.  On top of it, I got the job over 3 other hopeful candidates all who either had more experience or a fancier degree than me PLUS it was a recession when most of my friends were struggling to get any job at all.  The whole thing wreaked of certain success.  And it was for many years, until…

A new head of HR came in and she had a very different style than the executives I “grew up” under.  But because I was valued for efficiency, reliability, good judgment and a “do-anything and make it better than it was before” attitude – she kept me around AND gave me more responsibilities – more than I could actually handle.


I was quickly overwhelmed by volume of work and by her new ”style” – which ranged from how we were expected to dress (impeccably – I was told “there’s a red for everyone” when she didn’t approve of my lipstick), behave (perfectly all the time against a standard that wasn’t even clear until you got into trouble – like “how could you even think writing in blue ink was ever appropriate – where is your judgment?”) and treat others – especially non-performing employees (like they were the heathens of the Earth and must be eliminated immediately but not before they were told in writing about just how much of a disappointment and failure they were and would probably always be).


At first, the functional executives liked her – she was so willing to get rid of non-performing employees – also known as “dead weight”.  My main function was staffing and performance management and although I wanted to make a good impression and keep my title as a “high-performing, valued employee” I quickly began to wither and I wasn’t sure why.  I felt overwhelmed and tired and no amount of time off rejuvenated me, I began to develop the Sunday night butterflies (actually, bats) in my stomach, I began to question my competence and ability to “do-anything and make it better than it was before” – what was the invisible kryptonite in my life that blocked me from being able to feel fulfilled?  I desperately wanted to feel fulfilled – but how could I in a job I hated? 


So, I did what anyone would do in my shoes – I sucked it up until I could find another job which thankfully I quickly did – I took the first opportunity out of there ASAP!


My new job seemed like the ideal solution to heal my wounded soul…

  • it was in the same line of work – HR (ideally I would have like to change careers too – I was convinced I had no business in HR at that time, but I just had to get out quickly),
  • in a totally different industry – non-profit – (no longer would I work to make “rich people richer” – I thought a change of industry into something that seemed more socialistic would make karmic amends for supporting a capitalistic industry for 6 years)
  • and only about 20 minutes from my house – (I’ll get more sleep – yay!)


Success – right!?  Actually, it was a total failure…


I figured out by day 3 that I had made a mistake.  The only thing I succeeded in was getting away from my old boss and the horrible corporate culture she created in a physical sense.  The feelings I developed that lead me to leave were still with me – how could that be?


So there I was again, desperately wanting to feel fulfilled – but how could I in a job I hated?


So after about 18 months in non-profit I moved onto yet another job – back into financial services in a large city but closer to home and into a more kinder/gentler corporate culture.  At first, I felt like I found balance.


But then…


A few years into this I found myself responsible for organizing a lot of reductions in force (RIF’s, or as you might know them – downsizings).  Day in an out I was supporting a high-level functional executive and her team of 7 executives who had less than warm and fuzzy personalities to cut staff – lots and lots of staff – staff who became known as “the inmates who were running the asylum”.  A lot of the actual work – you know – the “you’re fired” discussions – had to be conducted through inexperienced managers and supervisors.  Again, I started to feel the way I felt in my first job – under the “there’s a red lipstick for everyone” self-proclaimed HR guru I worked for years before.


Those feelings of being scared everyday crept back in – afraid to make a mistake, to get in trouble, to do more harm than good, to be surrounded in a place that “smells like mushrooms and everyone looks like they want to hurt me”.


I started to crash again – I kept my mouth shut tight and hoped for the best every day – I held back my thoughts and my “do-anything and make it better than it was before” ideas and opinions in hopes of staying out of harm’s way.  In the process all I accomplished was constantly getting in trouble – my fears were manifesting left and right.  The group I supported had some of the lowest employee opinion survey scores (yes, there were surveys – quarterly – and they were the bible of how you were performing).  How could this happen again – desperately wanting to feel fulfilled – but how could I in a job I hated?

Here’s where it all began to change… 


I began reminiscing in my spare time (and in staff meetings) about all the things I wanted when I was a small kid – unending supplies of my favorite candy, all the Barbie paraphernalia available in the world, to go to California and live with Cher – and lots of other things too.  At this point in my miserable corporate life – all those things still sounded so good to me – but why?  I didn’t want to play with Barbie anymore (at least not without my nieces), I outgrew my sweet tooth – actually I didn’t want a lot of the material aspects of the things I wanted as a kid – but I did want something else from those things.  I wanted how those things made me feel as a kid.  I realized I didn’t have much going on in my work that made me feel good about myself  – and that that experiencing and enabling that feeling for others mattered greatly to me.  Anything (or anyone) that wanted me to operate counter to that sentiment would drain my spirit and ability to stay connected and engaged – and be daring in my work.


I realized I lost this sense because I was waiting for the job to change – for the place to change – for the people I worked with to change – for a boss to give me permission to being this sense to my work – and that was something I couldn’t make happen.  What I could make happen was to change how I was even though I had drifted off into a galaxy far, far away from my higher-self (my childhood self – which was an authentic expression of who I really was and could be for the world).


After a lot of exploring (which I have evolved into a quick 15 minute exercise – which I can do for you too!), I realized that the wish of my higher-self was for (me) and others to just feel good about themselves.


Wonderful – I found my truest intention!  So now whatwho cares?


Well, here is what – when you become clear about your what – the how answers begin to show up…


How on earth was I going to help people feel good about themselves when my job was to counsel them for non-performance and to fire them?


Once I unleashed that question into my conscious (and sub-conscious) mind, an idea came to me to design a reduction in force process, tools and training for supervisors/managers/executives that enabled both management and staff (those who are impacted AND those who are staying) to feel comfortable about how people were treated in the process.  We couldn’t control if people had to lose their jobs or not, but we could impact how it got done.


The process I introduced (which was not embraced at first but I persisted with it), enabled managers to feel prepared and as good as they could feel about notifying staff.  The staff felt the integrity and care in how we handled things – impacted staff felt cared about and not like they were a “problem we were happy to be rid of” – they could see a possibility for their future and they had resources to help them (often the most appreciated resources were the attitude and caring of the people notifying them – it was beyond what the company could offer in terms of severance and benefits).


We got on the legal team’s and senior executive’s radar because we had a volatile group who had no threats of legal action or notification day turmoil – time and time again (we had to do this process many times over the years).  This was a process I implemented in many different areas and in other companies I worked in and it went smoothly every time.


Unexpectedly, in return, I got bonuses, promotions, more responsibility and even more importantly my degree of engagement and fulfillment from my work soared!  I began to look for opportunities to do performance counseling and reductions in force in troubled environments because I actually didn’t trust anyone to do it better than me – I didn’t think anyone would care as much as I did to help the impacted people transition (to new jobs and for those who would stay at the company and keep working after their peer friends had moved on), and to help managers do this important work in a way that gave them confidence in their choices and in how they handled their corporate karma through the communication process.  Eventually this intention evolved into painless performance counseling processes and other programs including how to work with corporate teams who were struggling to attract talent to hire people with similar skills but wanted to change careers.


Eventually, before I was 40 years old, I became a head of HR with a corner office, an amazing staff (and no one on my team wore red lipstick unless they wanted to), and the respect of C-suite officers and my functional peers.  Together, we all changed a corporate culture!


My team used to come into my office and say “I need a Jedi mind trick” when they needed help getting a manager or executive to evolve how they were treating people.  It became my favorite task at work – getting interrupted with whatever I was doing to perform Jedi mind tricks – to convince fearful executives that doing things in a way that would accomplish what they wanted AND enable others to feel good about themselves would be way more fun and yield better results than they could even imagine.  I would help them get clear about WHAT they wanted, and then guide them in HOW it would get accomplished.


And now I get to do this for others beyond 1 company alone!


Let me help you do this…


to discover your highest intention and to start operating from it confident in yourself and the impact you will make for others – to recognize HOW opportunities that will fulfill your WHAT ideas and intentions over and over again – even if you are in a job you hate right now.


I believe that discovering what you (actually) want to do for others in the job you have (even if it’s a job you hate) is the very first (and most important) step in evolving into doing work you love!


Schedule your free consultation by December 31st and it’s free!


Already been through my free consultation?  


Then refer a friend and if they sign up for at least $250 worth of services – I will gift you with 60 minutes of coaching services that you can use whenever you want – that’s $150 value!  Or better yet – the holidays are coming, so you can gift the $150 to your referral and I will apply it to their services.  This referral offer is good through December 31, 2015.


Here’s the truth…


The feedback I have received on my “free consultation” has been so good that it’s getting a transformation too!  Staring January 1, 2016 my “free consultation” is going to be a Career Success Insight (“CSI”) Session – an initial coaching session with me that can give you personal clarity about how to gain fulfillment right now from any job – even a job you have and may even hate!


This session will be $47 (a wicked bargain!) that can be applied toward any purchased coaching package.  PLUS, you can receive an additional 10% off my signature program – The Discover Your Life Calling 6 week coaching package if you sign up within 48 hours after our CSI Session.


So now is the time to secure a free consultation with me – for yourself or for someone you know – get a breakthrough that can prepare you for a new year that includes a job you love!  Schedule a free consultation with me by calling me at 888/560-8233.


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.

Share Your Comments & Feedback: