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Monday, September 28, 2009

The Job You Hate (not)

One of this blog's readers tweeted a reference to Teena Rose's blog posting: Six Strategies for Surviving in a job you HATE".

Rose's suggestions are quite reasonable, but it saddens me when I find anyone in a job they hate. Those of us with the good fortune to be working within our strengths (where we can combine our passions and competences) experience the truly liberating freedom to look forward to, not dread, our work.

Sure, you say, but who is paying the bills?

I would argue that the dumbest thing you can do is accept the status quo if you are unhappy at your work, especially if you are doing it for (survival) money alone. This doesn't necessarily mean "quit the job and shove it" -- you should have a plan and place to go -- but you need to put as much mental energy into making your work right, as you do in complaining about it not being what you want.

Why is job satisfaction so important for Construction Marketing? I dedicate a chapter to the concept in my upcoming book, but my main point is that if you aren't really happy where you are, you are unlikely to be successful at marketing in the long term. And if your business is full of unhappy people who "hate" their jobs, your marketing will be truly ineffective because your clients, most likely, will hate being near the people who hate their work.

(That is why I don't fight employees who, while technically qualified, simply don't enjoy their work in our organization. I wish them well as they move on -- after reviewing our own operations to see if we are creating situations where they wouldn't be happy to be around here.)

Note that most of us do not have 100 per cent perfection in our work; there are days and times when nothing goes right -- but if your underlying work matches your passions and strengths you can live through the low points and ultimately thrive. If you speak with anyone who achieves meaningful and lasting success in their careers, business and lives, you will almost inevitably find they have found their workplace of strength and passion.

In other words, if you must work at a job you hate, stay there only long enough to solve the problem or find something better.

1 comment:

Teena Rose said...

I completely agree with you, Mark. It pains me also to think people are staying in jobs where they are miserable.

Recent numbers are showing employee turnover has reduced, which some might interpret to mean employees are toughing it out even though they are unhappy within their jobs.

I think the "surviving in a job you hate" is out of necessity ... as you stated "who is paying the bills?" Too many families have gone from a two-income household, down to only one.

We've been in a 20-month recession (and counting), which is the longest recession we've experienced since before the 1940s.

Jobs are hard to come by, even for professionals at the top of their games. The length of unemployment has been longer than anyone anticipated ... and has reached record numbers! Yikes, right?

Jobseekers are facing new challenges; i.e. an increasing number of recruiters are closing their doors, or minimally, struggling to stay afloat.

Sorry for all the bad news! Here's some good news:

An increasing number of people are starting businesses or taking on consulting roles. Some great businesses have been started and grown during such economic turmoil, and I'm hopeful we're going to see several bud during this recession as well.

We Americans don't like to sit still, and we have such strong drive to succeed and overcome ... I love that about us. =]

You mentioned something that I didn't put in my article, which is "if you aren't really happy where you are, you are unlikely to be successful at marketing in the long term."

I believe you're correct. :/ Unhappy employees don't usually give it their all.

Thanks for the follow-up to my post, Mark.