Take This Job and Shove It!

Good advice in bad times? Well, before bidding a vengeful goodbye or throwing a farewell temper tantrum, think again.

Executive coach Jane Boucher says there are “healthy ways to take your job and love it, rather than take your job and shove it” – and possibly get arrested in the process.

“And if you just can’t love it,” says Boucher, “then you have to take the risk and get yourself unstuck.” But don’t deploy that emergency chute just yet!

The recent reckless – but excellent – exit of a JetBlue flight attendant down an emergency slide with beer in hand highlights job disenchantment and the implications of pushing back a little too hard.

Although the crazy quitting stunt won Stephen Slater instant online celebrityhood and a possible reality TV series, that’s not the reality for most beleaguered working stiffs who jettison a lousy job.

Before waving adios to colleagues, always have a new job to go to and don’t burn your bridges, stresses Boucher, of janeboucher.com.

“You never know who will offer you your next opportunity, so go out in style and be remembered for your good qualities – not your bad ones.”

Sever ties respectfully, agrees career planning expert Randall Craig. “It’s too small a world, and something that you say in haste will be remembered forever. Even if you didn’t enjoy your job, your manager might still be willing to give you a great reference sometime in the future.”

Making a grand exit may sound good, adds stress expert Beverly Beuermann-King, but “the price we may have to pay in the end may not give us the satisfaction/relief that we were looking for. The flight attendant may gain notoriety and satisfaction but will be paying for it in legal fees, court battles and possibly jail time.”

According to Boucher, job loathing is alive and spreading – recent UPI stats indicate 87% of people don’t like or can’t stand their jobs but can’t leave because of economic unrest.

“They’re more stuck today than at any other time, which leads to disillusionment, stress and short fuses,” says Boucher, a professional speaker. A lot of people identify with the ex-JetBlue flight attendant because “he speaks for all of us who are angry about man’s inhumanity to man.”

Companies have relentlessly reduced workers while multiplying workloads – workers can barely come up for air.

“In today’s environment, people are considered numbers in their jobs. There is no loyalty between corporations and their employees,” says Jessica Schwey, of The Centre for Health and Anger Management/Resolution Inc.

Job dissatisfaction generally comes from a feeling of not being respected or not having responsibilities that equal one’s ability, says Schwey. “The more one can take pride in the job they are doing, the more satisfying the job becomes.”

According to Craig, president of Pinetree Advisors, when people are stuck in a job rut, some will disengage and become less and less productive. “Others will become the bad apple – a dysfunctional employee – and eventually explode.”

“Frustration, impatience, anger can grab us when we least expect it and cause us to make an irrational decision or choice,” adds Beuermann-King, of worksmartlivesmart.com.

Before losing your cool and quitting, Boucher, author of How To Love the Job You Hate, suggests trying to make peace with your present employment situation with actions that include “taking initiatives, repairing bad relationships on the job, collaborating more and setting up projects that really mean something.”

But if these solutions don’t work, you “may have to pull a ‘Stephen Slater’ – with less theatrics, please! Sometimes you may have to make some hard choices and answer the question, ‘Is it worth it?’

“If it isn’t then move on, otherwise the consequences to your health and personal relationships could be severe,” adds Boucher. “If your gut and intuition are telling you to do something different, then you better listen!”

According to Schwey, when quitting, don’t blame others. “You are quitting because the job is not working for you. Take responsibility for your own feelings and quit in a respectful way. You never know when you will run into your co-workers or bosses again.” It’s a small world and impressions last forever.

In an exit interview, be specific, adds Beuermann-King. “Often these things that have caused us to quit are not simple to fix or the HR person may not be aware of the depth and the information that you give them. This information may help prevent another person from getting so frustrated that they feel they have no choice but to leave.”

Running on empty?

According to renowned executive coach Jane Boucher, of janeboucher.com, “we spend our highest energy hours in our jobs and our families get what’s left of us.”

And if there’s little left but anger, impatience and exhaustion, then take control. Do something about it because negativity begets negativity, agree the experts.

According to Beverly Beuermann-King, we owe it to our families to make the most out of our lives and to be good role models to our children about the jobs/careers that we have chosen or are doing.

“If you don’t like what you are working at, those negative feelings can’t help but spill over into our homes lives,” says the wellness expert. “Even if we don’t treat our family negatively, the way we talk about our work colours the way our children expect their future work world to be like.’

Beuermann-King adds that some people take that negativity out on their families, including being physically and verbally abusive, taking control from others if they feel like they have no control while they are at work, or withdrawing to the point where they are not able to be engaged or involved with their family.

Job loathing immensely impacts our overall wellness.

“Physically we can experience more headaches, digestion problems, insomnia, high blood pressure to overall body tension and anxiousness. Mentally, we can have difficulty focusing, problem-solving and communicating with others,” says wellness expert Beverly Beuermann-King, of worksmartlivesmart.com.

“It changes us. We lose our perspective on things. We make mountains out of mole hills and have difficulty coping with things that otherwise we would have little difficulty problem-solving through. We can start to feel helpless and hopeless and like we have no ‘choice’ or control in our lives.”

But we’re truly never stuck in a lousy job. Sometimes fear, familiarity or a promised pension keeps us in a less than joyful job.

Love it or leave it

  1. Tips on loving the job you loathe from Randall Craig, career planner and author of Personal Balance Sheet:
  2. Speak to your manager or the HR department about a possible change in responsibilities
  3. Sign up for a course, certification or degree. Not only will it give you something to look forward to, but it will tool you up for another position.
  4. Swap disagreeable tasks with one of your colleagues, who might enjoy the challenge.
  5. Position yourself for a “secondment” into a different department, or even a permanent transfer, just for change of scenery.
  6. Dust off your resume and practice your interview skills. Even though you can’t quit, you still can get ready to leave.

Love it or hate it?

Take this Job Quality Checklist and then take action! Courtesy of Personal Balance Sheet, a career planning book by Randall Craig.

  1. Are you still having fun?  Do you find the job intrinsically satisfying?
  2. Are you being challenged intellectually?
  3. Do you like your colleagues? Do you like your boss?
  4. Are you reaching your career goals?
  5. Are you achieving the life balance you desire?
  6. Are you being paid somewhat close to your worth?

If the answer to many of these questions is ‘no’, then it’s probably time to think about moving on, says Craig, or at least it’s time to start actively planning your career.

“Unfortunately, too many people delegate the responsibility for their career progress – and their lousy job – to someone else,” he says. “If you don’t like your situation, then step up to the plate: you are the best person to take responsibility for making a change.”

Thinking of leaving your job? Here’s probably why:

  1. Job or workplace was not as expected
  2. A mismatch between employee and the job
  3. Not enough feedback or coaching
  4. Too few growth and advancement opportunities
  5. Feeling devalued and unrecognized
  6. Stress from overwork and work-life imbalance
  7. Loss of trust in top leaders
  8. Courtesy of 7 Hidden Reasons Employees Leave, by Leigh Branham

Heath care

Work-related stress is the number one health risk for their organizations, followed by mental health issues, high blood pressure and non-work-related stress. – Buffett & Company’s 5th National Wellness Survey.

Excessive stress is the number one reason why people quit yet employers attribute it to insufficient pay and lack of career development, including promotions. – Watson Wyatt report, 2008

One in 4 Canadians report their workplace is not healthy. – Job Quality Health and Well-Being, Canadian Policy Research Network Report

Heartless cost-cutting by companies have has pummeled the morale and commitment of workers. Engagement is down by 9% amongst workers overall, while top performing employees have expressed a 25% drop in engagement. – 2010 Watson Wyatt and World at Work survey

Workplace stress is a real pain – 62% routinely have work-related neck pain, 44% report eye stress, 38% complain of pain in the hands, 34% reported difficulty sleeping because of stress. – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Credit: Joanne Richard

Published in: on September 9, 2010 at 3:39 am  Leave a Comment  

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