Coaching Resources Goals Journal About Contact Us

Entries for the 'Toughing Out a Tough Job' Category

Where Do You Dig The Well In A Desert?

Friday, November 21st, 2008

When you need to stay in a job you hate, rolling out of bed in the morning can feel impossible.

If your job gives you no reason to get up, then you need to give yourself one.

The question becomes, “How can I create alternatives for myself, however limited they might be?” “How can I take some power back so I’m not merely being passive?” “How can I create my own meaning?”

Creating an alternative for yourself will feel great, because you are shifting out of passive-mode into doing something for yourself. Of course, the question remains, Where do you dig the well in a desert?

In this week’s podcast conversation, we offer three suggestions:

  1. Contribute something unsolicited.
  2. Connect with someone of interest.
  3. Explore something new that develops you.

We’ll explore these three alternatives in future posts.

I’m sorry you find yourself in the desert. Where do you look for sources of meaning, connection and/or development in the mean time?

Joining the conversation just now? Catch up on the entire series, Toughing Out a Tough Job, by clicking here.

Listen In -> Toughing Out a Tough Job #5: When You Hate Your Job

Thursday, November 20th, 2008

What could be worse?

Hating your job and needing to keep it.

It’s a worst case scenario, sure. But in these tough economic times, we may consider it wiser to tough out a nasty, soul-sucking, sanity-stripping job for a season of necessity.

Should you find yourself in such a situation, is there anything you can do to redeem the experience? Anything that can help you survive? Maybe even get something beneficial out of the nightmare?

This week’s podcast conversation has some hope for you. Join Claudia and I as we explore making the most of a horrible situation. Come back after you’ve listened and let us know about the situation you’re facing.

Listen in.

Joining the conversation just now? Catch up on the entire series, Toughing Out a Tough Job, by clicking here.

Understanding Instead of Winning When in Conflict

Friday, November 14th, 2008

Conflict can be the most difficult situation to tough out.

Let’s remind ourselves we’re discussing conflict in the context of having chosen to stay in our current job. We’re choosing to tough it out because there are more reasons to stay than leave.

Given that, the most difficult realization may be that these problems are not going to go away. We can’t simply wait them out and hope they’ll disappear. We can’t run from them or hide somewhere.

Our best bet is to shift our focus.

Instead of winning, our goal should be understanding. Changing the topic from getting my way to working alongside some awfully difficult characteristics.

If I can understand where a difficult person is coming from, I can engage more strategically.

What do they want? What are they trying to accomplish? What is so important to them?

If I can affirm what is important to them, much of the tension in the relationship gets released and frees both of us to get back on a work-based issue.

What might be going on with that under-performing co-worker who is attacking your motives for working hard? What are reasons your boss might be second-guessing your decisions that are related to his or her needs, priorities or pressures instead of you? What pressures might someone be facing which result in competitive tactics?

What can you affirm about someone you don’t get along with? How might you use that as a basis for getting back to work?

Joining the conversation just now? Catch up on the entire series, Toughing Out a Tough Job.

Listen In -> Toughing Out a Tough Job #4: When the Conflict is Constant

Wednesday, November 12th, 2008

While boredom sucks the life out of you and workload may overwhelm you, conflict diminishes and demeans you.

In this week’s podcast conversation, Claudia and I look at toughing out a job when conflict is rife.

Are there alternatives to engaging in childish office politics or needing to win petty arguments? Do significant disagreements have to end with manipulative power plays or wither in spineless surrender?

Listen in.

Joining the conversation just now? Catch up on the entire series, Toughing Out a Tough Job.

Survival May Depend On Distinctions

Sunday, November 9th, 2008

When the workload becomes overwhelming, survival may depend upon making distinctions.

In this week’s podcast conversation, Claudia and I discuss survival techniques for those with too much work coming from too many places.

Distinctions. Consider the difference between:

  • Organizing
  • Prioritizing
  • Focusing

Organizing is a structural issue. The methods and means you currently use for keeping track of workload might not be serving you very well.

Prioritizing is a values issue. There may be lack of clarity about the relative importance of the many tasks demanding your attention.

Focusing is a attentiveness issue. You may become easily distracted, preoccupied or anxious in the midst of otherwise well-ordered efforts.

Where do you struggle most when the workload becomes more than you can bear?

Coming into the conversation just now? Catch up on the entire series, Toughing Out a Tough Job.

Toughing Out a Tough Job #3: When The Workload is Overwhelming

Wednesday, November 5th, 2008

Workload feel like you’re juggling knives? Lugging a file cabinet on your back? Navigating a maze of booby traps?

For any given priority that you consider tackling, do all the others shout for attention making it impossible to focus? Do all choices seem like lose-lose propositions? For all your hard work is the main question that comes to mind, “Who am I letting down today?”

In today’s podcast discussion on Toughing Out a Tough Job, Claudia and I look at coping with an overwhelming workload.

In this series we’re taking as our starting point that changing jobs is not one of the options on the table. So we’re looking for survival techniques, coping strategies, and creative alternatives to make meaningful choices where we can.

Overwhelmed by your workload? Listen in.

Boring Job Is Creativity and Motivational Challenge

Tuesday, November 4th, 2008

Surviving a boring job (when leaving isn’t an option) is a creativity and a motivational challenge.

It’s a creativity challenge, because nothing in the job itself is stimulating, challenging or engaging you. You need a way to see what is currently not visible. You need a way to think outside the box.

How can you look in unexpected places and to unexpected people for venues, connections and opportunities that aren’t currently making themselves known?

It’s a motivational challenge, because once bored, energy levels plummet and inertia sets in. It can feel like trying to jump over a hurdle without the benefit of a running start. What you need are reasons and ways to get a running start.

What in your life is important enough to you to rouse yourself for? Are other relationships starting to suffer? Energy not there for favorite hobbies or activities?

Sparking creativity and mustering motivation when bored to death can seem impossible. But what is your alternative? Give into the boredom and let what little life is left in you get seep out?

What works for you? What do you do to jump start either your creative juices or your motivation?

Check out the entire discussion on Toughing Out a Tough Job

Is Your Resume Up To Date?

Thursday, October 30th, 2008

Toughing out a tough job is no one’s preference. In our current podcast discussions, though, we’re acknowledging that there do exist situations and seasons when staying put is the wisest course of action.

Vital is to affirm your own value along the way. Articulating your attributes, skills and experience serves as a reminder that you have options, even if they are limited. A reminder that your choice to stay in your current job is a choice of power, not powerlessness.

One of the best tools for articulating one’s value is the resumé.

In what shape is your resumé?

Rewriting your resumé will do a couple different things for you:

  1. Help you present yourself in terms of how you want to be perceived.
  2. Help you describe your work experience as qualifications for what you want to do next.

In the process your confidence will feel more grounded and your energy for toughing out the current tough job will multiply.

There is nothing like the mirror of a good resumé to get excited about yourself.

As always, I’m here to help. If you’d like a partner in recasting your resumé, let’s talk.

On your side,

- Karl

Toughing Out a Tough Job #2: When It Couldn’t Get More Boring

Wednesday, October 29th, 2008

Boredom is the kiss of death.

Once boredom sets in, it’s like a slow, inevitable march toward madness. Nothing seems to matter. Energy levels plummet. The mind makes periodic escape attempts toward spectacular fantasies of life and adventure.

The flip side of boredom, though, is challenge. Instead of blaming the boring job, you may be dealing with a changing you. It may be time for new challenges. Increased responsibilities. More complicated skills.

But you can’t wait when bored. Time is your enemy. You need to take the initiative to seek out new opportunities or create them if they aren’t there.

Boredom sucking the life out of you? Listen in to this week’s podcast conversation. (And don’t forget to leave a comment and say hi!)

Finding Meaning in the Mean Time

Thursday, October 23rd, 2008

When we talk about “toughing out a tough job,” (our current podcast discussion series), we are not talking about passively enduring an awful situation until something better comes along.

We’re talking about finding meaning in the mean time.

We’re talking about making the time work for you instead of against you.

We’re talking about taking control of the tough experience and creating as good an experience as possible.

There are many good reasons to stay put in a less than ideal job situation.

Two questions for you as we begin this discussion:

  1. Describe a situation where it would be wiser to stay put in a tough job situation.
  2. What is a goal you could set for yourself in such a situation where you would benefit regardless of the difficulties?

Looking forward to hearing from you.