The 5 Things I Wish I Knew When I Was In A Job That Made Me Miserable

image with the words lets learn and transition

It’s amazing how many people are miserable in their jobs. I know I was. Now, thankfully, I’m in a job that I love.

Here are 5 things that I wish I knew when I was stuck in a job that made me miserable.

1. You are not alone

If your job makes you miserable, remember that you are not alone.

I remember when I was in a job where I was being bullied. I felt so isolated and alone, as I thought I was the only one.

But, when I eventually plucked up the courage to tell someone what was going on, I found out that I was not the only one in the office, or even in our section, who was being bullied.

statistics show that 60% of Australian employees are miserable in their jobs. So, there’s a good chance that if you are miserable in your job, some of your colleagues probably are too. So, do some discrete asking around, and find people who are in the same position as you, and reach out to them for support.

Hopefully, you also have friends and family that you can reach out to for support as well. But remember not to dump everything on one person all the time, as it can get exhausting for them.

2. You always have the support of the Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

If you are a Government employee, EAP is a great source of support from trained counsellors and psychologists.

The great thing about EAP is that it’s free, and is not limited to work issues. It’s open to your family members as well as you.

I have used the service myself, and found it very helpful when I was going through the redundancy process. I was having difficulty coping with being in the office during my redeployment, as I felt very uncomfortable talking to my colleagues who had not been made redundant, as I felt they didn’t know what to say to me, and I didn’t know what to say to them. I felt that I didn’t fit in any more.

The psychologist I spoke to was able to give me some really good strategies for coping with being in the office, and dealing with the feelings of anger and rejection that I was experiencing. She even suggested that I speak to my employer about the possibility of working from home as much as possible.

I really recommend EAP as a great service for finding someone to talk to who is outside your workplace and not emotionally involved, who can give you some great coping strategies for whatever you’re going through at work. For more information, click here.

3. Finding great stuff to do outside work makes life much happier in general

I once was in a job in which I was miserable because I didn’t have enough to do. I know that’s very unusual these days.

So, I started selling Tupperware. It was great! I had something to look forward to every weekend, and sometimes in the evenings during the week. I was going out more than I had in the past, and was meeting lots of new and interesting people.

I’m not necessarily suggesting that you go out and sell Tupperware. But I do recommend that you find something to do after work, or on weekends, that you really enjoy. It will give you something to look forward to on a regular basis, and make it much easier to think about something other than work when you’re not at work.

4. Posting on social media may make you feel better in the short term, but the consequences could be serious

If your job makes you miserable, don’t post about it on social media. Seriously, don’t!

You never know who might see that tweet about how much you don’t like your boss, or that rant on Facebook about how much you hate your job. A friend of your boss might see that post, and pass it on!

If you are applying for jobs, this is particularly important, as there is nothing to stop a potential future employer from checking your social media profiles to see what sort of person you are. You wouldn’t want a future employer to decide not to employ you because they’ve seen a social media post from you complaining about your current job or employer.

I remember when I was doing some work for a nonprofit organisation a few years ago. They were in the process of negotiating a contract with someone, and just out of interest, someone in the organisation had a look at the twitter account of the new contractor. The account contained a number of tweets containing negative remarks about the nonprofit organisation, and so the contract negotiations were cancelled.

If you want to tell someone about how miserable you are in your job, tell your best friend, or your dog, or cat, or pet lizard, or whatever pet you have. Pets are so wonderful aren’t they? You can cry on their shoulders, or tell them anything, and they’ll keep your secrets.

5. Remember to take care of yourself

It’s so easy to forget to look after ourselves in times of stress, and turn to food, alcohol and other substances to make ourselves feel better. My substance of choice was alcohol.

While these substances make us feel better in the short term, it’s important to remember that long term overuse can lead to health problems such as weight gain, heart disease etc.

I used to find that exercise used to help me a great deal. I used to be a ballroom dancer. I could walk into a lesson in a fowl mood, and an hour later, would walk out feeling exhausted, but relaxed and happy. The same went for weightlifting years later.

I hope you’ve found these tips useful. If you have any questions, or would just like to talk about anything that I’ve raised here, please contact me.

I’ve discovered the secret to success – connection and communication

Have you ever wondered why some people seem to lead a charmed life? Success in everything they do seems to come to them with little or no effort. It’s almost as if everything they touch turns to gold, and their communication with others is effortless.

I’ve certainly wondered why this happens to some people and not to others, especially me. However, I think I’ve just discovered the secret to their success. It’s the way they connect with others in their communication.

In his book “Everyone Communicates, Few Connect”, John C Maxwell says that people who seem to live a charmed life are usually those who have learned to connect with others. He goes on to say:

“When you connect with others, you position yourself to make the most of your skills and talents. When you don’t connect, you have a lot to overcome just to get to average, a neutral starting position.”

When I read this, I stopped to think about some of the successful people in my life – my cousin, who gets any job she applies for in any country; my school friend who, with no tertiary education, has never been without a well-paying job; and my business colleague who is so successful in her business that she can afford to live her life between 2 countries, despite only being in her 20’s. I thought about these people, and realised that the one thing they have in common is their extraordinary ability to connect with others.

John C Maxwell says that one way to connect with others is to make everything about them. Thinking back to the people I mentioned above, they all do this. They genuinely care for people, and always make the conversation about the person they’re talking to rather than about themselves. When I’m with any of them I always feel specially cared for, and that I’m the centre of their attention.

I’ve always felt that I’ve had to struggle for my successes in life. I rarely got promoted during my Government career, particularly when I was competing against people with equal qualifications. Also, I’m not someone who has ever been good at making, and keeping, friends.

I’ve come to realise that this is because I’m not particularly good at connecting with people. I can certainly talk, but I’m ashamed to say that I’m usually the topic of the conversation, or the conversation is about something that interests me. This has probably stemmed from being an only child, and having a disability. as a child, I’ was usually the centre of everyone else’s attention, and I don’t think I’ve ever really grown out of taking this for granted.

Recently, I attended a book launch and decided, as an experiment, to make every conversation I had focus entirely on the person I was talking to. I decided not to volunteer any information about myself unless I was asked, and to make a particular effort to find out as much as I could about each person I met. It was quite hard work, but ended up being a lot of fun! I met a number of really interesting people, and really enjoyed finding out all about them. This is something I’m definitely going to do a lot more of in my communication with others in the future. My aim is to become like the 3 people mentioned earlier in this post, and become a great connector.

Has anyone ever really connected with you? how did that make you feel? Please let me know in the comments section, or if you prefer, contact me directly.