Will Your Next Raise really Be Worth The Cost?

When I got my last promotion, I was thrilled! I had moved into a field I’d wanted to work in for years, and I was getting paid more.

But, as the years went by, I started to become restless. I was enjoying the lifestyle that my new income gave me, but I was no longer enjoying the work I was doing, as I felt that I was no longer making a real difference.

I thought that, perhaps if I applied for another promotion, the extra money would make me happier. I knew that I would have extra responsibility and would have to work extra hours, but perhaps it would be worth it.

Then, I was made redundant. My income halved overnight.

After some time, I started my own business as an inspirational speaker and life coach. I absolutely love what I do, as I’m making a real difference in the lives of others.

Before you apply for that next promotion, consider the following:

  • What are all the benefits you will receive if you get the promotion? e.g. money, perks, mental stimulation, doing something you love, challenge, learning something new, etc.
  • What will the promotion cost you? Consider the effect that any increase in hours, responsibility or pressure will have on your lifestyle, your family, and your health.
  • Weighing the benefits against the costs, will the promotion bring you long term joy and fulfilment?

The fulfilment I get from my work more than makes up for my drop in income. I’m so glad I didn’t get that second promotion as I get more joy and fulfilment out of what I do now than I ever would have got from the extra money.

If you are considering applying for a promotion, and would like help to work through any of the issues I’ve raised in this post, let’s chat. You can book a time in my calendar that suits you by clicking here.

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.

Are You Being Held Hostage By Your Habits?

Personal Development for Career Professionals

Psychologists say that 90 % of our actions are a habit. Consider the action of walking. I had never thought about the complexity of walking, until I seriously injured my knee last year, and had to learn to walk again after spending almost 10 weeks in a splint.

It all starts with putting your foot forward, just the right amount, with your heel on the floor, in just the right place. Then you have to transfer weight onto that foot, maintaining just the right amount of tension in your thigh muscles so that your knee doesn’t collapse, but without locking your knee straight. As your weight moves forward, you roll onto the ball of your foot, and your knee locks briefly, as you swing your other foot through to repeat the process. It becomes even more complicated when you add a walking frame or stick into the mix, and on top of all that, you have to concentrate on where you are going! It’s surprisingly complex, but it’s something we do, usually by force of habit, every day.

So, our good habits, such as regular exercise, drinking enough water, brushing our teeth, courtesy etc, serve us well, by allowing us to routinely do these things without thinking about them. This clears our mind to enable us to think about other things, and also promotes our health, wellbeing and success.

But what about our bad habits? We also do these things routinely without thinking about them, but they do not serve us well. Worse still, we are sometimes not even aware of the negative effects these habits have on our lives. Consider the effect that habits such as negativity, rudeness, substance abuse, over eating, laziness and procrastination have on our lives and those around us.

“We are what we repeatedly do. excellence then is not an act, but a habit”, Aristotle.

The more conscious we become of our good and bad habits, the more control we can have over those habits, and thus, the more control we can have over our lives.

One of my worst habits is negative self-talk – “I’m not good enough”, “it’s too hard”, “that won’t work”, “I’ll do it tomorrow” etc. As I have become more conscious of this habit during my personal growth journey, I am working on taking control of it, and changing it into a good habit of positive self-talk – “I am good enough”, “it’s not too hard”, “I don’t know whether that will work, but let’s give it a go. If it doesn’t work, I can try something else” “I’m putting a reminder in my phone now”, etc. Just working on this one habit is having a profound effect on my life!

What habits are holding you hostage? are you even aware of your good and bad habits and how they affect you? What habits would you like to cultivate to get you closer to achieving your dreams? Please let me know in the comments section or, if you prefer, contact me directly.