I read a post over at Ellen Weber’s Brain Based Business blog that made me sad. The post was called Top 10 Reasons People Hate Work. It talks about some of the challenges that people face at work, like relationship problems, lack of problem resolution and goal achievement, negative and verbally abusive people, and stress.
I don’t take exception to any of these problems. Nor do I believe that these types of work environments don’t exist because they certainly do. What makes me sad is that people continue to work in these types of environments or in environments that they hate. That is depressing. That sounds like poor choices, victim-hood, or self-abuse. Why would people do that to themselves? It is a choice, after all.
Ellen closed her post with a challenge: What other reasons do people give for hating their work – that you could suggest a strategy to solve?
In the spirit of the current presidential debates, I am not going to answer the question that Ellen asked. I don’t want to think about other reasons that people give for hating their jobs. I think it gets us to focus on the negative.
Instead, I would suggest that we re-frame the question by moving from victim-hood and self-abuse to responsibility. Here are some questions we can use to shift the focus from victim-hood to responsibility:
- How am I contributing to the current situation at work?
- What can I do differently to make a positive impact?
- How can I manage my emotions to stay positive in a negative or toxic environment?
- How can I change the tone or mood at work?
The key to moving away from victim-hood is to focus on the positive steps that we can take. These may include personal stress management, cutting back on work hours, and avoiding or confronting negative and verbally abusive people. We can also seek help from our manager, the HR department, or even reach out to co-workers who want to stay positive and healthy.
As a last step, consider a job change. If you have done what you can to stay positive, manage yourself, and change your work environment, then you should seriously consider changing companies or jobs. Why would you want to work at a place or job that you hate? Doing so says a lot more about you than those you work with. And if you are attracted to that environment or choose to stay even when you hate it, it would lead me to believe you were part of the problem.