“I love working,” said Karla, after working 16 hours over the weekend because her replacement did not show up. “It’s just that I go out of my way to make sure things work on the job, and nobody cares.”
She shifted in her seat and continued with a sigh. “Sometimes I feel like walking out so they can see how important I am to them.” “They don’t pay me nearly what I’m worth, yet they pretend that the abuse does not happen.”
Karla took a deep breath and added;” but I have to work and I’m doing what I enjoy; where does it end?” “Do you think employers will ever wake up and treat their help like we’re worth something to them?”
Although I knew it was a rhetorical question, my heart went out to Karla. You see, Karla’s story is much like the others. The jobs are different, the companies are different, but complaints are mostly the same.
James’ story was different from Karla’s. James works as an executive assistant to a prominent human resource officer at a prominent hospital. “Hey, my job is great. I’m happy doing what I do. My boss is great and I have a lot of flexibility. The only thing that bothers me sometime, is when someone tries to be my boss and insist on me doing stuff that is not a part of my job…now that sucks!”
James sat back in his seat and stretch out his leg, “I mean don’t get me wrong, my job is good, it pays well and I get to make some decisions, but you know.” I leaned forward and looked James in the eyes and said, “All jobs have its glitches. I’m not sure if any of them are perfect.” “I’m not saying that my job is perfect” James replied, it could be worse. Some people can’t stand going to work every day, not me. I look forward to it…most of the time.”
He shifted a bit and proceeded; “I would just change those unit heads who think I belong to them. I mean I complained to my boss, and he said if it got out of hand to let him know." The frown on James’ face told me that he was not satisfied with that response. After a few more comments, James admitted that he would be more comfortable on his job if some things changed. He also confided that he thought his boss was insensitive to his complaint and that was why he never complained again.
The honest observation about employment is that it is a give and take situation. The employer give and you take. Unless it is your business and you call the shots, you are at the mercy of those in charge. It does not matter how well the job, how bad the job, or how uncomfortable things may be, walking a thin line is a necessary evil.
In order to be employed effectively, you will have to think differently about your position within a company. Understanding that no job is perfect when you are working for others, It is advisable to list, in order of its importance, what is critical for success. You must understand that your opinion can be outweighed by someone else’s, depending on the need or perspective of the decision maker. Whose idea is better has no significance when your perspective is not in line with the decision maker.
You may think that it is unfair or not responsible on the part of your superior, but these types of situations require quick thinking on your part. 1. What is most important, your idea or your sanity; 2. How do you process rejection, does it take away from your relevance? 3. How can you use family and friends as your stress-release? 4. Do you demonstrate your worth in other meaningful ways? 5. What does employment mean to you, your life or assistance in covering, developing or enhancing home for a better life.
If you determine that employment is your life, misery will certainly be your present and future. Employers have a psychological advantage over their employees. Employers know that most people work because they have too. They also know that if you are insubordinate you will lose your job or at least be under tight scrutiny. As an employee, you have to learn to swallow your voice at times, say yes when you want to say no, accept situations that make you feel less than, and do what you occasionally don’t want to do.
Employment means making up in your mind, that you are an actor on the stage of employment life. You go to college to learn how to enhance; development, create and implement your ideas and experiences where the benefits will be realized by your employer. If you are lucky, you could land a job where they are looking for your brand of talent, which would make it easier for the employer to be successful. But even at that, the employer has the last word.
It’s important not to be afraid of your employment. Treat it as a commodity; for instance, think of it the same way you would if you were selling Avon or Mary Kay. Learn the product in and out; think of ways to get the information out to the public, or to other departments, depending on the type of job you have.
Make sure that you are honest about what it does, as well as what you can do, whether you are selling an item or a service. Never exaggerate what you can do, or what the product can do. Be consistent, and document what you do. Be prepared to answer questions from your superiors. If you are prepared, there will be no fear involved. Take training classes that will help you stay on top of your craft and hone your skills.
Don’t be afraid to say you don’t know something if that is the case, but make sure to find out what is needed and report back. Do it eagerly without grudge. Your face will reveal if you are disgruntled or upset about being asked to do something. Volunteer to get it done without being asked. Remember that this is only a job, not a life. At the end of the day, you will be happy to go home knowing that your day was productive and fulfilling.
If Karla is the person you associate with, don’t be afraid to talk about your concerns to your manager. Be sure to let them know that you believe in the organization and want to do your best to make it work, but you need support and consideration, especially when it starts to affect being home with your family. If you present it in the right way, your concerns will be heard.
If you associate with James, talk about job expectations with human resources, and then talk with your superior about who you report too and whether there is a chain of command. Once you know, you can politely decline outside interference. Remember that success comes when you know who you are, what you know, and how it fits within the needs and expectations of your organizational structure.
Remain relevant and don’t get frustrated over the small stuff. Know that the joys of life are waiting at home. Use your employment as your springboard to make your home what you want. Employment was never meant to take the place of family and home. It does however determine some of what you can do at home. You can make it easier, by balancing employment and family.
Karla expounded upon the fact that her purpose of working without complaint, was to show her daughter how important it is to do well on the job so that she could afford certain luxuries in life. She wanted her daughter to know that there is no shame in working hard and living the way you want too.
James, on the other hand, confirmed that his relationship with his wife was strained because of working late, and bringing work home. Whatever your choice for happiness is at work, remember that work is work and home is life. The goal of working is so that home is taken care of. Home can be sweeter as a result of a peaceful and productive work life.