Many people, over time, grow to dislike and even hate their jobs. You may be one of those people. What you once loved – if you ever truly loved it – is now a source of disillusionment, anxiety, and stress.
You're sick of your job. But like in any relationship your feelings may not be one-sided. Your job may be sick of you, too – so much so it wishes you would leave. Today. And don’t forget to take all your stuff with you, because:
1. You manage up more than down.Building a great working relationship with your boss, helping your boss achieve her goals and targets, helping your boss do her job better… all are definitely important.
But what is much more important is leading the people who report to you. Spend anywhere near as much time managing up as you spend leading your team and you do your employees, your job, and yourself a huge disservice.
As a leader your primary job is to inspire, motivate, train, develop, and harness the power of the employees you lead so your company and your team benefits.Managing up is mostly about showing people higher on the corporate food chain how wonderful you are.
When you're a great leader, the only thing on prominent display is how amazing your team is.
2. You build walls instead of bridges.You worked hard for your job so you protect it by creating a network of mutual deterrence with other like-minded job protectors: You watch my back, I’ll watch yours. And not much gets done because everyone is focused on making sure no one gets “done to.”
A great network leverages the power of individuals and results in much, much more than the sum of its parts. Your job will grow and flourish through building connections with the rest of the company and the larger business world -- not from building walls.3. Your eye constantly wanders. You're bored with your job because, quite frankly, what started out exciting and new has grown more than a little stale. So you ask friends if they can set you up with another job. You search the “personals” for other jobs. You spend more and more time and effort trying to find a new job – and, worst of all, you do that while you’re still involved with your current job – and you pay less and less attention to your current work relationship. And your wandering eye impacts your results, your professional relationships, and employee morale. You think you're being discreet but you're not fooling anyone.
Especially your job.
If you think a job is no longer right for you, you owe it to that job – and to yourself – to look for another opportunity on your own time. Keep giving your current job your best.
Renewed focus might just remind you of all the reasons why once loved -- and could easily learn to love again -- your current job.
4. You focus on the wrong bottom line.Would you be willing to work a lot smarter and harder… but only if you get paid more first? If you had your boss’s job – and salary – would you then be willing to do your best? If you had the founder’s ownership stake, would you then be willing to do your best?
If so you have it backwards. The key is to turn the equation around. When you work smart, work hard, and do your best to help the company succeed – in short, to improve the company’s bottom line – then in time your bottom line will improve, too.Great companies recognize effort.
Great companies recognize hard work, dedication, and drive.
If your company isn’t a great company, then maybe it really is time to leave. But if it is a great company, help make it even better... and in time you will build a great career, too.
5. You married a trophy job.Do you see your job mostly a status symbol, as a way to show others how important you are? Do you talk more about your rank in the organization or about the cool stuff you do?
Is your title more important than the work you perform and the value you create?
Great employees think titles as basically irrelevant. They know while titles are sometimes given, accomplishments are always earned.
As with any great relationship, your job will love you most when you serve your job; then your job can best serve you, too.
6. You’re waiting for a white knight to save you.You wish for a new boss who will finally recognize your value. You wish for an assignment to a high-profile project so you can finally show what you can do. You wish. And you wait.
Your job doesn’t want you to wait for a savior; your job wants you to save yourself. Prove your value and your boss will recognize your value. Actively take more responsibility and great opportunities will naturally find you.
Take control of your own future and your job will respect you a lot more – and you’ll respect yourself a lot more, too.
7. You think it’s all about the big idea.Amazing innovations and surprising breakthroughs sometimes build great careers. The problem is, innovations and breakthroughs are hard to develop and even harder to execute.
The vast majority of people succeed through focus, hard work, and consistently excellent execution.
Forget to sweat the details while you search for that one incredible breakthrough and your job performance suffers.
One big idea, if it ever comes, could possibly make your career, but executing lots of small ideas will absolutely make your job love you – and will form the basis for a career you can truly be proud of.
If you hate your job, realize the feeling may be mutual – so start repairing the relationship right away. Or take a clear-eyed look at whether you need to end the “relationship” and move on.
Life is too short to spend with a job you hate – and with a job that hates you.