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Archives for the 'Navigating Work Stress' Category

Involuntary Abrupt Endings

Getting let go from work is like getting hit by a bus.

And like getting hit by a bus, people who get fired, laid off, or asked to leave often experience PTSD (post-traumatic-stress-syndrome). I see it more often than you might think.

The symptoms show up in one’s work history:
–extended time off
–private consulting
–gig work
–sudden or serial entrepreneurism
–underemployment

A common behavior amongst people with Job-related PTSD is complete and total avoidance of an intentional job search — like a batter avoiding the batter’s box or a veteran avoiding loud noises or a driver circumnavigating busy intersections.

It’s understandable. It’s a smart reaction to a bad experience: the brain saying “hey that sucked. Let’s not go through that again.”

But it abbreviates your life. It makes you take U-turns that keep you from certain roads.

To break free of job PTSD, you have to confront it. (Ghosts hate it when you give ’em a name.) Talk about it, replay the crap-ending to someone who loves you and supports you. No need to deconstruct it or overanalyze things, just pull it into the light and let your emotions go where they go; you’ll probably cycle through quite a few of them.

Then go back before that ending and remember the good stuff too. And if it was always bad at that job, go to the one before it.

You’ve got victories; you’ve just forgotten about them. They’re obstructed. The ghosts are in the way.

Once you get them to move, you’ll see all the roads again. And the intersections will be clear.

top Career Transition, COVID-19, Job Hunting in a Recession, Job Market, Mature Workers, Navigating Work Stress |

How To Avoid Getting Lost In An Interview

Sometimes, we get ourselves talking and we forget where we’re going. Or we don’t know what direction to talk in or how deep to dive.

You’re not alone.

It’s difficult to figure out how much you should say at any given time in a job interview. And with the prevalence of video interviewing it’s become ever harder to judge how people are receiving what you’re dishing out while you’re dishing it.

So how do you know what to say, how much to offer, and when to say it? Continue reading this entry »

top Interviewing, Navigating Work Stress, Recruiters & HR |

How To Make Your Job Better

A lot of us hate our job or at least see it as a grind. Getting up in the morning is a chore, there’s not much we look forward to. We become dichotomous in our thinking: “Maybe I should quit.” In other words, it’s either this crappy job or nothing at all. And leaving is often too big of a hill to climb. There’s another way.

Make your job suck less.

1. Find people who don’t suck, and hang out with them.

Ask them what they do and what they like about it. They don’t have to be in your discipline, in fact, it might be better if they’re not. Most important, make sure this new alliance doesn’t turn into a venting session (for either of you).

2. Start a pet project.

What change do you wish to see at work? What would give you energy if it was there waiting for you every day? Maybe it’s about addressing the culture of the company, maybe it’s about changing a process, or rearranging furniture. Own something and chip away at it. Create something to look forward to.

3. Expand your perspective.

Pull back and look at the whole organization, the workflow across the entire enterprise, no matter how big. Which parts light you up. Are you touching them? How can you make it so that you are?

4. Harness your negativity in a positive way.

Determine what’s frustrating you, get to the heart of it. If it’s mostly about you, that’s good news. That means you can change it. If the problems lie with the company, think about an alternative way of doing things. If it really catches fire with you, turn it into a proposal and bring it to a supervisor. Share it in earnest but as a proposal, not a demand. You may be surprised by the reaction.

5. Give yourself something to get up to.

Try not to have your first thought be about the job you hate. Have your first thought or activity of the day be something good. This will shift your perspective for the rest of the day, including your perspective at work.

Sometimes, it’s not about leaving. It’s about tweaking. Change is at hand.

top Career Transition, Job Hunting in a Recession, Job Market, Navigating Work Stress |