It gets to the point where even Sunday mornings start to grind on the mood.
That thought creeps in like a cold chill…
“Monday is only a day away.”
One recent job had become so troubling; I just stopped going the office. This sounds crazy to me now and is embarrassing to admit. But I felt almost paralyzed in a way.
What good is that high-paying job if it is killing you from within?
I would frequently work from home without permission or announcement. It felt like the only way to stomach working there.
This was because I was working in a toxic working environment and my job was killing me slowly, but surely.
Jobs like this poison the mind and bruise the soul.
Let’s look at some specific ways your job can be bad for your health.
“Your boss hates you.”
I read that line in a recent book by James Altucher and found it shocking and a bit over the top initially.
But after reflecting on past experiences, I mostly agree with James now.
When you get down to it, bosses largely care about their own issues, covering their own back, and making themselves look good.
Or worse…such as the terrible harassment that Julie Ann Horvath reportedly had to put up with at her job.
What Ms. Horvath had to endure sure sounds like hate to me.
There are famous stories of people starting in the mailroom and working their way up to CEO. But these are the exceptions and not the rule.
Maybe some professions are worse than others, but no matter how you slice it, clearly you have much more of a high ceiling as an entrepreneur.
As an entrepreneur your stature and success is limited only by your own imagination, work ethic, and moxie.
Looking at economic growth, there are plenty of statistics showing that salaries have stalled for the past decade. Currently wages are at all-time low of GDP in America.
Factor in inflation (and consider the officially stated inflation numbers do not seem to match reality) and your income truly is going nowhere but downward.
Additionally compare your job to something like a software product, book, or an application. These are all items that you can sell while you are asleep and can scale to great numbers of sales with little or no effort.
Working a job is trading dollars for hours and you only have a certain number of hours in any given day.
If you have children, your job becomes a constant warrior fighting against your desires to be there for dance recitals, ball games, school plays, class parties, and all of the other special moments that come with parenthood.
I remember hitting my first homer at a little league game when I was 12 years old. And it amazingly happened the pitch after someone yelled at me, “Hit a home run.” None of my family was there to see that ball fly beyond 330 feet and over the fence. It seems like a small thing, but that is something you never fully get over as a kid.
Will you be the parent that missed your child’s first home run?
If you are not lucky enough to have a flexible boss, you either have find creative ways to sneak out of the office or put work before your child and miss out on these passing moments.
Your boss and leadership team determine what new skills you can learn on the job — not you. Your mind is in prison while on the job.
Heck you may not even be allowed to access educational or relevant information while on the job. Thousands of employers block access to YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and other de facto standards of the Internet.
We are treated like children, as if we are not capable of controlling our usage of these sites, while ignoring that these sites also provide a huge amount of workable information.
Are we meat for making sausage or human beings?
Employee development is a lost art.
I remember early in my working life, a very common question in job interviews was “What do you want to be doing in five years?”
I have not been on either side of that question in at least a decade. Have you?
Employers seem to care less and less about your personal development and the lack of employee development is a big reason for many of us to leave our jobs.
Employers want to put their best foot forward to get you in the door and sometimes will even stretch the truth a little.
During one job interview I learned of a really great policy. 20% of my work time would be allowed to work on your own self-driven projects.
This was a huge selling point and I already had several ideas of projects I wanted to work on.
Guess how much time I was able to actually work on my own projects during that job? Think about it for a second…a hint…it was not 20%.
Did you guess it? Yes that answer would be 0%.
There was too much “real work” to be done and the only time available to work on my own projects was on my own time.
I am sure my employer meant well, but they failed at throttling the workload for an already under-staffed developer team.
What promises were broken to you?
Have you ever worked for a company that had an elaborate annual review requirement?
Just going through the process guarantees stress.
You have to list your major accomplishments for the year, rate yourself, give yourself feedback, and come up with goals for the next year.
Considering these processes determine your ability for raises, promotions, and your overall job security — they are serious business.
Then the dreaded closed-door session begins.
During one review, expecting to see excellent ratings across the board instead I was alarmed to see that I did not have a single one.
I did not even get an excellent score on my technical abilities, despite being a leader in the industry. I was moved down from a five to a four on the rating. “Is this a joke?”
That may not sound too terrible to you, but this was for working on a system that I (by myself) designed, developed, released, and continued to support and work on.
How can someone not be considered an expert in this situation? It defies any kind of logic I can fathom.
How did your job review go this year?
I hope it does not, but I trust that a lot of this will ring true with some of you.
Where do you go from here?
We will focus on the next steps for the frustrated employee in our next blog post.
Until then, hang in there, there is a light at the end of the tunnel for you and you are not alone.