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9 Things You Can Do To Get Your Soul Back From Your Awful Job

9 Things You Can Do To Get Your Soul Back From Your Awful Job

I’m guessing that many readers of this article didn’t plan to end up in the job or career that they are currently in. And maybe, since you chose to read this article, you’re one of them. Perhaps you just ‘fell’ into your job. Or maybe you had no plan, didn’t know your passion when you were younger, or lacked vision. But I’m here to tell you not to worry – it’s never too late. You don’t have to have your job suck the life out of you. Tomorrow is a new day, so focus on the positives. Embrace these nine ways to get your soul back from your awful job:

1. Acknowledge your greatness.

When we’re unhappy or feeling stuck, sometimes we can get down on ourselves. We think that there is no way out. And sometimes we even internalize the negativity. I’m here to tell you this: don’t do that! You are special, unique, and gifted. We all are. We all have something amazing to offer the world. So don’t let anyone tell you otherwise – especially yourself!

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2. Focus on other important things in your life.

Maybe you like to play tennis. Or you enjoy watching a good basketball game on TV. Or reading your favorite book. Or taking up a new hobby. Distracting yourself with other positive, important things you have going on (or could start doing), shifts your focus from bad to good.

3. Be grateful for what you do have.

When you are miserable in your job, it can become difficult to see how great your life is in other areas. It’s not uncommon for people to bring their job negativity home to their loved ones. When you do that, your bad attitude can act as a poison. It may even cause you to lash out at your family or friends. But you need to ‘leave work at work.’ When you come home, appreciate the roof over your head, the food on your table, the paycheck you get, and the people who love you. Putting more positive energy into your life through conscious appreciation will decrease the negative energy you feel when you are at work.

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4. Figure out your passion.

Do you love to cook? Maybe you could find a job in the catering business. Do you love to play guitar? Maybe you should teach guitar lessons or start a band. Do you love to read self-help books? Then you could start your own website and post positive inspiration for others. Many people think that what they love doing is naturally separate from their work life. That doesn’t have to be true. Once you figure out your passion, you can find a way to make money doing it. All it takes is a little creativity and determination.

5. Write down the essence of what you want in a job.

When I graduated college, I still had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. One day, I read in a book that I should write down the ‘essence’ of what I wanted my life’s work to look like. So I wrote down things like “flexible schedule,” “lots of vacation time,” “I teach others,” and “I have time to spend with my children.” That one simple exercise helped me focus on what was meaningful to me. And luckily, years later, I manifested exactly the kind of career that I had hoped. You can do it too!

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6. Make a plan.

If you want to get in your car and drive somewhere new, what do you do? First, you get the address of where you want to go. Then you program that address into your GPS and let it guide you to your destination. You need to do the same thing with your career. If you don’t know where you want to go and how to get there, then you will just wander aimlessly and get lost. So make a plan and stick to it.

7. Visualize

Research has proven that the subconscious mind doesn’t know the difference between fantasy and reality. So if you literally close your eyes and ‘see’ yourself happy in your new career, your subconscious thinks it’s true and will start making things happen to manifest it. Feel how joyful you are when you get up in the morning because you can’t wait to get to work. Putting positive emotion into imagining your happy future will actually bring it into existence.

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8. Take action.

Don’t just sit around and complain about your job. Unfortunately, I know way too many people who do that. I always want to shake them and say, “DO something about it!” Complaining changes nothing. All it does is make a bad situation worse. Adding negativity to negativity only gives you more negativity. So get on the Internet and search for other jobs. Start applying. Or make a plan to start your own business. And when it’s time, quit your job and let the happiness begin!

9. Don’t give up hope!

Remember, nothing happens overnight. Some people may look like an overnight success, most people aren’t. It takes some people many years to achieve their career goals. But if you get frustrated and give up, then you won’t ever get there. So commit to your career change and know that it will happen.

So there you have it – my advice for taking action and deciding that you will no longer allow your awful job to suck the life out of you. Stay positive and stay on course. You will be happy you did. Good luck!

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Carol Morgan

Dr. Carol Morgan is the owner of HerSideHisSide.com, a communication professor, dating & relationship coach, TV personality, speaker, and author.

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Last Updated on July 15, 2019

10 Signs of a Bad Boss and How to Deal with Them

10 Signs of a Bad Boss and How to Deal with Them

This is an article I didn’t want to write. Even if it appears that way on the surface, few things are black and white. Between the two colors is a world of gray. Notwithstanding the bosses who behave criminally, some of the people who carry the “bad boss” label have possibly been, or have the capacity to become, a “good boss.”

This is an article I didn’t want to write because I understand that depending on whom you ask, many of us could be labeled either a good or bad boss.

Perhaps another reason I didn’t want to write this article is because context matters. Context for the organization and context for the individual. What is happening in the organization? What is the culture? Is the “boss” in a position for which the individual is equipped to do the job? Is the person in a terrible place in life? The office culture, the relationship a team member has with a boss or board and the leader’s personal life can all influence how the person shows up and leads and how others perceive the individual.

But since I am writing this article, I will share a few signs that bosses are bad and in need of a timeout.

1. Bad Bosses Don’t Know and Haven’t Healed Their Inner Child

If you plan to lead people – well, if you plan to effectively lead yourself – you must get reacquainted with your inner child. Just because you are in young adulthood, middle age or the golden years doesn’t mean your inner child matches your chronological age. If you experienced trauma as a child, your inner child may be stuck at the point or age of that trauma. While you walk around in a woman’s size 10 shoe, your behavior may showcase an inner child who is much younger.

In a June 7, 2008, Psychology Today article, Stephen A. Diamond, Ph.D., observed,[1]

“The fact is that the majority of so-called adults are not truly adults at all. We all get older … But, psychologically speaking, this is not adulthood. True adulthood hinges on acknowledging, accepting, and taking responsibility for loving and parenting one’s own inner child. For most adults, this never happens. Instead, their inner child has been denied, neglected, disparaged, abandoned or rejected. We are told by society to ‘grow up,’ putting childish things aside. To become adults, we’ve been taught that our inner child—representing our child-like capacity for innocence, wonder, awe, joy, sensitivity and playfulness—must be stifled, quarantined or even killed. The inner child comprises and potentiates these positive qualities. But it also holds our accumulated childhood hurts, traumas, fears and angers.”

Sometimes the key that your inner child needs tending to is conflict with someone else’s inner child.

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Good bosses are aware of the ups and downs of their childhood, have worked or are working to heal their inner child and are aware of their triggers. Good managers use this awareness to manage themselves, and their interactions with others. Bad bosses are oblivious to how their inner child impacts not only their life but the lives of others.

2. Bad Bosses Are Unable to Accept Feedback

Bad bosses are not intentional about creating an environment where their peers and colleagues can share feedback about their leadership. They don’t solicit feedback. Given the power dynamic that managers, CEOs and others in leadership yield, they must go out of their way to solicit feedback, and they must do so repeatedly.

Before being completely honest, most team members will test the waters and share low-stakes information to get a sense for how their boss will respond. If the boss is angry or retaliatory, team members are less likely to risk being candid in the future.

So being unable to accept feedback takes on two forms: failing to proactively and repeatedly ask for feedback and reacting poorly when feedback is shared.

3. Bad Bosses Are Unwilling to Give Timely Feedback

The flip side of accepting feedback is giving feedback. Both require courage. It takes courage to open yourself up and accept feedback on ways that you need to grow. Similarly, it takes courage to share honest feedback about a team member’s or colleague’s performance or behavior.

Since not everyone is open to accepting feedback, whether they’re a manager or not, having an honest conversation about areas a team member or colleague has missed the mark, is not always easy. Still, good bosses will find a way to share feedback, and they’ll do so in a timely fashion.

Withholding feedback and sharing it months after a situation has unfolded or in a snowball fashion is unhelpful to the employees. One of the ways we grow as leaders is through feedback. When people have the courage to tell us the truth, that information allows us to progress.

4. Bad Bosses Are Unable to Acknowledge Their Mistakes

Owning their mistakes is like a disease to bad bosses; they do not want it. Instead of being risk averse, they are accountability averse. The problem is that they can only gloss over their weaknesses or failures for so long; the people around are able to see their flaws and weaknesses, and bad bosses pretending they don’t exist is not helpful. It is infuriating.

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However, bad bosses are masterful at reassigning blame. They are unable or unwilling to accept responsibility for mistakes — small or large. But career expert Amanda Augustine told CNBC “Make It” in May 2017, that “good managers also admit their mistakes.”[2] They don’t pass the blame or pretend they didn’t make a mistake. They own it.

5. Bad Bosses Are Unwilling or Incapable of Being Vulnerable

Vulnerability is an underrated leadership skill. But well-placed and well-thought out vulnerability enables employees to see their leaders’ humanity, and it creates a way for leaders to bond with their teams.

Bad bosses may talk about vulnerability, but they don’t practice it in their own lives, particularly in the workplace.

6. Privately, Bad Bosses Do Not Live Up to the Organization’s Stated Values

Bad bosses may publicly spout the values of the organization they work for, but privately they either don’t believe or don’t embody those values.

If they work for an environmental group, they may not practice sustainability in their private lives. Their words and actions are incongruent.

7. Bad Bosses Are Unable to Inspire Others

When bad bosses are unable or unwilling to take the time to inspire others, they lead through fear or command. Neither are helpful.

A culture dominated by fear will stifle creativity and risk taking that can lead to innovation. An autocratic management style will have a similar effect in that team, members will not feel they have the space to step outside of the box they have been placed in.

A good boss is someone who takes time to share the big picture and time to inspire their teams to want to be a part of it.

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8. Bad Bosses Are Disinterested in How Their Behavior Impacts Others

They are narcissistic and focused on self-preservation. In “19 Traits of a Bad Boss,” Kevin Sheridan said,[3]

“Terrible bosses are endlessly self-centered. Everything is about them and not the people they manage or what is going on in their employees’ personal lives. It is never about the team, but rather all about how good they look. Conversely, great bosses lead with integrity, honesty, care, and authenticity.”

Rather than seeing their team’s talents and seeing people’s full humanity, bad bosses believe their team exists to serve them. Families, personal life and priorities be damned. Bona fide bad bosses believe that their comfort should be prioritized over their team’s needs and desires.

9. Bad Bosses Have Likely Received Negative Feedback

Bad bosses have likely been told that they are poor supervisors. They have likely been told time and time again that their behavior is harmful to the people around them.

Perhaps they do not know how to change or are unwilling to change. But bad bosses certainly have received clues, insights and direct feedback that their management style and behavior are harmful to others.

Even when someone hasn’t explicitly said, “Your behavior is harmful to me and others,” the absence of feedback indicates a problem. It can mean that the leader’s team doesn’t feel safe enough to share feedback, that people do not believe the leader will act on what is shared, or that people have determine the best strategy is to avoid the boss as much as possible.

10. Bad Bosses Are Perfectionists

Bad bosses are driven by an internal urge to be perfect. Perfectionists don’t just want to be perfect; they want everyone around them to be perfect as well. This is a standard that neither they nor their team can live up to.

Since perfection is illusive, they spend their time chasing their shadow and being frustrated that they cannot catch it. They are unable to enjoy the journey and often block others from doing so as well. They let “perfect” be the enemy of “good.” Rather than embracing a growth mindset that desires to learn and improved, they are compulsive and toxic.

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If you are like me and you see yourself in parts of this list, do not despair. A bad boss can change. The key is seeking honest feedback and being willing to work through that feedback and your triggers with a therapist or coach.

The Bottom Line

Regardless of your age and the mistakes you have made, you can change and become a healthier leader whom others respect and appreciate.

Conversely, if you are employed by a bad boss, do everything in your power to take care of yourself. Understand that your boss’s behavior, even if directed at you, is not about you. Your boss’s reactions, if and when you make a mistake, is a reflection on that individual, not you.

To survive the work environment, think about the lesson you are meant to learn. You can do this with a trusted therapist or capable coach. However, if you deem the work environment to be toxic and harmful to your health, seek employment elsewhere.

In the end, this is an article I did not want to write, but I’m happy I did.

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Featured photo credit: Amy Hirschi via unsplash.com

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