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What to do when work doesn't work? Part 2

Today, I would like to go back to the workplace issues as a follow up to my previous post.

What could be other concerns when it comes to the workplace?

Workplace Values (Ethics) and compromising your own integrity

Very often we are attracted to the workplace by different factors like money, position, benefits, future prospects, etc. We often don’t even care what these companies do… After a while working in a new role with a new employer we learn more about what they actually do, how the employees are treated, and this information could be a turning point for us. There could be a situation when employees are pressured to do certain things against their own beliefs. That eventually could have an impact on your future career so you need to be clear how these arrangements are made and how to protect yourself. If you see something that you don’t feel comfortable with, review employers guidelines. If you have any doubts talk to your supervisor, human resources, or legal representatives.

‘Difficult’ Boss

This problem happens quite often and can be emotionally exhausting (for both parties). In this situation, there might be some personality clash, where the style and the work input / output may be perceived differently for each side.

The best way to start resolving issues is to ask yourself what the actual problem is and why you get upset about it. Remember that the issue looks different from a different perspective (it looks different to you and different from your supervisor). Think about the best way to discuss those issues. Do not approach any issue with a defensive mindset, apportioning blames or accusation of wrongdoing. Arrange an appointment with your supervisor and ask for directions with a mindset of the solution, for example, “How can we fix this?”

Discuss the solution that will work for both of you. If the problem cannot be resolved, ask for their supervisor or human resources for assistance.

Harassment and Discrimination

Both harassment and discrimination are illegal and they come in different forms. Remember that you do not need to put up with it! Do not compromise yourself in these situations. Ask the person involved to stop. Do not hesitate to report that behaviour to your supervisor or HR. Some situations may inevitably require legal assistance.

Bullying in the workplace

Bullying can come in different forms from condescending behaviour, gossiping to the exclusion or even violence. Bullies can be found on both sides, as coworkers and bosses. If that happens to you, believe me, that you are not alone. You have done nothing to cause that to happen and there are several ways of finding help to deal with such situations:

  1. Confront the bully in a calm, confident manner. Explain how their comments/actions are offensive. You might like to give them an opportunity to correct the behaviour.

  2. Get prepared for consequences as bullying often escalates after it is exposed.

  3. Talk to your supervisor and ensure they are aware of your good work. Often bullies are trying to show your outcome of work from a bad perspective.

  4. If possible, avoid situations where bullying is most likely to occur. These cases are hard to prove through legal action. As a result, you might like to consider leaving a hostile environment.

In most cases, bullying is not being reported as employees are scared about dismissal or retaliation. In many workplaces, employers perceive bullying as a personal conflict and dismiss it. If you feel like your boundaries are crossed and you are being bullied keep the record of that person’s behaviour. Talk to the HR person or someone within the company that you trust.

Career progression concerns

What to do when you are constantly being passed over for promotion?

It does never feel good to be turned down for something. However, try to behave civilly and don’t complain to others. Ask for a meeting with your supervisor so you can find out more details about why and what you can do differently. For example - find a mentor, ask for more projects and responsibilities, acquire new skills, etc.

When there is no place for you to grow and you hit a glass ceiling...

After working several years in a company you could feel like you have advanced as far as you can. You have reached what is called the "glass ceiling." Even when you can see the next career level for yourself, you can't seem to reach it. You might also have experienced issues with being promoted (as outlined above).

There are a few steps that can help you:

  • Identify which traits and skills are taken into consideration when they promote your colleagues. Show your own value.

  • Talk to your supervisor about your goals and establish how to accomplish them.

  • Strengthen your relationships with other people you work with.

Being stuck in the same job...

Sometimes you might be perceived to be skilled only in certain areas and therefore, not being considered for any other type of work. As a result, you cannot move up in a career ladder or change your career. Below is what can help you:

  • Talk to your supervisor about the issue. Ask why you are unable to move up from your current. Explain why your desire to do something different is important to you.

  • Ask as a volunteer to take up some new responsibilities or projects to showcase your abilities. By doing that you increase your visibility and value.

  • Obtain additional training if required for a role.

  • If there is a possibility within your team, train your replacement. That will assure the management that they will not lose the only person that knows how to do your job well.

Starting to look for another job

This is possibly the last resort and quite a process so you might like to try to make your current job work. Write down all of the issues you might have with your current role. Maybe you could change your routine, take up new responsibilities or pursue an interest outside of work. Talk to your supervisor. There could be ways to twist your current position in a way that makes it interesting for you and also ensures work continuity that meets the role you are employed for.

If you find yourself in the same role that feels like an existential rut, after all, it could be a good time to look for a new job. This can be challenging if you are still employed. Search for a new job in your own personal, not work, time. Try to schedule interviews before or after work. When choosing a future employer make sure they will help you achieve your career and personal goals. Once you get a new job, give your employer the required notice and don't burn bridges.

I hope you find that helpful.

If you need any career advice, or you are stuck and don’t know what to do next - contact me via the contact form on this website. I have a variety of tools and techniques that can help you.

You can also subscribe to my monthly newsletter/magazine to get even more information about career, coaching, life and more.

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