I Love My Job, Love my Job, yeah. .yeah.
Are you happy with your job? Some people work because they have to. Others truly love what they do, and they're willing to take some lumps for the company as long as they feel job satisfaction. Where do you fit in?
It's clear that there are many individuals punching the clock who need to make a change. If you are in this group and are ready to free yourself from the shackles of a workplace that leaves you unsatisfied, unfulfilled and frustrated, now is the perfect time for you to declare your Independence.
Need help mustering up the courage to make a break? Here are some steps to get on the road to regaining your professional freedom:
Step 1: Figure out what's holding you back.
Step 3: Look into temporary options.
Feeling Run Down?
Wear and tear goes deeper than feeling run-down. A high-pressure job can actually double your risk of a heart attack, and a recent study reveals that chronic work stress can be just as bad on your mental and physical well-being as smoking and not exercising. Even working in a noisy office can cause stress hormones to rise to unhealthy levels.
Trying to balance career and family can take its toll: Women's stress hormones and blood pressure, unlike those of men, tend to stay elevated when the workday is over. These stress levels not only make you feel tense, but they also may put your heart at risk. How can you stay healthy and sane?
Fortunately, your body goes through layers of warning signs before physical damages set in. If you feel constantly on edge, that in itself is your body telling you that you need to take a break -- whether a 10-minute walk or a two-week vacation. Left unreleased, that stress buildup can turn to anxiety and depression, making it harder to focus and eventually disturbing the sleep cycles you need to stay refreshed. Sleeplessness is often the first physical symptom of an overstressed life.
If prolonged stress goes untreated, over time it can make your hair fall out, your joints ache and even stop your period. It can also lead to alcoholism, severe depression and hypertension. Eventually, chronic stress will even strip away your ability to enjoy time off: A recent study shows that people who juggle large workloads and feel overly responsible are the most likely to be plagued by headaches, muscle pain, fatigue and more when they're out of the office.
It's 4:30 p.m., and you're winding down your workday. On your agenda for the evening: Pick up the kids at the sitter's (your spouse is at a client meeting tonight), make dinner, hop on the treadmill, and finish your day with a hot bath. Suddenly your phone rings. It's your boss, asking you to stay for a few more hours to crank out a last-minute project. What's your response? If you're like most women, it's "yes." While our lives are becoming more and more jam-packed, we still feel compelled to agree to any task that's asked of us, whether it's finishing a report at work, or baking a batch of brownies for the PTA fundraiser. The result of taking on more than we can reasonably handle is that we become so stressed, we have little time to enjoy the aspects of our lives we're supposed to relish.
The solution? Just say no. Of course, this is no easy task, especially when we're eager to please everyone around us. "Women worry that if they turn down a request from a boss or friend, they'll be seen as unreliable, selfish, and unlikable," says Gloria Butler, EdD, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey. In some cases, professional women feel they're putting their chances of promotion or praise in jeopardy by saying no.
Are you burning out? Ready to Quit!
Think about Your Financial Needs
Find Happiness in Your Current Job
What to Do If You're Afraid of Being Fired.If you hear -- or are told outright -- by your employer that some jobs have to go and yours "might" be one of them, what can you do about it? Losing one's job is a worrying prospect for many who rely on their regular income to cover mortgages, car loans, school fees, food bills, and all the other expenses of living. What you can do about it depends on the size of the company you work for, your skill level and experience, where you live, the status of employment in your area, and other factors. If you are afraid of being fired, there are steps you can take, so first let's take a look at being laid off.
1. Get the Truth
Find out first if your job is on the firing line. You may be worrying for nothing. Don't just ask other employees -- they may merely repeat rumors and gossip. Either have a confidential chat with your immediate manager, or make an appointment with the human resources manager.
2. Use Your Contacts
If your job is in jeopardy, depending on your current role, you may be able to put yourself in a position of availability to "headhunters" from other companies. Make contact with people in other organizations and contact the human resources managers of other companies and submit your resumé. If you are a member of an association, it's time to network. Let it be known among those in positions to help you that you are in need of a new position...but be discreet.
3. Update Your Resumé
Don't wait until the bell tolls before you start sending out job applications and your resumé. What if you are not going to "lose your job" for another three months, but it takes three to six months before you find another one? Can you afford to wait that long? Start applying now. It's hard when you have feelings of loyalty to your existing employer, but if they are planning to get rid of you soon...right now you need to be looking out for yourself.
4. Know Your Entitlements
If you are staying until the end, make sure you know your entitlements. What settlement is the company offering you? Have you received a termination agreement with everything set out? You have legal recourse if the company does not pay you what you are entitled to under your agreement with them and state and federal laws, and even union rules (if applicable to you) governing such things as redundancy packages. In addition to this, find out if you are eligible for any government unemployment benefits -- in case you need them.
5. Get References Before You Go
Make sure you get references before you leave the company. You will need them.
Now let's say you are afraid of being fired for other reasons. Perhaps you made one too many mistakes, or your boss doesn't like you, or you are being discriminated against for reasons of sex, religion or whatever. If you haven't actually been fired "yet," try to find ways to overcome the situation that is threatening you. Can you transfer to a different department? Would a word with your manager help clear things up? Is there anything you can do to put things "right" or fix them? If not, and the threat of being fired is real, consider this:
- Keep a diary of all communications, verbal or otherwise, between yourself and others at your place of employment, including any discriminatory behavior or comments.
- If you are not with a union, contact a legal professional or an employment professional to find out your rights.
How to ask for and receive a Pay Increase.
It's all in the way you word your request. As anyone who has worked a job knows, a salary increase doesn't always come along just because an employee deserves one. Sometimes you have to ask, and if it's been a while since your last raise, or if you've recently gotten positive feedback from management, now's a good time.
However, says Larney R. Gump, D.Ed., a licensed psychologist and career counselor in Washington, D.C., broaching the subject in the wrong way could weaken your chances. Avoid lines like these:
- "But so-and-so got a raise." Responsibilities are rarely the same, so comparing yourself to another employee isn't useful. Instead, point out your most recent accomplishments.
- "If I don't get a raise, I'll quit." Don't give your boss an ultimatum. Instead, offer her a chance to problem-solve by saying something like, "It's been a year since my last raise. What can you do to help me?"
- "I need the money." Your finances are not your boss's problem. Instead of telling her a sob story, ask how you can earn more.
Don't date your boss — or a subordinate. "Never get involved with someone who's in your direct chain of command," says Dr. DuBrin. "There's too much of a chance that people will perceive favoritism." Some large companies mandate that if two individuals from the same department or work group get involved, they need to alert management, so that half of the couple can be reassigned. If you're considering pursuing love with your boss or assistant, ask yourself: Is this relationship worth my job? Because that's what it will probably cost you.
Develop a thick skin. Office affairs (be they flings or serious commitments) make juicy gossip. People are probably going to discuss your involvement, whether you like it or not. Says Lifetime Online community member Jodster, "The biggest problem with meeting my husband at work was the problem other people had with it."
Weigh the risks. It's imperative that you be realistic about the possible downsides of office romance. If you break up, for example, you may feel compelled to quit your job to avoid having to face Mr. Ex every day. "Please, please take my advice and don't mix work with a relationship," writes one Lifetime community member. "I ended up getting involved with my boss — and guess who had to leave when things went sour?"
The workplace is still a pretty good place to meet a partner with similar passions and values; 40% of Americans have been involved with a co-worker at some point in their career, according to an American Management Association survey. But, is it worth the Risk?
"Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow;
It empties today of its strength."
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