What are the warning signs of a bad work relationship and what can you do about it?
Go Where You Are Celebrated! (Don’t Stay Where You Are Tolerated Or Abused)
Themes continuously emerge in my results coaching practice. A recent one is high achievers who pour their heart and soul into their work but who don’t feel appreciated. This leads to unhappiness, lack of engagement, stress, and burnout.
Yet, they stay in their job for years, unable to move. Does this scenario sound familiar?
Samantha and Henry Are Stuck
Samantha is an expert in her field, trained by the best. She even figured out how to work in an area congruent with her life’s purpose. By all accounts she should love her job. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case. She hates it. Her boss is evil: she is working for a scorpion.
For example, the boss didn’t have a one on one conversation with Samantha from September to November. The boss routinely canceled them.
The boss gave everyone in the organization a raise except for Samantha and her two direct reports. It wasn’t a performance-based decision. It was because Samantha wasn’t willing to accept a cut to her budget in order to offset her raise.
Samantha completed a huge project and received tremendous accolades from clients. But not even a ‘thank you’ from her boss.
Henry is a top expert in his field. His clients love him. He works at least 60-65 hours per week. Unfortunately, his boss is wicked. Henry can do nothing right. Even though his workload is unmanageable, the boss won’t redirect any projects away and instead scolds Henry for his ‘priority setting skills.”
Henry wowed a customer on one particularly complex project. The boss’ reaction? “Henry, you went over budget.” To make matters worse, this expectation has never been set nor has it been consistently applied.
He is cut off whenever he tries to defend his actions.
Samantha and Henry are experiencing major warning signs but haven’t done anything about it.
I’m not surprised. High achievers tend to be committed. They muscle through. They persist.
Loss Aversion and the Sunk Cost Fallacy
It goes deeper than that: what we are seeing play out with Samantha and Henry is loss aversion and the sunk cost fallacy.
Loss aversion is when you feel more pain from loss than gain. This theory explains why it is so hard to throw away old shirts in your closet. It explains why it feels more painful to lose $5 than the pleasure of receiving $5.
The sunk cost fallacy is when you go to a sporting event because you paid for a ticket even when you really don’t want to go. Economists will tell you this behavior is nonsensical because going to the event would be twice the suffering (you suffered once by spending the money; why suffer twice by going to the event?).
Samantha and Henry have sunk five years of their life into these jobs. They don’t want to “throw that old shirt away.”
10 Warning Signs
Here’s 10 signs that is time to go where you are celebrated, rather than stay where you are just tolerated, or worse, where you are being abused.
1) Your boss is micro-managing you
2) They steal your work and call it their own
3) Your boss does not give you any positive feedback
4) Your boss avoids you unless they have a problem
5) You aren’t earning what you deserve
6) You are not supported in your desire to learn new things
7) Your boss is not aware of all your talents
8) You’re a bundle of nerves
9) You take out your stress on your family
10) Your dedication, hard work, and loyalty are not appreciated
The Bottom Line
How many of these 10 descriptors apply to your situation? If more than three or four, it’s a telltale sign that it’s time to go where you will be celebrated.
Where to Start
I have assembled five worksheets to get you started. You can download them here. As soon as it is ready for publication, I will also send you a 37-page workbook and case study entitled “D.R.E.A.M. It, Do It”, your five-step formula to help you achieve any big, elusive goal, including breaking free from a bad job situation.
Call to Action
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