Does your average day at the office feel as difficult as the task of getting on the couch for this cute, little Dachshund? Unless you find the pillow, like Dachshund in this video, to help you get through the day, you are likely headed for burnout. So how do you know if you’re trying too hard at work?
1.Management praises your ideas, but. .. .
You’ve gotten positive feedback with every process improvement you’ve brought up at a meeting, you consistently receive support when you develop a new initiative, but there’s an excuse to explain why none of your suggestions ever move forward. Sometimes your bosses and co-workers are just being polite and not wanting to criticize your ideas, but oftentimes excuses happen as an explanation when leadership doesn’t have the vision or skillset to execute your idea. Another possibility is that your leadership is might wish they had your creativity to solve a problem or improve a system. All of these scenarios are difficult to deal with as an employee. With any of these scenarios, it indicates a weakness in leadership. If you are not on the path to become part of leadership, nothing will change until new leadership arrives. It will be up to you to decide how long you can handle the status quo.
2.You need help, but. .. .
You are the first one in the office and the last one to leave every day, you answer calls on vacation, and only used half of your vacation days last year. Your direct boss has addressed how much time you’re spending in the office, and has promised to get you help. However, another quarter passes, and you’re no closer to receiving approval to post an open position. At your bi-annual review, you bring up adding staff again, and your request is met with another reason that you’ll have to wait for help. In times of turmoil and restructuring, it can take awhile for a larger organization to fully determine its staffing needs. However, smaller organizations should have fewer stakeholders and the ability to take a more nimble approach to hiring where needed. You have to weigh whether your boss is telling you what you want to hear, if there are layoffs or restructuring in motion, or if your boss simply can’t afford another person. No matter where you land, you’re the only one who can decide when you start looking for an exit strategy, or if you have to continue on the path you’re on.
3.You are up for a promotion, but. . . .
Hopefully you are told about the promotion and you receive it at the appropriate time. However, if your promotion is discussed, discussed again, and feels like it’s getting further and further away, it could be a part of the issues addressed in point number one or point number two. Additionally, the promise of promotion is one way that troubled managers can use to get their best employees to stay. If you can determine what is going on with your promotion with an honest conversation with your manager, it’s likely he or she has your best interest in mind. However, if your conversation is met with more of the same explanations, you’ll have to decide if you’re willing to wait to see if the promotion ever comes to fruition.
4.You want to say no, but. ..
You feel like if you say no to anyone, you’re setting your department and team back. And besides, if you don’t do it, no one else will either. You feel guilty at the mere notion of saying no to doing something you don’t really want to do, don’t have time to do, but are afraid of the outcome if you don’t. Sometimes this happens when you lose sight of the big picture, and have leadership that has lost their direction too. Because you can’t control or influence the big pieces, you focus on all the little things, and the completion of the little things is the only satisfaction you get out of your job. The only way to snap back into focus is to figure out what actually matters, and start doing the things that align with the goals and objectives that have been set for you and your team. This means you’ll have to start saying no. The alternative? It’s been so long since you’ve said no that your team and manager will stop asking, and just assume you’ll do whatever they put on your plate. Start saying no. You’ll find it empowering, and it will help you start setting boundaries for yourself and with your colleagues.
If you find yourself in any of these situations, you’re likely feeling like you want to quit your job, or you feel too invested to quit. Either way, it’s a tough place to be. You’re bordering on dysfunction, or you’ve already arrived. You feel like you want to keep trying to make it work, and have probably told yourself things will get better in the next six months, so you just need to hang in there for another six months. In reality, if this is where you’re at right now, you’ve already given it six months, you’ve probably already given it a year. The best advice we can give you is to start putting your happiness and your success at the top of your priority list. Start setting healthy boundaries that put life back into your work/life balance. There is no time like the present to put a stop to the feeling that you are treading water inside and outside the office. Let us know how we can help you stop simply surviving and start succeeding.