Unhappy at work

Unhappy at work

Unhappy at work – the sad fact is that very few of us are lucky enough to be unhappy at workhappy all the time at work. For some though, sadly, they are not happy for most of the time. When that happens to you, you may need to spend a little time thinking through exactly why you are unhappy. And then you  can decide best what to do about it.

Most of us have days when we get up not excited about the prospect of going to work. It might be because we know we have something ahead that is very challenging. I mean the kind of challenging that checks the box that says “this challenge is really exciting and it is motivating me to do well”. But, even when you feel confident and competent in the job, some challenges will feel daunting.

There will be some challenges where you feel you really do not have the competencies needed to do well. In those circumstances, it is wise to seek help from your line manager, a mentor or a friendly colleague. It is better to have the strength and humility to seek help than to race on towards possible failure and more unhappiness.

If your unhappy at work is a question of confidence, then again training and support are available. There are lots of coaches like me who would be very happy to work with you. Most of us will work with you as a one off to help you to prepare for a special event and we’ll certainly work with you to resolve deeper issues. Plus, you can find lots of books to help you work on strengthening your confidence.

Of course there are all kinds of unhappiness at work. Here are just to few things that can make you unhappy at work;

1. The Job Itself

a. May be over and sometimes under-demanding
b. May have turned out to require a different skill set to that advertised or it has changed over time.

2. The people

a. The person we work for may be unpleasant to the point being a bully or perhaps pleasant but just not very good at managing
b. The team we work with may be poorly led, unpleasant or simply dysfunctional in some other way for example without clear terms of reference

3. The Environment

a. The location, accommodation or commute may be unpleasant.
b. The company may be failing or in difficulties for some reason
c. The culture of the organization may be one in which we can’t feel happy, fulfilled and appreciated

What really matters when you are unhappy is to try to be very clear about the reason. Until you are clear, it is quite difficult to define your options for putting things right. Too often the first response is simply to think I just need to get out. And in the present climate, that isn’t realistic!

Never be afraid to ask for help. There are lots of us out there who be pleased to talk to you!

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find her books on Amazon at this link

         

Anchor the Change

Anchor the Change

Leading Change the Kotter Way

Anchor the Change is the eighth and last step in the Kotter model. Real changeanchor the change runs deep, takes time and needs to be embedded. It has to become part of the core of your organization! Your corporate culture often determines what gets done, so the values behind your vision must be shown in day-to-day work.

This post is last part of a series on the Kotter approach to leading change. I am in process of revamping my original Kotter model series. Links to all the earlier Kotter posts are in this paragraph. The Kotter model is based on research which showed that there are eight critical steps an organisation or service needs to go through to ensure that change happens and sticks. This series of posts will consider these steps in greater detail. We have already reissued; Step One: Creating Urgency Step Two: Forming a Powerful CoalitionStep Three Creating a Vision for Change Step Four: Communicate Your Vision , Step Five: Handling Resistance , Step Six Delivering Short-Term Wins and Step Seven Building on Change

Step Eight: Anchor the Change in Corporate Culture

This is the last step. To make any change stick, it has to become part of the core of your organization! Your corporate culture often determines what gets done. So the values behind your vision must be shown in day-to-day work.

You should make continuous efforts to ensure the change is seen in every aspect of your organization. This will help give that change a solid place in your organisation’s culture.

It’s important that your company’s leaders continue to support the change. This includes existing staff and any new leaders who are brought in. If you lose the support of these people, you could end up back where you started.

What you can do:

  • Talk about progress every chance you get. Tell success stories about the change process, and repeat other stories that you hear. Give everyone a clear picture!
  • Include the change ideals and values when hiring and training new staff.
  • Publicly recognise key members of your original change coalition, and make sure the rest of the staff – new and old – remembers their contributions.
  • Publicly reward people who demonstrate the change in their behaviour – even if it is just a word in the office at their desks.
  • Create plans to replace key leaders of change as they move on. This will help ensure that their legacy is not lost or forgotten.

Meanwhile …

Here is a Kotter Reading List for you;

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find her books on Amazon at this link

         

Time to Make The Change

Time to Make The Change

Changing Careers – Part 3 Deciding Whether To Make The Change – A Checklist

Make The Change – this is the third and last part of our series for career changers. In Part 1 (Link below) we thought about whether career change could benefit you and suggested some questions that might help you to be clearer about your decision. In Part 2 (Link below) we considered how you can start building up a picture of your ideal job and find out which careers match it most closely.

Deciding to change career could be brilliant for you, but it is a big step. So you need to make sure you’ve thought of everything and you know what to expect. When you change career, you need to consider location, salary and the job market, for example. And you may also need to put some work into updating your skills and qualifications.

Here is a checklist of things to consider!

  1. Location You’ll need to consider location and how far you are willing to move. While you can probably find work as a florist in most large towns, if you’re looking to get into advertising, for example, there are likely to be more opportunities in London and other major cities.
  2. Salary and Promotion Most careers provide opportunities for promotion and you should check out what these might be. But it may not mean much more pay. You may have to decide between doing something you love or going for something less appealing with more pay.
  3. Time Changing career can eat away at your free time – you might need to work long hours, do voluntary work or study a course. Think about how this will affect others and whether you can really ask them to make the sacrifice. What about your partner, your children or anyone else you live with? Make sure you talk it over with them and let them know what will be involved. But don’t leave out the benefits – give them a balanced picture.
  4. The job market There’s competition in most careers, but some are more competitive than others. Careers that are seen as glamorous can be difficult to get into without plenty of unpaid work experience, enthusiasm and some luck. Make sure you understand what it is going to take.
  5. Working conditions What will doing the job actually mean for your day-to-day? If it involves meeting lots of people and that’s not your thing, you might want to think again. Would you prefer a job indoors, or wouldn’t you mind being outside in the depths of winter?
  6. Plan your finances This is the big one. Switching careers usually involves a drop in salary, as you try to establish yourself in a new field. Are you and your family prepared to lower your outgoings, do without holidays, share a car or use some savings for a few years, if that is required?

Changing Careers – Part 1 Where To Start! A Checklist for Career Change

Changing Careers – Part 2 Finding the right career to suit you

Help with career planning

If you need support form a coach in making a decision about a career change, please get in touch. I wish you every success in making your decision and, if it is right for you, making your career change.

Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach
Wendy Smith, Principal Coach, WiseWolf Life and Career Coaching

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find all her books on Amazon at this link

         

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Building on Change

Building on Change

Leading Change the Kotter Way

Building on Change is the seventh step in the Kotter model. Real change runs Building on Changedeep and takes time. Quick wins are only the beginning of what needs to be done to achieve long-term change – make sure you take enough time!

This post is  part of a series on the Kotter approach to leading change. I am in process of revamping my original Kotter model series. Links to all the earlier Kotter posts are in the next paragraph. The Kotter model is based on research which showed that there are eight critical steps an organisation or service needs to go through to ensure that change happens and sticks. This series of posts will consider these steps in greater detail. We have already reissued; Step One: Creating Urgency Step Two: Forming a Powerful CoalitionStep Three Creating a Vision for Change Step Four: Communicate Your Vision , Step Five: Handling Resistance and Step Six Delivering Short-Term Wins

Step Seven: Build on the Change

Kotter argues that many change projects fail because victory is declared too early. Real change runs deep and takes time. Quick wins are only the beginning of what needs to be done to achieve long-term change – make sure you take enough time!

Launching one new product using a new system is great. But you may need  launch 10 products to ensure that the new system is well embedded and really working. To reach that 10th success, you need to keep looking for improvements.

Each success provides an opportunity to build on what went right and identify what you can improve.

Building on Change – What you can do:

  • After every win, analyse what went right and what needs improving.
  • Set goals to continue building on the momentum you’ve achieved.
  • Learn about the idea of continuous improvement
  • Keep ideas fresh by bringing in new change agents and leaders for your change coalition.

Meanwhile …

Here is a Kotter Reading List for you;

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find her books on Amazon at this link

         

Do you have empathy?

Do you have empathy?

Empathy is the ability to walk in someone else’s shoes for a while and to see the world though their eyes! It means being able to suspend judgement. So, you share their empathyvalues and see things from their perspective. Empathy is different from sympathy. And, it doesn’t mean feeling sorry for people. Though, it does mean being able to understand what they are thinking and feeling. You are able to establish trust.

The four different levels of empathy

There are four different level of empathy;

  • Level 0. This is when you no show evidence that you understand the other person’s thoughts or feelings. This can be despite the person trying to explain what they are thinking and feeling. So, it is shown most obviously by callous and unthinking remarks
  • Level 1 is when you show some understanding but at a very superficial level. You have only partial understanding. And the other person can feel confused and lack trust as a result.
  • Level 2. This when you show you understand and accept. But you do not completely understand or accept.
  • Level 3 is when there is complete understanding. You accept the other person’s feelings and thoughts.

When you accept that that someone thinks and feels in a particular way, you don’t necessarily approve of all their behaviour. No do you necessarily that behaviour is justified as a result. But it does mean that you can communicate with them. And may be able to influence them in a positive way. You have a basis for trust.

Empathy and relationships

You cannot truly empathise with someone without listening, as well as observing verbal and body messages. And you show through your own voice and body language that you have understood. In other words you have to listen actively.

Empathy is key skill required in building strong relationships, It requires an open mind and the ability to accept difference.

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find her books on Amazon at this link

         

 

Job Search: The Keys To Success

Job Search: The Keys To Success

Job search – over the last couple of years I’ve worked with a number of clients who have been very successful in their job searches.

Here is what I think the common job search factors have been.

  1. You are more likely to get a job if you have solid evidence you can do the kind of job searchwork you seek.  Don’t think you can bluff your way through in this climate. If you do get lucky and find yourself appointed you and then can’t do the work, you are likely to be sent on your way pretty quickly. This will make job search harder next time. The sad fact in the present market is that few employers are likely to give you more than induction training at best. Use the time you spend without work to refresh your knowledge and gain qualifications if you need them.
  2. Being able to build relationships pays dividends. Yes, we can talk about networking all day – I often do.  But here I’m talking about learning to build rapport and establish relationships quickly with recruiters and potential new employers. If it doesn’t come naturally then go and work on your communication and relationship building skills.
  3. Successful job seekers do their homework; they research the market and keep up to date with new developments. They know who the key players are and what the culture is like in the organisations they want to target.
  4. Be ready to prepare. Successful job seekers prepare thoroughly at each stage in the process. They leave as little as possible to chance, work on being confident and practice their presentations and their interview technique.
  5. Above all, successful job seekers work hard to keep up energy and motivation. This means looking after themselves physically with diet and exercise.  Also keeping themselves mentally alert and interested in what is going on around them. This may be tough but you need to make a commitment to staying positive despite the inevitable set-backs. The energy and positive approach that you project at interview can make a real difference to your likelihood of success. 

You can do all these things on your own.  Though, as you would expect, I think it is much easier with the support of a career coach. If there is anything I can do to help you please get in touch.

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find her books on Amazon at this link

         

 

Finding the right career

Finding the right career

Changing Careers – Part 2 Finding the right career to suit you

Finding the right career  – in Part 1 (link below)  we thought about whether career change could benefit you, and suggested some questions that might help you to be clearer about your decision. While it can be tempting to skip straight from that to looking at specific careers, it’s often a good idea to spend some time first thinking about what motivates you as a person and what you really want?

This is Part 2 of a three-part series;  In Part 1 we thought about whether career change could benefit you and suggested some questions that might help you to be clearer about your decision. In Part 3 (Link below) we have a check list to help you make a final decision on whether you really should make the change

Think about your interests, inside and outside work – what are you looking for from a career? Once you’ve worked this out, you can start building up a picture of your ideal job and you can find out which careers match it most closely

Finding the right career  – career planning: where to start!

Unless you’ve got a clear idea of what you want to do, it can be difficult to know where to start. And if you do have a career in mind, how do you know whether you’ve considered all your options?

As a starting point to finding the right career , you could try sitting down with a piece of paper and listing:

  • Courses you’ve taken in the past, or are taking now
  • Any jobs you’ve had, including voluntary work
  • Interests outside work
  • Any other significant experiences, like travelling

Then ask yourself:

  • Why you chose to do the things you have listed?
  • Which parts you really enjoyed?
  • Which parts you found frustrating or boring?
  • Which parts you were best at?
  • Which parts you found a challenge?
  • What have other people said about your contribution?
  • What other people have told you you’re good at?

You should start to see some patterns emerging; the types of skills you enjoy using, the sort of environment you perform best in and the types of people you like working with.

You can use this knowledge to help pinpoint areas of work you might enjoy.

Exploring types of careers

Once you have got an idea of areas you might want to work in, the next step is to check out some career profiles. These will give you information about the opportunities available in a particular line of work – and what skills and qualifications you’re likely to need.

Finding the right career  – you can find job profiles for over 800 different types of job, from archivist to zoologist, on the National Careers Service website at this link

Changing Careers – Part 1 Where To Start! A Checklist for Career Change

Changing Careers – Part 3 Deciding Whether To Make The Change – A Checklist

Help with career planning

If you need support form a coach in making a decision about a career change, please get in touch. I wish you every success in making your decision and, if it is right for you, making your career change.

Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach
Wendy Smith, Principal Coach, WiseWolf Life and Career Coaching

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find all her books on Amazon at this link

         

Adjourning and Mourning: Tuckman Part 5

Managing Team Performance: Team Work 101

Form, Storm, Norm, Perform and Adjourn.

Tuckman Part 5 – Adjourning and Mourning

Adjourning and Mourning is the last part of the Tuckman model of how groups/teams Adjourning and Mourningdevelop.

Most groups go through a formation process like that described by Dr Tuckman. And, this includes a fourth and main stage when the group actually delivers the task. So, understanding the Tuckman model can help you lead, manage and facilitate teams and work groups more effectively. Some group leaders find the stages uncomfortable – they can be challenging to handle. Unfortunately, stages can seem slow and a waste of precious work time. But going through them means a more cohesive and efficient working group is formed

This short series of posts is about how you can lead your group through the Tuckman stages to achieve a good result. My post on  Stage 1, described how the group will be looking for some ground rules. In Stage 2, they set about testing what they think those ground rules might be. Stage 3 meant people began to experience a sense of group belonging. Stage 4 was about managing team performance.   Now, in Stage 4 Adjourning and Mourning,  the group breaks-up with its purpose, hopefully fulfilled.

Adjourning, and mourning

If the team leader has taken the advice set out for moving from Stage 4, the group will now have delivered the task.  The members can move on to new things carrying forward learning from this experience into their new work. But for that to be done successfully there is a change to be managed.

The break-up can be hard for members who have come to enjoy team routines or who have developed close working relationships with other team members.  People may feel very insecure and anxious about finding a new role.  It is important to celebrate and document what has been achieved and to make sure that all have a chance to share the learning from this group experience. Some group members may need particular support in moving forward. It can be a stressful period, particularly if the group is being broken up before its task is complete.

Leading the group through Stage 5 

What is the role of the leader? With a group in Stage 5, there is an opportunity to use a whole range of management skills.  You are dealing with conflicting emotions in yourself as well as in the team. These can include happiness and pride in a job complete, sadness at the dissolution and, even, anger if the group is being disbanded for less than noble reasons.

There may be some mundane but important tasks to complete. These may include archiving and record keeping for governance purposes. But team members may find it difficult to find the motivation to complete them,. Also encouraging honesty and sharing around lessons learned by the group during its lifetime, means you need to keep the members’ trust. A positive outcome means you lead them to acknowledge the task is complete, accepting the best and worst of the process. Then you help them let go and say goodbye

What could be problems in Stage 5 Adjourning and mourning?

Team members may well have feelings of dislocation and loss.  People deal with their feelings in different ways.  You may find some lose motivation completely and start to avoid the necessary work.  Others may argue over minor details and you find them reverting to storming – old arguments re-surface.  Others may deny or try to pretend that isn’t really the end and find excuses to prolong the process. Leading/managing means being vigilant, identifying what is happening and intervening with understanding and support.

This is the last in this series on the Tuckman Model – Forming, Norming, Storming, Performing and Adjourning.  But I’d welcome your thoughts and your questions. If you need advice on implementing the model, please get in touch.

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find her books on Amazon at this link

         

Re-applying for your own job

Re-applying for your own job

Re-applying for your own job – far too many organisations now are asking their Re-applying for your own jobstaff to do this  Sometimes, this is because there has been re-organisation after, say, a merger.   And quite often it seems to happen during downsizing on the pretext of re-organisation. Whatever the reason, it usually causes anger, frustration and just plain fear among employees. It is certainly not the best way to keep up morale.

If it is your job on the line, how do you go about surviving the storm?

Well, first, telling the company exactly what you think of what they are doing isn’t going to help your application. Instead, it is better to vent in private with someone who you really trust.  While at work try to stay positive to make the best of a difficult situation.

Don’t make assumptions about your value to the organization. Now is the time to prove your worth.  Don’t assume that all the good things you have contributed have been registered; you need to make sure you get them on the record.

Recognise the reality of the situation

Your job is on the line and you are in competition. Do not start to play dirty tricks. But do recognise that in this kind of climate others might feel free to do so. Keep your wits about you while still trying to be a good team player. (Nobody said this was easy).

Work on polishing up your CV/resume to show the value you have added and the contribution you have delivered. Quantify your results and include hard facts about delivery.  Make sure you show your competence and contribution fully.

Target you CV to the job as it will be, just as you would when applying from outside the organization.  If you need to offer a cover letter make sure you enthuse about future possibilities – don’t be tempted to whine.  If it is a completely new role show how your skills are transferable and say why you want that role in particular even if it is the only one available. Show how you can meet their needs.

It may be hard to do but work on your relationship with managers who are going to be part of the future organization.

At the end of the day, if you can’t come to terms with this all this,  it might be better to move on. It might be time to seek new opportunities in a new organization. But even If you decide to leave, it is still in your long-term interest to stay on good terms with your managers.

Sorry, this isn’t the pleasantest topic to think about! Some of the advice above may be uncomfortable.  You have to make your own judgement about just how important having this job is to you and how far you are prepared to go to stay around.

If you need support in this or a similar situation please get in touch.

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find her books on Amazon at this link

         

Top Salary Tips

Top Salary Tips

Job Search – Six Top Salary Tips

Top Salary Tips – when you are looking for work there are all kinds of factors to take into account. Many we have covered here before. For the majority of us, the main reason we choose to work is so that we can earn money to support ourselves and our families.

These tips will help you get paid the salary you deserve and then help you to look after your money.

  1. What are you worth?

    Work out what your value should be to an employer. Research what other people with your skills and experience are earning and use that information to back up your salary negotiation. The same role can pay differently in different sectors and in different parts of the country so take that into account in making your calculations.

  2.  Learn to negotiate

    You will find lots of tips on negotiating on-line. You are in a much more powerful position before you accept a job. Think about the things you have to bargain with and, for example, how scarce your skills are. Use the information you have gathered about what other people are being paid for the same type of work. How far are you prepared to go? Know what will be unacceptable and work out your limits. Be ready to sit on your hands and wait for a response from your potential employer.

  3. Don’t forget benefits!

    Lots of people do not take into account the real value of benefits when negotiating a salary. If you get stuck on the amount of your salary try negotiating your benefits’ package with your potential employer – it may cost them very little to give you a better benefits’ package but it might make a big difference for you.

  4. Learn to manage your money

    Learn to make the most of what you get paid. If you don’t know about budgeting, then find out and learn to set your self a budget each month. Work hard to stay out of debt and don’t over use those credit cards. Remember loans have to be repaid and there is very little prospect of the economy improving quickly; what is borrowed now might put your future at risk. If you do borrow be careful who you do it from and learn about interest rates. Again use the internet to research money management.

  5. Start saving

    It’s never too early to start saving for the things you might want in the future and even for your retirement. Most large organisations now have to give you access to a pension scheme. Don’t forget that at sometime you might want to buy a house, Saving schemes can be started with quite small amounts.

  6. Think long term

    I’ve mentioned pensions and saving above. But think long-term in a broader way. When you are thinking about the salary for a role, don’t just think short-term about what you will be paid initially. Think about what the possibilities might be in your chosen field for future earning opportunities. Will your new employer be able to give you access to them. Don’t sacrifice the longer term for a short-term win.

    This is just general advice, you should always take advice from a properly qualified financial adviser when planning your financial future.

    Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach
    Wendy Smith, Principal Coach, WiseWolf Life and Career Coaching

    Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

    Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find all her books on Amazon at this link

             

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