Consider the difference it would make to your work and life if the organisation you're working for REALLY cared about you. One that encouraged you to take your leave. One that did something about it when you were under pressure. One that listened to and supported you when work (or even life) wasn’t going so well.
It’s easy to believe all employers are uncaring when your own employer – and those of everyone you talk to – seem to be behaving harshly or even badly.
But that isn’t the case.
There are good employers out there. You just need some help finding them.
Perhaps you’re getting texts and calls from your boss at all hours of the day and night. Maybe even at the weekend or when you’re on holiday, or even when you’re off sick.
There’s no rest for the wicked, is there?
Except you’re far from wicked. You’re hard-working, dedicated and conscientious. You’re always keen to take on extra projects and fill in the gaps when your colleagues are on leave or off sick.
But nothing ever seems to be enough and now you’re just getting more and more exhausted. (Although when you need time off, your boss gripes and moans about it.)
Are you feeling overworked?
Is your in-tray always full no matter how hard you work? Do you always feel as if you’re behind schedule? If so, it can have a negative impact on your mental wellbeing. It’s not just the feeling that you’re not keeping up (although of course that does make you feel anxious), it’s the fear that this might be used to eject you from your role altogether.
Then there’s the complete lack of support you feel from your co-workers and boss. Everyone’s under pressure and feeling stressed so nobody helps anyone else. Your boss shows limited interest in how you're feeling and just tells you to work harder or smarter. But there are parts of your work that can’t be done without more time and budget – and nobody seems interested in giving you what you need.
That disinterest may leave you feeling isolated and scared.
That's because if you fail, it’s all going to be on your back. There’s no protection or backup from higher up the chain of command. It’s almost as if they want you to fail so they can fire you. And that’s your worry – a worry that’s making you start to feel ill. Work really shouldn’t make you feel that way, should it?
Are you being constantly criticised?
You may also be coming in for a lot of unfair criticism from those around you and above you too. Now that's tough to take. No matter how hard you work, it never seems to be good enough. And your boss doesn’t even look at you when you go to have a meeting. It seems the boss can’t tear him or herself away from her computer screen long enough to have a proper conversation with you. Is it just that you’re not important or that you’re failing (at least in their eyes?).
All these subtle things mean your confidence is falling through the floor. Perhaps someone even commented on it the other day and you worried your feelings are starting to be noticed. But that doesn’t stop them asking you to take on yet another major project. You feel as if nobody notices you and what you're contributing except when they need a scapegoat. You’re beginning to think they might be right. Maybe your performance is really slipping and your worries are starting to come true. Work shouldn’t make you feel bad about yourself, should it?
Is there any hope?
These days, it feels as if the world is full of demanding, unreasonable employers all putting their long-suffering staff under more and more pressure.
If this is your experience then you’re not alone.
More and more people are working for employers who just don’t seem to care about them. As a result, they're getting sick – both emotionally and physically – and they've lost hope of ever finding work they enjoy.
But it’s important to remember that It's NOT YOUR FAULT.
The negative impact of stress
You’re not weak or bad or less than anyone else because your job is making you question yourself or feel ill. The problem is that when you're under this level of stress you're in a perpetual state of panic. When you’re on the edge of a crisis all the time and you go into survival mode. You go into flight, fight, freeze or fear mode and that triggers the limbic part of your brain – that ancient reptilian brain that's alert to fear and anxious to keep you safe at all times.
This means that whenever you experience stress over losing a car parking space, missing a train, or being blanked by your boss in the team meeting, your stress response kicks off. Hormones are dumped into your bloodstream and you experience a surge of adrenalin. The trouble comes when one adrenalin rush is quickly followed by another. This can have a very damaging effect on your nervous system and your mental health.
Not only are you driven to eat unhealthy foods – especially those laden with fat and sugar – you also feel exhausted and 'on edge' all the time. You then struggle to concentrate at work or make good decisions. Then you worry even more, so you end up in a perpetual state of worry or anxiety.
You subsequently don’t even get a decent night’s sleep, especially if you get a late-night text from your equally anxious boss. You’re always on edge and waiting for the next accusation, demand or insinuation that you’re not performing to your best. As a result, you’re at breaking point all the time as you feel your job is at risk. Maybe you even feel burnt out by 10am and wondering how you’re going to get through the day.
It’s easy to feel trapped and as if you don’t have any way out of this nightmare scenario. And if everyone you talk to is having the same desperate experience, it can make you feel there aren’t there any decent employers left.
But there are…
It’s easy to feel helpless when you’re under pressure at work. But there really are things you can do to help yourself, at least in the short term.
But these are just strategies to hold off the inevitable. When work is making you feel this bad, the only real solution is to change your role or even your career.
That's why it’s important you hold onto the fact there are better employers out there. And we can help you find them. Not just in the traditional work you may be used to, but also booming new industries which are less stressful and more fun to work in.
Is it time for you to try something different?
Redundancy, stress, constant criticism and the fear you may lose your job (or may have actually lost it) can be devastating.
That’s because being with a bad employer is like being in any kind of a bad relationship: it’s damaging to your health and self-esteem. And it probably won’t get better even if you put your head down and put up with things. That’s why it’s important you regain your confidence and start looking for something that suits you better -- fast.
Dismiss any feelings of shame (because this is happening to you and not your colleagues), any sense of abandonment (because you don’t know how to deal with it) and feelings of betrayal (because you’ve been binned like a piece of rubbish despite putting a huge amount of effort into that role).
Instead, take action so you can get a new and better role as fast as you can.
Because there REALLY is something better out there for you.
How to protect yourself from bad employers
If you’re working for a demanding employer and are planning to move due to their bad behaviour, it can be hard to convince yourself that things can be better. That’s why you need to take some precautions when looking for a new employer.
Out of the frying pan
Before you apply for a role with an employer, check out their reputation. How do they treat their staff? Do a Google search to find out if there are any rumours about them or their company. A company that’s in trouble financially is unlikely to have the wellbeing of their employees at the top of their list of priorities.
Another sign of a poor employer is a high level of staff turnover in the company. A company that's constantly looking for new staff, even though they’re not expanding, may not be a great place to work. Are you always seeing adverts for staff at this organisation? Are they in the same department or area of business? One way to get the lowdown is to ask someone you know (or know someone who knows someone) who's worked at this organisation. Ask about the culture of the company: does it have family-friendly values or is it less than caring about its employees?
There are plenty of stories about people resigning form good roles to move to another organisation only to find they have been made redundant before they even started. If you’re changing roles, don’t resign until you have a firm contract in place. If possible, protect yourself by getting a written agreement that outplacement or redundancy support will be provided should things go wrong. Visit London Outplacement
How we can help you
At first, all this might seem to be a big step. And when your confidence is low and you’ve lost hope that things might be better ‘on the other side’, it can be difficult to set the wheels of change in motion.
At Career Consultants, we specialise in helping people like you transition from roles and companies that don’t care about you to ones that do. That might involve simply changing jobs or it could mean changing career. It’s possible it may also mean finding another (better) role as fast as possible if you’ve recently been made redundant.
Our solution starts with a Career Profile
Here's how to take the next step ...
When you take one of our career profiles, you’ll get a better understanding of your personality type, what you value and what you’re looking for in a job – and an employer.
That will make it easier for you to identify companies which are not only going to treat you the way you want to be treated, but it will also help you find roles best suited to your skills and what you enjoy doing.
For just £99, the Career Profile with a Career Consultancy session will help make the solution clearer. Plus, we'll give you strategies to build your self-confidence and self-worth. Together, we can start to look for solutions and begin to identify work and employers which are a good fit for you. Then, all you need to do is brand and present yourself in a new way, and you could be working in a completely different company very quickly indeed.
Does this sound like a good start for you? Click here for more information about Career Profile and Career Consultancy Help Option.
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