TURN SOUR NOTE SWEET
Featured in national Careers liftout on 10th September 2016
Written by Cara Jenkin
Good things can come out of a bad experience.
WHEN work gives you lemons, make lemonade.
Workers often experience things going sour in the workplace, whether it be a bad performance review or losing their job. They can turn their outlook around by taking advantage of what presents, rather than seeing it as a negative.
Mike Gordon, author of Should I Quit? Resistance for a turbulent world, says workers need to look at what they are passionate about, what they find engaging and what they can offer – and see if it is being met in their situation.
It is the same approach if they feel they need to make a change, or if change happens to them unexpectedly. “What people overlook 99 per cent of the time is it’s not the job but their career, and this is where people need to start,” he says.
“They need to find the things they are passionate about and for most people it’s through enthusiasm. I’m a great believer in stepping back and letting your instincts tell you,” he says.
It may mean making a career change or finding a better work/life blend, taking a new job at another employer or finding satisfaction in their current situation.
“Ask yourself, ‘What do I hold in value?’. Yes, it can be cash,” he says.
“Money puts bread on the table and that’s great but there’s other things – social interaction, people go to work and socialise, for some people it’s about teamwork, for some people it’s creativity, for some people it’s about developing something and a task well done. Assess if it’s the time to switch it up.”
Gordon says change can be hard for people but he urges them to focus on moving towards something, rather than moving away. “It’s your own life, only you can take the actions, only you can decide what matters in your world,” he says.
TOP 5 WORK LEMONS MADE INTO LEMONADE:
- REDUNDANCY Take the opportunity to start fresh. Redundancy payments can be put towards studying a new course, getting a business off the ground or paying the mortgage while you decide what to do next.
- LONG HOURS Negotiate compensation that works for you. A nine-day fortnight, taking time-in-lieu or working from home can give workers their time back when it suits them.
- NOT ENOUGH HOURS Use spare time to volunteer. Giving back is not only good for the soul, but also for networking that can lead to a better job with more hours.
- LOW PAY A small – or no – rise may indicate your career has stalled so talk with the boss to get it back on track and consider other alternatives, such as extra leave.
- BAD COMMUTE Use the time for self-study and development – whether it’s reading textbooks for a course, listening to podcasts or working on LinkedIn connections