Last night a good friend called me and started complaining about his job. He’s worked there for 3 years and hates everything about it….his boss, his co-workers, his customers, his cube…..it goes on and on. I usually let him rant for a few minutes so he can vent. But last night was different….”why don’t you look for another job and do something about the situation”?.....I asked stupidly….stunned silence was my reply…..
Why do people stay in situations they hate? Why do people stay in jobs that are toxic both mentally and physically? Because fear of the unknown is worse than the fear you know. We are conditioned to avoid change because it makes us feel uncomfortable and ill equipment. For many of us, our worst fear is that we look stupid to others. These are normal responses.
What isn’t normal is become physically ill and emotionally depressed because of your work. What isn’t normal is dropping dead after working three days straight without sleep as an intern for a major financial services provider did this week. This is an extreme example, but is a tragic example of how wrapped up people can get in a situation and lose perspective and common sense.
My personal experience has taught me that when the pain gets bad enough, change takes place because we want to ease the discomfort. Small changes are occurring all the time, but it’s the huge , unexpected changes that catch us off guard. For instance, I hated one of my jobs. It had gotten to the point that I would get sick just driving into work. However, I stayed in the job because the money was good. Eventually, I got laid off and had no backup plan when I was in transition. If I’d followed my gut, I’d have been looking for a new job and built a strong network. I learned the hard way that change is part of life. I’ve become more flexible and open to options. I’m not afraid of mistakes and I shy away from perfection. I’ve made the commitment to welcome and understand change.
Try to make friends with change. If you start with small changes that you can master easily, you’ll be better prepared for the life changers that are coming your way. You can do it. I have every faith in you!