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Fawn says: It’s 2009. Quit complaining about work because, at least you have a job!

467270633_nvwwx-lThis note came in my e-mail from an executive who recently hired me for a speech:

step brothers online “I’m mentoring someone who thinks her boss is stupid.  He was brought in from outside.  No more experience than her but really well connected and respected by our leadership.My take is she is sabotaging her career.  Carrying around the burden of not respecting him or his position or his leadership and management.  Focusing on the inequity of it.  Carry it around in her attitude, her facial expressions and tone.  She’s got a chip on her shoulder and it’s impacting her career in an immediate and detrimental way. It’s consuming so much energy to hang on to it and I’m trying to help her find tools to “give it up”.  It is what is is, deal with it. Can you recommend a technique or a reading?  I’m struggling to find a method that “fits” with her.”

My response: “Here is what I think you should tell her: “WAKE UP. It is 2009 and nobody has the luxury of a negative attitude in the workplace. NOBODY. You can always find one or two good traits in anybody, and focus on those instead of letting your anger and negativity backfire on you and hurt YOUR career. That is what I think. This economy demands a complete new set of behavioral rules from workers.”

I have done my time in corporate environments. I’ve seen undeserving people promoted above me and deserving people cast aside by incompetents. I know how that can destroy morale and make a person angry. Those things did affect me.   But, we are working in an environment where we are being judged every day on the positive contribution we make to our workplace.

What have we seen after all of these millions of layoffs? That NO ONE is indispensable. If cuts are coming, who are they going to nail? Hopefully, the least competent. You will always get points for being a major contributor, but if you are a major pain in the arse at the same time, you will see just how expendable you really are. If you are working for someone you don’t respect, you can either find a new place to work for people you do respect (good luck in this market) or you can find a way to make peace with the situation.

My point is that this is NOT the time to be complaining about your job or your boss. You’ve got work? You are lucky. Kiss that paycheck every time you get it and hold tight until things settle down. There will be plenty of time to vent later. Right now, GET TO WORK!

Fawn Germer is the bestselling author of four books and one of America’s premier corporate leadership speakers. Her fifth book, “Finding the UP in the Downturn” will be released in March.”

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1 Comment
  1. Fawn, You nailed it on the head! As a manager I’ve been asked the question by my boss “who do you think we should let go?”. Given a choice between two fairly competent people, I usually will choose the person with the bad attitude to lay off.

    Why? Because their daily agenda is to let everyone around them know how awful the company treats them or just generally complain about things and people, including their co-workers.

    Of course no business is perfect and improvements can always be made, but when your boss has to spend their day putting out fires caused by someone stirring up trouble, productivity suffers and someone will eventually pay the price.

    My best advice for today’s working environment:

    1. Don’t ever use the words “but that’s not in my job description”.
    2. Be able to multi-task well.
    3. Make your boss look good. He/She will recognize this and want to keep you around.
    4. Get to know what other departments need. How does your job affect them?
    If you get positive recognition from others in the company it makes you more valuable.
    5. Be upbeat. Although we all don’t always “buy in” to the company mission statement we
    must find ways to help make them successful or jobs will be lost.
    6. Don’t be part of the rumor mill, it only causes worry and anxiety. Stick to the facts.

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