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Win at Work

Winning at Working--Which Half Are You?
By Nan S. Russell
Jul 15, 2012 - 3:36:12 PM

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When more than half of Americans were identified as overweight, people took notice. Major news outlets began educating on how to stay out, or get out, of that statistic. I wish the same attention had been paid when a new survey was released confirming more than half of Americans are dissatisfied with their job.

Disliking your job is hazardous to your health and well-being, too. You can't be winning at working if you're dissatisfied with your work or languishing in the status-quo of dislike.

Spending the majority of your waking hours dissatisfied, like being overweight, weighs you down, depletes your energy, and kidnaps your spirit. But you can change all that, and looking for a new job should not be where you start. At least not yet.

First consider what's causing your dissatisfaction. Maybe it's that annoying coworker or irritating boss; maybe it's not feeling appreciated; or maybe the work's boring or the company's unfair. Whatever your reasons, pause your thinking and go to step two: look deeper.  The root of your dissatisfaction may be housed in doubts, fears, and insecurities.
Too often we become victims in our own life. We blame McDonald's for having French fries that make us fat, and blame bosses who give us substandard raises. When in fact, we control whether the French fries get purchased and put in our mouths, or we do the quality of work that meets the performance standards for a higher raise. It's a choice. And choices bring accountability.

It's easier to believe you're a victim of circumstances than a driver of your own future. But, this easier choice comes at a price: dissatisfaction. The harder choice comes with a price too: personal accountability.

The second choice means when you're running an obstacle course and discover you're the obstacle, you correct your thinking, enhance your skills, and persist through your fears. It means, if you don't get the raise, the promotion, or the more interesting work, you look in the mirror first.

Sure, in the end, you may determine you need to change jobs or environments. Things are difficult in many workplaces these days. But, just be sure it's the job or the culture you're dissatisfied with, or you may find the same irritating co-workers and unfair bosses (with different names, of course) waiting for you in the new job.
People who are winning at working don't see themselves as victims. They know the choices they make have consequences and payoffs. While fears, self-doubts and insecurities may stall their progress, challenge their courage, and test their persistence, it doesn't stop them.

It's not easy to move through fears, build self-esteem or change negative self-talk. It's not easy to take accountability for your future. But few things in life worth having are easy.

People who are winning at working do the hard self-work. For them, the biggest dissatisfaction would be wondering about the person they could have been. Want to be winning at working? No one is stopping you, but you.

(c) 2012 Nan S. Russell.  All rights reserved.

Nan Russell's latest book is The Titleless Leader (Career Press, 2012). Other books include: Hitting Your Stride and Nibble Your Way to Success. More about Nan and her work

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