Are you really thankful this week?
I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving week with your loved ones!
As I sat down to write today’s newsletter, I struggled a bit. On the week of Thanksgiving, the obvious topic is about being thankful.
So much of what we accomplish in our careers and in our life is tied to the generosity of others. And, taking the time to thank those people gives us a good feeling inside – and it ensures they want to be helpful to us again in the future. It strengthens our bonds.
This is a fact.
But, the flip side of this coin is feeling underappreciated.
In the past few weeks, I’ve randomly spoken with a number of people who are in a negative situation at their workplace.
It almost feels like a bad relationship. The kind where you wish your friend would break up with their partner, but they just keep going back, no matter how bad things get. It seems they’re always thinking that things will change and get better “if only…”
One of the most important things about at work is feeling appreciated. It can make even an awful workload seem okay. In fact, feeling underappreciated is the number one reason people leave.
We sometimes feel underappreciated because our boss never says thank you. Other times, it’s because we aren’t paid fairly and feel a financial strain at home. Or, we don’t have enough vacation days to visit our family often as we’d like.
To drive the point home, many people would be willing to take less money in salary if they felt more appreciated at work. It sounds crazy on the surface, but how much would you give up to feel a little more appreciated, happy, and purposeful every day? If you could have your dream job, I bet you would. Happiness is worth something to you.
In fact, employees who complain about money are more often than not actually feeling undervalued in some other way.
Don’t get me wrong. We should all be thankful for having a job. We should be thankful for the good things other people are doing for us.
But, sometimes you don’t feel truly thankful. If you genuinely feel taken advantage of, it’s time to listen to yourself.
Things may change. Anything it possible. But, the reality is, the likelihood of change in your current environment is small.
A great way to change how you’re feeling at work is to change where you work. But, when you do find a new job, be careful not to recreate the negative situation you have now.
And, this brings me to my next point. When you’re chasing after your big job offer, don’t make a decision just based on the money. Or the awesome vacation. Or even the distance from your home.
Those things are all important. But, what’s even more important is fit.
Fit’s a hard thing to measure. And, even harder to figure out in the few measly hours you spend interviewing with a company.
The first thing to keep in mind is that interviewing, much like dating, is a two way street. When is the last time you went on a first date and just wished that this stranger might be willing to marry you? I hope never! In the same way, it is as important that you like a company (and especially the hiring manager) as that they like you.
When you go on interviews, listen to yourself. Think about how you feel about the people you meet. Think about how the company treated you. Did they follow through on what they said they’d do? Did the offer look the way you were expecting it to?
Once you find the environment that’s right for you, you’ll no longer spend your days wishing for the “if only.” You’ll start to be truly thankful for those around you. You’ll want to give back and say thanks – on more than just Thanksgiving.
I hope you have a wonderful and restful Thanksgiving holiday! Take a little time to take care of you.
Also, be sure to subscribe to my Copeland Coaching Podcast on iTunes or Stitcher where I discuss career advice every Tuesday! If you’ve already heard the podcast and enjoy it, please consider leaving a review in iTunes or Stitcher.