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Controlling Forces

One of the most frustrating feelings can be a loss of control. There are things you wish you could influence. You try. You go out of your way to plan for everything that could go wrong. This can feel especially true at work, where there are so many things that can impact your ability to succeed.

When you find yourself in a frustrating situation, it’s important to step back for a moment. Ask yourself what’s really in your control, and what’s not. So often, we get caught up in the pieces not in our control. We wish for different outcomes. We play out different scenarios in our minds. We spend a lot of time and mental energy thinking about what went wrong, and what we could do differently.

But, the thing is, you can’t beat yourself up. If you’ve done your best, you have to let the rest go. Now, does that mean you should accept things that you don’t agree with? Absolutely not. You’ve got to take note of them. Write them down in a journal, so you can keep track and remind yourself later. Don’t dismiss your feelings.

Then, when you’re in a better space, reflect on what really went wrong. What was in your control, and what was outside of it? Sometimes, the things outside of your control are related more to company culture than to any one thing. There may have been something you could have done differently. But, there may have also been larger forces at work.

With that said, acknowledging the impact of outside forces on your life is important. For example, if you’re working in a toxic work environment, pay attention. If you’ve done everything within your control and things are still too difficult to feel comfortable, it may be time to move on.

Now, I’m not suggesting you run from job to job. Every job has pros and cons. Simply running from place to place won’t fix the issue. But, sometimes you come across a work culture that’s more than you can bear.

Perhaps you don’t feel safe at work. Or, maybe workplace gossip is intense. Or, you may have an overly negative and critical boss. Whatever the issue is, you have to be honest with yourself. If you’re truly unhappy to outside forces that are impacting you, you have to look for other options. It will allow you to take your control back. It will allow you to find your power.

You don’t have control over the behavior of other people. But, you can control how you react. You can keep a positive attitude in the face of difficult times. You can decide when it’s time to move on. Keep your focus on what is within your control, so that you can move past what isn’t. This will not only allow you to take control, but will prevent what’s outside of your control from controlling you.

I hope these tips have helped you. Visit CopelandCoaching.com to find more tips to improve your job search. If I can be of assistance to you, don’t hesitate to reach out to me here.

Also, be sure to subscribe to my Copeland Coaching Podcast on Apple Podcasts 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.

Happy hunting!

Angela Copeland
@CopelandCoach

 

The Currency of Anger

I’ve noticed a disturbing trend lately. It’s not new, but it certainly seems to be increasing. When you are a customer and something goes wrong at a company, the company doesn’t resolve the issue until you get angry.

Can you relate to this experience? You have a problem with a product or service you received. There isn’t an easy way to get it addressed. So, perhaps you visit the company website. They try to funnel you to a frequently asked questions page. When that doesn’t work, you try live chat. You quickly learn that the live chat person on the other side isn’t a person at all. It’s an automated bot. So, you begin to ask for a real person. When you finally get a real person, they often don’t have the power to truly help you. They likely also haven’t been trained to have all the answers either. If you get very angry, eventually, someone knowledgeable will be assigned to help you. Companies often have a special team to handle angry customers. Then, suddenly, your issue will be resolved! In the meantime, you’ll be left with a headache and some level of exhaustion from all the work it took to get there. Depending on the company, this process could take minutes, hours, or even days.

I observe a similar phenomenon in today’s workplace. Often, it’s the loudest, most aggressive people who are able to push their agendas through. You may have even found yourself escalating issues at times when you would prefer not to, in order to get things done. And, you’ve probably had that headache and exhaustion.

It’s quite an unfortunate state of affairs when our currency is our anger. Whether you’re a customer or you’re at work, it should not be necessary to escalate to such a level to get resolution. People should be willing to follow through on their commitments. And, they should be honest and straightforward when they cannot.

As you go through your day, I hope you might take this idea into consideration. It may not help as much when you’re working to push an agenda through. But, I hope that when you are the gatekeeper, you may not require the other person to use anger as their currency. Try to be more flexible. Do what’s right, and what you would want if you were on the other side of the conversation.

They say that the squeaky wheel gets the grease. Don’t require everyone to be a squeaky wheel. Help out when you know it’s the right thing to do. We should not be required to spend our days generating anger and frustration simply to achieve simple tasks. Life is too short to spend so much time in these negative emotions.

Let’s find our way to another kind of currency: honesty, commitment, and respect. Treat others with these things, and reward those who treat you with them.

I hope these tips have helped you. Visit CopelandCoaching.com to find more tips to improve your job search. If I can be of assistance to you, don’t hesitate to reach out to me here.

Also, be sure to subscribe to my Copeland Coaching Podcast on Apple Podcasts 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.

Happy hunting!

Angela Copeland
@CopelandCoach

 

If you don’t love your job, it’s time to breakup

It’s the month of love! Happy Valentine’s Day! Every year, I write a column about why it’s important to love your job. This year, let’s look at it another way. If you don’t love your job, it’s time to break it off. It’s time to end that toxic eight hour a day relationship. You wouldn’t put up with it in a romantic partner. Why are you putting up with it at work?

I know, it’s hard to do. Your job has been so reliable. It’s stable. You don’t want to be left in the cold with no job.

But, are you really happy? Does your job put you first? Or, is your job like a partner who’s draining your mind and your wallet?

You spend too much time with your job not to love it. In fact, you may spend more time with your job than with your spouse.

If you’re having cold feet about your job, this is the time to make a change. And, by this is the time, I mean – right this minute! The job market is the best that it’s been in an entire generation. Economists say that it hasn’t been this great since the late 1960s. New jobs are showing up every day on the internet. They’re showing up every minute.

You’ve probably heard that old saying. People don’t quit companies, they quit bosses. It’s true. If you don’t love your company or your boss, do yourself a favor. Look and see what’s new in your job field. You may be surprised.

Make a list of all the things you want in a job. What would make you really love your work? Do you want to work for a great boss? On a great team? Do you want to work on a product that you can get behind? Are you looking for a company with integrity?

Write down your goal list and start looking for it. What you’re hoping for is out there. Don’t stay committed to a company that’s not committed to you. Look for something better, something more fulfilling. Make your happiness at work a priority.

Breaking up with your job isn’t as hard as it sounds. The first rule is, don’t tell anyone until you’ve secured a new job. Once you’ve found a new job, wait until you’ve accepted it in writing to tell your company. Start with your boss. Thank them for the opportunity and let them know you’ve found something new. Give at least two weeks of notice, but not more than four. Things can get stressful if you give too much notice. After you’ve shared your news verbally, confirm it in an email to your boss. And, come up with a plan about how and when you’ll share the great news with the larger team.

Before long, the breakup will be complete. And, you’ll be off to a bigger and better opportunity that you love!

I hope these tips have helped you. Visit CopelandCoaching.com to find more tips to improve your job search. If I can be of assistance to you, don’t hesitate to reach out to me here.

Also, be sure to subscribe to my Copeland Coaching Podcast on Apple Podcasts 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.

Happy hunting!

Angela Copeland
@CopelandCoach

 

166 | You just got laid off. Now what? – Elizabeth Gross, Founder, Job Search Divas

Episode 166 is live! This week, we talk with Elizabeth Gross in Boston, Massachusetts.

Elizabeth is the Founder of Job Search Divas, where she helps job seekers through their job search journey. Elizabeth has extensive experience at a number of companies, including Monster, Bank of America, and Constant Contact.

On today’s episode, Elizabeth shares:

  • The first thing you should do when you’ve been laid off
  • The biggest challenge you may face if you’ve been laid off
  • What you can do to be a better job candidate online
  • Which emotional support you should (and shouldn’t) seek out after you’ve been laid off

Listen and learn more! You can play the podcast here, or download it on Apple Podcasts or Stitcher.

To learn more about Elizabeth, visit her website at www.jobsearchdivas.com.

Thanks to everyone for listening! And, thank you to those who sent me questions. You can send me your questions to Angela@CopelandCoaching.com. You can also send me questions via Twitter. I’m @CopelandCoach. And, on Facebook, I am Copeland Coaching.

Don’t forget to help me out. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts and leave me a review!

 

It’s Not You

I think by now, we can all agree. The job search process can be a grueling one. If you’re actively looking for a job, you know what I’m talking about. You apply online and never hear back. Or, maybe you go through rounds of interviews that lead nowhere.

This process can be both frustrating and disappointing at a bare minimum. It leaves smart, accomplished professionals feeling less than. It leaves them wondering what’s wrong with them. Are they too old? Too young? Perhaps they have the wrong college degree? They wonder what it is about them that employers don’t like.

If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone. Today’s job seeker is frustrated and fed up. But, what if it wasn’t really you? What if the reason you aren’t getting calls back has less to do with you, and more to do with the process? Hear me out.

The standard line that almost every company says to job applicants is, “Apply online. If you’re a good fit, we’ll call you.” Even at job fairs these days, many of the company representatives will opt out of taking your resume in person and will instead ask you to apply online. This would lead one to believe that applying online is the best route to finding a job, don’t you think?

The problem is, most people still find jobs the same way today that they did in 1990 – through their network of contacts. A hiring manager isn’t just dying to hire a random stranger off of the internet. And, the online tracking systems companies use are still a relatively new concept. I’m certain they will continue to improve over time, but as it stands, many of these systems struggle to get the right candidates in front of the hiring manager.

On top of this, company rules often dictate that they must post each and every job online – even if they already know who they’re going to hire. I’ve seen this first hand. Years ago, I started working at a company as a contract employee. I was brought in as a contractor so that I could start right away, and then was hired permanently months later. But, before I was hired, my job was posted online as a vacancy. It was the same job I’d been doing every day for months. It was the same job that I already had official business cards for. If anyone had applied or interviewed for the job, they may never have known why they weren’t hired.

So, what’s the answer to this problem? It’s not straightforward. But, one thing’s for sure. The reason you weren’t hired could have little to do with you and more to do with the company’s process. My best advice is this. Try not to take this process personally. Go through the interviews and take the opportunity to get to know the hiring manager. The more well connected you are before you apply, the more likely you will be the chosen one the next time around.

Angela Copeland is a Career Coach and Founder of Copeland Coaching and can be reached at CopelandCoaching.com or on Twitter at @CopelandCoach.