Struggling at Work


Changes at work can be a difficult adjustment. I’m going through some changes right now and I wanted to share my thoughts through video.

I try to be positive and uplifting on this blog, but at times I do struggle to be happy at work. The struggle is all a part of working. You may try to get ahead and your career gets derailed or you go through a company reorganization that stunts your happiness. That’s life. It’s all about figuring out how to fit this new puzzle piece into your career.

If you liked this article I can just feel that you’ll like these too:

14 thoughts on “Struggling at Work”

  1. I noticed you mentioned mapping to goals, and that’s a good technique.

    I think another technique that’s helpful is to drive from your values. Basically, find a way to light up your values in whatever your job is. For example, if you value adventure, treat your job as an adventure and use relevant metaphors.

    For me, I’m a fan of adventure so every project I’m on, I find a way to use metaphors such as an “epic journey” or “SWAT mission” … etc. It’s a simple thing, but the right metaphors reshape the experience.

  2. I am with J.D. on the essential aspect of tying goals to values to daily action/work: they are a must and may take some folks a minute to derive the connections between the three. Many of us may have just a “JOB” and not a “CAREER,” which I’ve found is a critical distinction. If you are a “brand in progress” like Nathan–you are probably hot on the heels of a career; if you are “paying the bills” then think job. Whether you are on either path or a blend of the two: focussing on what you DO want, versus getting caught up in the struggle (what you don’t want) is paramount.

    Try a short exercise: divide a paper into 3 vertical columns; in the first column–write your STRUGGLES (all of them, go wild); in the second column your STRENGTHS, inner/outer, compliments others give you (get stuck–ask a friend or three to help you think of strengths); then, in the third column, take a random combo of one struggle and one strength and use that glorious brain of yours to come up with a potential STRATEGY. You may say: these things don’t go together–even better–play with the idea that they do–how could they combine? (example: friend is a tennis player and a lawyer. Her struggle was getting more out of her assistant; strength teaching novices how to play tennis. Our strategy was to use principles of tennis coaching w/(novice) assistant: give one coaching tip per day (just focus on getting your racket back turned into: focus on the filing system and only that). That simple shift in perspective helped BOTH of them feel HAPPIER (and gave them a game they can play: S+S=S, when they get stuck at work).

    Lemme know how you do!

  3. LifeMadeGreat | Juliet

    Hi Karl

    I commend you on your openness.
    I must admit that I struggle with enjoyment in my job.
    I’d like to hear what aspects of your job have changed.


  4. #1 Honesty is the best policy – keeping honest with your audience is a great way to earn their respect and understanding. I know exactly what you are feeling, which is what led me to want to work for myself. I’m thankful for the crappy days. Without them, I never would have forged the path I have so far.

    I’m still employed, but only because I can’t quit. I’ve got my brand in progress and I’m trying to define myself in a niche that already has a lot of rockstars. My goal from now on, and I was just getting ready to record a video about it, is to give more than I take. I want to motivate and inspire. I think your video does a good job of that.

  5. Hi Karl: It is difficult when you’ve become accustomed to doing things one way at work and all of a sudden things changes. I worked for the canal when it was run by the US and then on the last day of 1999 it was transferred to Panama. Everything changed. Divisions were dissolved and people were transferred to departments where they were doing completely different work than what they were doing before, people were demoted simply because their positions had disappeared; it was quite traumatic for a lot of people. When you work for someone else that can happen . . . all you can do is make the best of the situation and readjust your career goals. And start plotting your escape into self-employment 🙂

  6. Hi Karl.

    I certainly get very little happiness from my job, and I don’t think that’s going to change anytime soon. Simply put, I was deceived when I was hired, and I’m earning a paycheck for doing work that I do not enjoy doing. My only hope is to relocate to where I can get a job doing what I enjoy, but that won’t happen for a while, because of my economic situation.

    The only thing that I can do is to start up my business in my spare time, and set a goal to give it an honest attempt to affect my life in a positive way. I’m in the process of doing that now.

  7. Hi J.D., I’m going to try your adventure technique. I’ll pretend I’m a renowned sociologist that’s undercover, trying to gather material for his book.

    Hi Alik, if it works for a while I’ll take it as a worthwhile experience.

    Hi Nathan, at least you are going for your dreams. They will lead you to awesome adventures.

    Hi Dyana, I’m going to try your column method too. It sounds like a great way to lay it all out and pick the best solution. Getting mind, body and emotions aligned is the key.

    Hi Juliet, I was promoted and trusted with a lot more responsibility (projects and deadlines). I was used to have a lot less stress in my working life. The new tasks are challenging me to say the least. I’m adjusting, but it hasn’t been easy.

    Hi Marelisa, readjusting the career goals is what I’m trying to do. It’s been a tough pill to swallow, but so glad that I’m experiencing this work situation.

    Hi Trey, I feel your pain. Just keep learning and taking notes. Hopefully one day you’ll look back and appreciate all the cool stuff you learned.

  8. Hi Karl,
    Recently, due to continued growth within our company, I have went from being a department of one to have a person who now works for me. While this is a welcome change due to the increased workload demands – it is still an adjustment going into the position of having people report to you. I am lucky in that my company is also sending me to a management and leadership course to really covers some of the skills that the new position may entail. I pushed for these changes back several months ago, and am happy to have seen them come to fruition. Still – I am realizing that this is different than when I was it for my department…

  9. Ok, I’m going out on a limb here when I say happiness comes from each one of us, not our jobs or anything else external. Change is the only constant we can count on, yet we often get so stuck in a single way of thinking, unable to “go with the flow” so to speak. What would happen if change occurred and instead of reacting we simply said “ok”. More peace perhaps or a new game plan?

    I can speak from 10 years of “misery” in the corporate world. Always thinking a new job or more money would be the happiness I needed. Not so. After 10 years I gave up the money to start my own business…Looking back I realize how SWEET each job I had really was – good money, in the city, not strenuous, some travel. I realize I just wasn’t happy, and I chose to blame it on my job. Happiness is within each of us if we choose it. And that doesn’t mean I choose it all the time – I am human! Life presents change and challenge – instead of fighting it, maybe we need to walk along side of it.

  10. Hi Lance, that’s also a tough position to be in – thrust into a leadership roll. It looks like you have a good attitude about it. Just keep taking mental notes and don’t forget to ask how you can improve.

    Hi Stacey, walking along side of change and challenge isn’t easy. I do agree that happiness comes from within, but I must contend that external issues do matter. When we are surrounded by positive people it’s a lot easier to be positive. We are social creatures. We need to be appreciated and loved. It’s up to us to choose who we work with and how to optimize our careers. That’s how we can create the working life that fulfills our needs.

  11. Hi Karl – Although I’m self employed now, I spent many years working for large corporations. The one thing that kept me going through those “not so favorite” jobs was the thought of how I was learning something no one could ever take away from me. Although some of the stuff was mundane, much was information and/or education that followed me throughout my career and in the end was a huge benefit – including in our lives now as business owners.

  12. Pingback: Question: Is Working At Home Better or Worse for You? | Create Business Growth

  13. Sometimes it is not the major happenings that causes struggles, it is merely the routine that we fight against. You know, the same, same. The daily grind. If we can be flexible in minds and also encourage your manager to promote flexible work hours, your time can be spent nurturing yourself as well as the commitment to your job.

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