How is it that so many hard-working employees suddenly turn evil the day they become a manager? Why do they abruptly grow horns, carry a pitchfork, and not care about anybody but themselves?
Oh, I know how! Because calling the boss evil is the best crutch for your dissatisfaction with your current job. Yep. You and I know that it’s way easier to bash the boss than to take personal accountability for your career.
Hundreds of thousands of employees hate their jobs and wish they could make a change, but they do absolutely nothing about it. To make the situation even more toxic, they are whining about it with their co-workers, blaming others, and showing their disengagement through their behavior.
You see it everywhere: people closed up in their offices when they should be working with others, slumped in meetings, missing deadlines, and so much more.
The boss becomes evil when he or she sees your negative behavior or hears about it from others. They start pressuring you for more engagement and productivity, and you retreat even more. Ah, yes, out with the horns from your perspective.
Pop Quiz: Have you used any of these excuses lately? (Okay, if you haven’t, maybe you’ve heard a friend use them?)
- I work hard and they don’t recognize my effort.
- I have no work-life balance, thanks to this company (and my boss).
- Other people are getting promoted and I’m always passed up.
- I don’t have any time to work on my career because I’m working so hard in the office.
- If I network and look at other opportunities, my boss will think I’m disloyal.
- I should be promoted since I’ve been around a long time.
- My company is not giving me challenging opportunities to grow.
- My company has me pigeon-holed in one type of job and I’ll never get out.
- Management is a bunch of yahoos – they don’t know what they’re doing.
- I don’t believe in (or understand) the strategic direction of the company.
I’ve been there, done that. Made up every excuse in the book.
During my 30-year sales and marketing career, I’m happy to say that I have been extremely lucky. Except for one brief year… and I was miserable. Even when I had a great boss, when I wasn’t feeling good about my career, I slipped into boss-blaming or company-blaming. Why not? It was easier than facing the harsh reality that I needed to make a choice and do something. The options?
- Become very self-aware and choose to do something to moderate my work style in order to alter the perceptions (mine and other people’s) holding me back from career growth.
- Develop a plan to move on with my career, mitigate my risks, and ensure I didn’t jump into another “stuck” role.
- There is no plan C – staying miserable and full of blame is not an option.
The good news is that both options can be very rewarding. You will learn so much by going down either path and there is little downside risk. However, both take time, both can be frustrating, and there are no shortcuts.
Option A can be painful because you will need to embrace any negative feedback and make hard personal course-corrections. Option B requires careful planning, a desire to compete for a new position, and the willingness to learn the latest job-search techniques. Either one can be maddening and a blow to the ego.
Catch yourself the next time you abdicate your career growth to anybody else. Nobody cares about your career more than you do. What choice will you make? Option A or Option B?
Now is the time – you can do it!