At the beginning of your career, you were excited. Finally, you’d found the path you wanted to be on, and you were independent. Fast forward a few years, and things are very different. That early exuberance has given way to feelings of malaise.
You never expected it to be like this. You’ve been through some tough challenges, and you’re not enjoying your work as much. Perhaps you’ve even been hurt on the job or haven’t been given due credit for your efforts. Whatever it is, it’s turning your career into just another day in the office.
Everybody goes through workplace dilemmas from time to time.
Here are some of the most common problems people face and how to overcome them.
1. You’re Feeling Overwhelmed
Approximately two-thirds of workers report feeling overwhelmed from time to time due to workplace dilemmas. Often, workloads start off relatively lightly. But they can rise over time to the point where they’re unsustainable. Just thinking about how much work you need to get done can hamper sleep routines and leave you feeling burned out. If you’re finding yourself not able to sleep or your heart racing in the morning, it’s time to act.
First stop, speak to your manager. Don’t just go ranting and raving. It’s unlikely that they know the precise predicament in which you find yourself. Most of the time, they’ll be genuinely unaware of the way in which you’ve been struggling.
Instead, go in armed with a timetable and break down how much work you’ve been asked to do and why it’s not sustainable. Then explain what you can do.
For instance, suppose you’ve been tasked with doing A, B and C. Tell your manager you can either do A and C or A and B, but you can’t do all three. Ask your manager what their priorities are and get them to tell you what needs doing first.
2. Your Boss Quits and Is Replaced by a Monster
Often, we spend years building up trust and rapport with management. We do this in part to make our own lives easier. But we also do it when we’ve had a truly motivational manager. Sometimes they’ve got us to believe that what we’re doing is truly worthwhile or visionary.
But then one day, a workplace dilemma hits. We find out that our manager is leaving to pursue career prospects elsewhere. And we’re left with their replacement. That’s when things start to get worried.
What if the new boss isn’t as good as the last one?
Will they make your life a daily nightmare? And will they be interested in your career progression, like your last boss was?
There’s no guarantee you’ll get the answer you want to any of those questions.
Here’s how to deal with this workplace dilemma. Start putting out feelers elsewhere for similar positions either within the company or outside it. Get chatting to people about potential job roles. And ask around in your network for anybody who might want your skills. While you’re doing that, try to make the new manager as comfortable as possible.
Remember what it was like for you on your first day in a new job? Take a while to see how things pan out. You never know, after a few weeks things might settle down and you may indeed get along.
3. You Got Hurt on the Job
In 2014, the BLS released its latest statistics on injuries in the work. They revealed that just over 1 percent of workers had to take time off work because of a work-related injury.
Getting seriously injured at work is one of the most difficult things that you can experience. Sometimes it can mean a loss of income if the injury is serious, alongside ongoing medical bills. And it can damage your relationship with your employer.
The first thing to do is to find somebody who is willing to fight on your behalf. For example, you can get help at Brown & Crouppen on work-health matters. Mediation is usually necessary, unfortunately, because your employer’s insurance company will try to avoid paying out. And this can be devastating while you’re ill. After all, you need some restitution to pay for lost income and medical bills.
You don’t want to end your career under a mountain of medical debt without any restitution. If you get hurt, take any legal advice you can.
4. You Messed up and It Screwed Over Your Team
We all make mistakes from time to time. But you made a mistake, and it was a big one. For instance, you lost sensitive company information. Or you were quoted saying something damaging about your business by the press. It’s something that happens to even the most experienced people in the business. But when it happens, it feels like you’re all alone. So what can you do about it?
First off, be upfront about what you did wrong. It’s unlikely that what you did was intentionally malicious. Explain the circumstances, and offer an apology if one is warranted. If you can react positively to the situation, it shows your team that you’re still committed to their success. Be empathetic too. Use phrases like “I can understand how damaging this is” or “I recognize the impact of this mistake.” Let people know that you get it and that you’re sorry.
The next step is to find ways to minimize the impact of the error. This will depend on the situation, of course. Then tell your bosses how you plan to avoid something similar ever happening again.
5. Other People Keep Taking Credit for Your Work
Working in a team has its advantages and disadvantages. On the one hand, you’re spending a lot of time with other people, which is good for those who like the company. On the other, you’re beholden to their lack of effort, and even office politics. Perhaps you’re working really hard on a project, but a colleague keeps taking all the credit. What should you do?
The best way to defend against others taking credit for your work is to update your boss regularly on what you’re doing. Make sure there’s no doubt in their mind who has ownership of the project. Colleagues may try to steal the limelight in meetings. But your boss should instinctively know who is driving the project forward.