GNcareers, from Gulf News

Overcoming your workplace blues

In life and at workplaces, there are two major types of people: Those who blame others for their problems, and those who make the best out of their situation. Regardless to how good a company is, what corporate culture it offers, and all the other variables, you will often find these two groups side by side.

Clearly, a big part of this attitude goes back to personality differences. But when they are not conscious of the influence of this approach on careers, they can be missing out on great learning experiences.

Let’s be honest, not everyone is destined to work for a great employer. When you’re beginning your career or lacking in qualifications, you may have to work in a company that doesn’t provide all the resources and support that you dream of.

What’s more constructive? Being immersed in self-criticism and resentment of your current situation, or making the best out of it to position yourself for a better job. The answer is clear.

If you get used to looking at the glass half-empty, you may continue to do so even when your employer or a new employer provides a better situation. That becomes a state of mind that undermines your potential in the workplace and even in getting a new job because hiring managers might be able to sense your bitterness.

So if disheartened by where you are professionally and the lack of support you receive from your current employer, think of the following points.

Think of big picture

Step back and look at the situation of your employer in the market. If working for a small company, it probably isn’t as competitive as the big corporations tend to be. Costs and overheads may be substantial, and therefore, the owners/shareholders are cutting corners to stay in business.

If part of such a business, a little bit of understanding can help you go an extra mile — even if you don’t like it.

In addition, look at the opportunity this business offers you. First and foremost, you have a job. If you feel secure in the job and getting learning, training and growth opportunities, these are all plus points that can’t be discounted.

Change the situation

Many people fixate on one or two negative aspects of their jobs, which could be frustrating, but not to the scale that create resentment. If you know the aspects behind your disappointment with your job, think of ways to change them. This is not unrealistic. Even the areas that seem to be set in stone may be changeable if you think strategically about them.

Stuck in a low-paying job with no prospect of a huge financial upgrade on the horizon? How about positioning yourself for a different post? How about exceeding your goals, documenting your success, and taking it up with the supervisor?

Alternatively, how about trying to make some money in a part-time job, so you’re not always under the stress of making ends meet?

When you think proactively about your situation and how to change it, you also show your employer the willingness to go the extra mile for a job. And employers often are willing to reward this attitude with all sorts of support.

Investigate greener pastures

Your imagination of an ideal situation could be influenced by how you view other jobs out there. But is this view realistic? It is common to think of greener pastures outside your office buildings, but in this context, also consider what it takes to land a job there.

Do you have the qualification for it? Are you able to work within the systems and requirements? And the core question: Do you have all the information about those other jobs?

In many cases, people jump to a new position motivated solely by money or resources only to find that almost everything else doesn’t agree with them. Before you do any such drastic change in your job situation, gather as much information as possible.

In particular, pay attention to subtle details that might matter to you in the long run. These details could be employer stability, work schedules, management structure, etc. In short, don’t lose a job in hand for a prospect that you don’t know.

Resenting your job

* Think of the positive aspect of having it.

* Look at the employer’s situation.

* Gather information about better jobs.

* Position yourself for better opportunities.

Source: Rania Oteify, Special to Gulf News

The writer, a former Gulf News Business Features Editor, is a Seattle-based editor.