Coming From Fear

“I’m so unhappy with my job.  We’re in a building with no windows.  We work long hours.  I’m spending $500/month on prescriptions because the health care doesn’t cover anything.  I can’t eat healthy because there’s nowhere less than 20 minutes away for lunch.  I talked to my boss two months ago about a lot of things that need to change, and they tried but then gave up and nothing really changed.  People are quitting almost weekly.”

The sentence about how they spoke with the boss before is really interesting.  Why not speak to the boss again and provide more feedback about how these changes are going?  What’s the worst possible thing that can happen, you lose a job that’s making you unhappy and get another one?  (That’s very unlikely but it’s the absolute worst-case scenario.)  How easy will it be on your next interview to list these things as the reason you left?  I’m not saying quitting is the only solution, but if that’s the worst case scenario then what’s the problem?

The lesson I want to give here is that you should never come from fear.  Think about how you can change a situation that needs to be changed.  Maybe no one can install windows into a brick building, but better health care is certainly doable.  Maybe the boss isn’t even aware of how bad the health care situation is.  Certainly they realize people are quitting, and perhaps they don’t realize why.  I’m guessing that they will appreciate someone who is willing to help empower them, instead of just getting a longer list of what’s wrong. The absolute worst case scenario is that the boss won’t listen, and in that case it will be 100% clear that you’re in the wrong place of work, so you find another job without all of these issues and feel great about the change. 

When a relationship really needs to change, approach with the intent to relate to the other person, approach with the intent to empower them, and do not come from fear. Watch what happens then :).

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