Many people feel trapped by their jobs sooner or later. Good chance you’re one of them if you’re reading this article. But if you are currently feeling trapped or stuck or simply unable to even put a name to the way you are feeling, what if anything can you do about it? Stuck is stuck.
Well, not always. Sometimes it takes getting to this point – even the mere act of googling the topic – before you can start thinking seriously about career choice. And the possibility of real change for yourself.
Feeling undervalued and totally the wrong fit!
I recently got a comment from Maria on this topic. I’d like to share some of her words and part of my response:
Maria took an admin position and says she “never felt so undervalued and totally the wrong fit.” She goes on to say:: “Tension is thick and I feel terribly uncomfortable, and since they don’t value my opinion, my talents and skills are extremely underutilized.”
She continues: “I am bored to death. Should I put all my efforts into looking for another job, or talk to human resources about transferring? Help? Sincerely, down in the dumps.”
Part of my response to Maria
“Oh Maria! When I read this my heart goes out to you. I hate that you’re feeling so trapped – and it is even more disheartening to read that you’re working for women whom we would hope would be more aware of what it feels like to be undervalued. But unfortunately, there are bad managers of either gender – and good ones too.
I do think that when these questions come up for us, it’s a great time to start exploring our options actively. And maybe to start creating a resume just in case. In the meantime, here are a few questions you might ask yourself as part of your soul searching:
(1) What is this doing to my mental and physical health?
(2) Is there anything stopping me from moving on, other than myself? If so, what do I need to do to handle that first, so I can start fresh on a firm footing.
(3) Are there some courses or skills I might give myself in the meantime to help in case I decide to leave? (Example: if your computer skills need updating, this might be a great power step for yourself.)
(4) Are there other jobs out there that I could do and that I would enjoy more? Are my skills transferable? How would I get started looking? You’ll find some helpful articles here.
(5) Would working elsewhere in the same organization actually be better or would it be more of the same?”
Before even thinking about going to HR
I went on to ask Maria ….
“…have you sat down with your boss(es) and honestly shared what you’re feeling without any blame toward them (it just pushes them further away), BUT instead from the point of view of what you could change for yourself. Are there new projects you could take on and / or what could you do to be more valuable to them in their eyes?”
You can find the entire discussion here in the comments section.
Some final thoughts
This was a relatively new position for Maria, within an organization she’d been with for many years. And even though she wasn’t new to the company, she found herself having to basically start all over again – and prove herself to her new bosses. And it wasn’t going well.
She got me thinking in general about how to start off on the right foot when you get to a new job. I’m including this link in case any of you have just started or are about to start a new job and are feeling overwhelmed or inadequate. I hope you find it helpful:
More articles to help with job & career change: