>

3/16/11

Thinking Out Loud

Working for yourself...

Even if you have an employer who doesn't appreciate you.

There are careers, jobs, employment and being an entrepreneur with your own business. Not everyone is able to have their own business and run it themselves, some people have careers, but most people have jobs and are employed.

Careers and jobs can be enjoyable and fun and others can simply be employment. With employment your employer only cares that you show up, do what you're told and discourages any independent thinking or initiative. Those jobs are harder when there are also difficult people to deal with daily. I held one once for well over a decade during a previous bad economic era, as soon as I was able, I left it. While doing that job though, I learned as much as I could even though my employer discouraged it, as well as during my time off I earned formal education and did things I enjoyed doing. Most importantly I figured out how to handle being around difficult people.

During this challenging economic period, many people are enduring careers and jobs they would like to get out of but aren't able to due to current conditions. If that is the case, then the best option is challenging yourself to learn as much as you can from that job, which may not necessarily be the skills of the job itself, but other self-development accomplishments such as dealing and coping with problematic people. Additionally also taking the time to learn something else outside of that work to improve your chances for better opportunities in the future. It is difficult, I know. I never thought my work era between 1978 and 1983 would ever end in anything positive. In 1993, ten years after I had left, I had the perspective to look back and appreciate how much the extracurricular work I had done decades prior had paid off. I also recognized that the coping skills and ability to deal with unpleasant people went a long way and were lessons for life.

Coping mechanisms are the key to the door to get what you want.

Right now I have a job that has potential to become a career. I like what I do very much and the people I work with, the one exception is a difficult manager. There's really no other way to state it: she's cranky, irritable, hypercritical and never gives praise; she finds everything that is wrong and nothing that is right. I don't believe she's a mean person, she does have good qualities and for brief periods of time she can be somewhat pleasant. My peers feel the same way as I do about her, therefore I know it's not a personal thing with me.

There are days when it is hard for me to take, especially since I do like the work itself, what I'm learning from it and the potential for growth. It's an exercise in not only learning a new line of work but also something else just as important, recalling how to deal with difficult people. The first lesson I'm still re-learning is not taking it too personally, which is tough. The second is realizing that the other person is probably doing the best they can to cope under the circumstances they're dealing with in life. For the person I'm referring to, the problem is the same as it usually is for other difficult people, their complex, bewildering, problematic behavior is rooted in their own insecurity and doubts about themselves.

The schooling here is coping and overcoming to gain some peace within myself to not let this person bother me and interfere with where I want to go. In order to do that I have to reach back in time and recall skills that I haven't had to use in quite awhile. It's a work in progress but the past has also taught me that in the long term, it is worthwhile and to my advantage. The other person I can do nothing about, they will have to live with themselves, I can only deal with how I control myself within the circumstances.