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VOL. 45 | NO. 8 | Friday, February 19, 2021

Wishin’ and hopin’ won’t deliver better work conditions

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I hear from job seekers every day who are unhappy at work. They wish things were different and would like to stay if there were improvements:

• If only their boss were better

• If only the pay were better

• If only there was room for upward movement.

Unfortunately, hoping and wishing won’t change your workplace problems. Only you can change your work situation.

Don’t get me wrong. I fault no one for staying at an incompatible job because they need the work. We all have bills to pay and mouths to feed.

But, waiting indefinitely for things to get better just doesn’t work. You’ll make yourself miserable.

I’ve met with many job seekers over the years who are trapped in this unfortunate cycle. They wish so much for things to be better, but they have such a hard time when they’re not. It can be anguishing.

Many people struggle to stay focused because of this stress. It begins to bleed into their personal lives, where they might struggle with sleep and anxiety.

But it’s not just you. It’s the entire situation. It’s like something in the ecosystem is off. And you only have control over you. You can only change one thing in a system that’s not working.

This topic reminds me of exit interviews. When you leave, your company will want to do an exit interview about your time there. So often, employees want to use it as an opportunity to vent. In reality, your comments will only make you feel better. Again, you can only change you. You can’t change everything else.

With that in mind, try looking elsewhere if you are wishing and hoping for things to be different. You may find things to be different at another company. You may find you no longer need to wish or hope. Things might work better on their own.

Sometimes it’s seems easier to stay with the situation you know than to venture out into the unknown. It’s not easy to tell during the interview process if the company will really be a perfect fit. After all, if that were the case, your current company might be a better fit.

But, if you don’t try, you won’t know. And, in the meantime, you’re pretty miserable.

You’ve got a decision to make. You can accept the way things are or you can decide it’s not for you.

And, if that’s the case, it’s time to start looking. Put your hopes and wishes into action.

Angela Copeland, a career expert and founder of Copeland Coaching, can be reached at copelandcoaching.com.

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