Sunday, August 17, 2014

5 Reasons Why My Boss (Does Not) Kills My Motivation

I'm sure you've seen loads of articles with titles like "10 Reasons Why Your Boss Kills Your Motivation."
Whether they're 10,15 or 20 reasons, there are plenty of articles detailing why your boss makes your life a nightmare.
You read these articles, you nod, feeling self-righteous and justified. You think, 'Exactly! This is why I'm so miserable at work! It's all because of this shitty boss I have!'
I have to admit, I used to read those articles and found myself nodding at certain points, but lately I've gotten a little sick of them.
I think these articles aren't value adding my life, and here are 5 reasons why :

1. If you're so miserable at work, quit, or talk to someone at work about it. By talking, I don't mean bitching. I mean talking to the person you're not happy with, or a mentor at work, or someone who can actually make the situation better. Bitching is cathartic, but doesn't change the situation at the end of the day. And, if your boss catches wind of your bitching, that's an altogether separate problem you have. Confronting your issues with your boss is healthier - and don't mistake confronting your issues as being a confrontational person. I strongly believe confronting issues are the sign of a strong, mature person. On my end, I'm still working on being able to confront issues better.
Remember not to get personal, and focus on the issue. I've also seen people saying things like - 'She's such a bitch boss, she's ugly and she's fat, no wonder she's single at 40.' These comments are just plain mean, and below the belt. Her personal life or her being single has nothing to do with you - and most likely, your personal life really isn't great either if you're turning so malicious.

2. These articles are good at making you feel like you're 100% in the right and your boss is a terrible, evil person, but it doesn't make you reflect on yourself. Honestly, just like you probably won't get a perfect boss, neither are you a perfect subordinate. Maybe your boss is too soft, too hard, too disorganized, too organized - whichever. There are so many different working styles out there. The challenge is getting both your working styles to sync. Perhaps this is very Asian of me, but I've always believed that I have to adapt myself to the boss, and not the other way around (despite me not liking it at times). It doesn't mean that someone with a different working style from you is stupid or inept - it just means it's different.

3. We live in a world where it almost seems cool to be pained at work, or to hate work, or to hate going to work on Mondays, or to hate your boss. Why? It's just not healthy. It's a little bit like being the rebel in school, how it's cool to not care, or not do your homework, etc. You get my drift. I think this cultivates a very negative mindset in us. Honestly, your life gets so much better if you're happy at work. I know there are so many situations and instances that we can't control, but if we do everything in our power to make our worklife a little better, it makes your entire life a little better. We talk about work-life balance and separating these two, but how many of us are gifted enough in having a terrible life at work, but great life outside, and be able to say we're truly happy? Your work life and personal life are tied together somehow, so in order for me to be happier in my personal life, my work life has to be a happy too.

4. These articles, in essence, are whiny. And a reason to justify us being whiny. We're actually developing a bad habit of complaining and not doing anything about it.

5. You're always going to be able to find reasons to dislike your boss if you want to. That's the easy thing to do, and you can bet you're going to start fostering an unhealthy relationship with him or her. I think a more productive (but much more difficult) thing to do, is to find common ground within differences, to understand where both you and your boss come from, and ultimately to find a way to have a healthy relationship.

I repeat, f your boss really is a big douchebag with zero hope at ever being a normal human - what's stopping you from quitting?

I have to point out, the scenario today is a very different from what it was 50 years ago when jobs weren't abundant, and people generally had to accept shitty bosses because switching jobs just wasn't an option. To clarify, I'm also talking about the FMCG sector where I'm in, where headhunters keep popping up and waving jobs around. If you're in a situation where the job and boss is bad, but you really have no option but to rough it out due to financial circumstances, then I will have to humbly say my article will not be targeted at you.

It makes way more sense to quit reading these articles, to quit the pity party, and focus on fixing things instead. Heck, I hardly see anyone posting articles like '15 ways to fix your relationship with your boss', because we're always so happy to focus on the problem, and we're happy to be miserable. We're the martyrs, where our bosses are the wrongdoers.

Nope, let's switch that and turn it around, and focus on being positive and healthy instead.