Author Topic: Work - Self Help Recommendations  (Read 365 times)

katstache92

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Work - Self Help Recommendations
« on: January 10, 2018, 11:47:09 AM »
I am looking for suggestions on books/blogs/other resources that discuss how to be satisfied at work, deal with unfairness at work, suck it up when your work situation sucks, manage a manager who is brand new and doesn't know what they're doing without going insane, etc.

In each of my full time jobs I have ended up unhappy, frustrated, and looking for a new place to work... it most likely isn't just that I've had several unlucky job situations in a row, it's probably me and I want to fix whatever the issue is.

I've had 2 full time positions (1st - 3 years, current - almost to 4 years) and 2 managers at each company.  I can 'explain' why each scenario wasn't great, but at this point, I figure I'm part of the problem, so I'm looking for strategies to fix whatever the problem is.  The answer could be any of the following or something I haven't even considered yet:
  • Suck it up (I guess, but it would be nice to be not unhappy or hey, even satisfied at work)
  • Get a new job (looking, but what if this happens again at the next one?)
  • Care less about work (okay, I could do that, but I don't know how - I feel responsible for getting my tasks done and pleasing my customers (and manager, I guess))
  • Anger management classes (possibly, to control my frustrations?)
  • Therapy (maybe? but I don't just want to vent my frustrations for an hour, venting doesn't actually fix the issue),
  • Others??
Any recommendations would be appreciated.

Lis

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Re: Work - Self Help Recommendations
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2018, 02:04:46 PM »
Ask A Manager for literally everything. This blog has -
  • resume / cover letter / interview / job hunt / all that sort of advice
  • "your job sucks and isn't going to change" advice (see also: "your manager sucks and isn't going to change" or "your coworker sucks and isn't going to change" and the like
  • ridiculous stories that you think quite possibly can't be true, but really are, that'll make you feel better about yourself and your situation

There was also a specific letter written in last week or the week before written in by someone who was unhappy with themselves and their response to others, and many people wrote in about Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. I have no personal experience with this, but when dozens of people recommend something, it's worth researching at the very least. It's less discuss your feelings and more plan your actions.

I also really enjoyed The Power of Habit by the Charles Duhigg which helped me think realize why I do what I do, how to change bad habits, and how to form better ones (include how to become less frustrated over menial things).

Roots&Wings

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Re: Work - Self Help Recommendations
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2018, 07:03:36 AM »
    • Care less about work (okay, I could do that, but I don't know how - I feel responsible for getting my tasks done and
    Any recommendations would be appreciated.

    This might sound really weird, but MMM's book recommendations The Magic of Thinking Big and The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy (and Epictetus' Manual) were the absolute best things for my attitude, career, and general happiness.

    katstache92

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    Re: Work - Self Help Recommendations
    « Reply #3 on: January 11, 2018, 07:40:34 AM »
    Thanks Lis and Roots.  Appreciate the recommendations.  I'll definitely check out Ask a Manager, CBT (which I've heard of but haven't looked into), and the three book recommendations (requested them all from the library.)

    I think I've read some things on Ask A Manager before but they were on the resume and interview prep side of things.  I'll have to explore more.

    Roots&Wings

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    Re: Work - Self Help Recommendations
    « Reply #4 on: January 11, 2018, 10:31:27 AM »
    I've also used CBT and found it really helpful for changing some negative ingrained thought patterns. Good luck, you can do this!

    Finances_With_Purpose

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    Re: Work - Self Help Recommendations
    « Reply #5 on: January 11, 2018, 11:44:51 AM »

    This is part of what my blog is about, but since it is relatively new, I have some great content outlined that is not yet posted.


    Meanwhile, here are thoughts and resources:


    You're facing something very common - frustration at work - and it's often tough to ascertain how much that is because of you (you are very wise to assume it may be you - many people assume the opposite and then wander through life frustrated) or how much of that is something else. 


    As you recognize, sometimes we do need to "suck it up," but sometimes that advice can cause someone to churn through years of intense distress at work, even though there are far more fulfilling paths available.  It depends on you and how you are wired. 


    I recommend two things that I found helped me find far greater fulfillment at work - even when work is difficult - and that have helped many others I know as well:
    • First, consider aptitude testing.  Johnson O'Connor Foundation offers some.  It's well worth the investment given what you have said in your post about how you are struggling (even though it costs around $700-$800) if you're looking for guidance across the course of your working life.  It may well elucidate the reason for some of your struggles.  For instance, you may be wired to need a job that provides challenge, or meaning, etc., and your job may just not do that.  Or you may be trying hard to do something that interests you, but that you lack certain aptitudes for.  And that's OK; it might imply you should consider some alternative paths. 
    • Second, and probably more helpful: this book called What Now.  It's a life coach/career coach series of sessions all in one book.  Take time, do the exercises, and see if that doesn't naturally lead you towards work that you will find more fulfilling.  You may learn a lot about yourself during that process.  (Plus it's both frugal - one book - and valuable.) 
    For what it's worth, I am relatively self-aware (tests say the same) and love learning, so I thought the book's exercises wouldn't be that helpful.  But they provided immense value and insight anyway - it just took the discipline to go through them even when they appeared like they might not be as useful.  I figured it was worth doing that first, and thoroughly, before investing more in other things. 


    You might even start with the book, then do aptitude testing.  See what you learn about yourself.  Best wishes, and I would love to hear how things work out for you.


    katstache92

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    Re: Work - Self Help Recommendations
    « Reply #6 on: January 11, 2018, 01:43:53 PM »
    Thanks FWP!  I'll keep you in the loop as I, hopefully, figure things out.  It'll probably be a long process though.

    Do you think I need a hard copy of What Now?  Or would a Kindle version be okay?  From what I could tell the exercises are done outside of the book, but I wanted to double check.

    I'll consider the aptitude testing, although it does seem quite expensive.  I would guess that my job should have meaning and my current one does not.  But in my quest to FIRE I've been telling myself the higher salary (engineer) is worth being not completely satisfied.  Maybe that's some of the root of the larger issue that doesn't seem to be connected to that reason initially.

    I've been reading some of the Ask a Manager posts.  Wow, things aren't great for me right now, but dang, some people have it really rough.  Yikes.

    Roots - getting rid of the negativity would be so freeing - I think, it sounds like it would be.

    Finances_With_Purpose

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    Re: Work - Self Help Recommendations
    « Reply #7 on: January 11, 2018, 01:54:58 PM »
    Thanks FWP!  I'll keep you in the loop as I, hopefully, figure things out.  It'll probably be a long process though.

    Do you think I need a hard copy of What Now?  Or would a Kindle version be okay?  From what I could tell the exercises are done outside of the book, but I wanted to double check.

    I'll consider the aptitude testing, although it does seem quite expensive.  I would guess that my job should have meaning and my current one does not.  But in my quest to FIRE I've been telling myself the higher salary (engineer) is worth being not completely satisfied.  Maybe that's some of the root of the larger issue that doesn't seem to be connected to that reason initially.

    I've been reading some of the Ask a Manager posts.  Wow, things aren't great for me right now, but dang, some people have it really rough.  Yikes.

    Roots - getting rid of the negativity would be so freeing - I think, it sounds like it would be.

    You're welcome.

    Either is fine.

    FWIW, aptitudes remain constant over a lifetime. They indicate what types of work activities you may be best at. Also some things about how you're wired.  It's costly yes but I at least found it to have lasting value. Would start with the book first though.

    Noodle

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    Re: Work - Self Help Recommendations
    « Reply #8 on: January 11, 2018, 07:43:09 PM »
    Per therapy--according to my sibling the psychologist  (CBT practicioner), the point of therapy isn't venting. It's to give you tools to adjust whatever about your brain is making your life difficult. For a lot of people, just learning to reframe thoughts or other techniques is plenty. Other people need a referral for medication, or an objective sounding board while they work out a plan, or whatever. So I wouldn't necessarily rule therapy out.

    Also, F-you money does wonders for workplace satisfaction. Seriously--knowing that you can walk away from whatever dials the stress WAY down and often makes you more successful at work, because you aren't operating from a place of fear for your job.

    thesvenster

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    Re: Work - Self Help Recommendations
    « Reply #9 on: January 12, 2018, 10:29:42 AM »
    Epictetus' The Art of Living is the only self help book I've found worth much, and it's over 2000 years old!

    Stoic philosophy is misunderstood often, but if you get to the heart of it, it is a wonderful tool for coping with life's joys and challenges.