Have you recently been passed over for promotion? Seeing a peer being offered advancement opportunities while your career seems stuck in a rut can be an unpleasant experience. This is especially true when you consider your skill set and commitment to be equal to (or better than) that of your promoted coworker. Coping with the emotional fall out of this situation requires objective self examination and good communication. Stressing out about your capabilities and worth isn’t effective either so the best thing to do is find out what happened and get feedback.
Talking to Your Boss
Storming into your manager’s office and demanding an explanation for why you weren’t chosen is a bad idea for obvious reasons. Someone who can’t stay in control of their emotions isn’t ready for additional responsibilities. On the other hand, trying to figure out “what went wrong” all on your own is a sure way to become paranoid and depressed. So, it is OK to talk to your boss about how the decision to promote a peer was reached – once you have calmed down. Here’s an example of a respectful way you can talk to your boss that may shed some light on what’s holding you back in terms of your career:
Many of today’s workers are faced with a stressful caregiving situation as their parents become more and more dependent. Even if you don’t have an aging parent living with you, there’s a good chance you could be “on call”. Mom may fall and break her hip while she’s home alone; Dad might have a memory lapse and be found wandering the streets. As the emergency contact, you’re the one who is asked to come and sort things out.
If a health issue is ongoing, FMLA may kick in. This provides you with legally protected (but unpaid) leave to care for an ill family member if you work for a company with 50+ employees. However, when you pitch in to care for a mother or father in-law FMLA does not apply. So far, the law hasn’t caught up with the realities of elder caregiving. It’s up to employers to decide when and if emergency time off will be granted or if you will be fired for attendance violations.
Some Employers Have a Double Standard
Many employers seem to have a compassionate attitude about parents having to leave the office suddenly when a dependent child needs them. Part of this has to do with a wariness of being accused of discriminating against women. After all, it’s still usually Mom who gets the call to deal with a child-related emergency – even if both parents work.
However, employers don’t always view the elder caregiving relationship as a serious commitment. Apparently, they figure you can just get someone else to step in and take care of an emergent need. Unlike in the UK, there is currently no law protecting U.S. employees’ right to put family first in these situations. Employees can’t afford to wait for the law to catch up – they need to start negotiating for changes in the workplace now.
Are you in your 20s to early 30s and filling a managerial role at your job? Congratulations! Your work ethic, educational accomplishments, and job skills are paying off already. As a Gen Y boss, you’ve got a bright future ahead if you can learn how leverage the talents of those who report to you. This can be a particularly challenging task when your employees are older – in some cases – old enough to be your parents. It’s even more challenging when you encounter performance problems that can result in disciplinary actions that can, in some cases, lead to termination.
Many Gen Y managers are adapting, often rapidly, with how best to manage the needs and motivations of a multi-generational team. Supervising an older workforce as a young adult highlights the generation differences that impact work relationships. This can create a host of awkward and stressful communication challenges to Gen Y managers.
Generation Profiles: Comparing Work Styles
In order to understand how to approach performance issues between a younger manager and an older employee, you have to recognize that discrepancies abound between Gen Y and other generations in terms of work ethic. The chart below highlights some typical attitudinal differences about work between generations that make up the bulk of current workforce populations.
Are you having difficulty managing workplace stress because there is simply too much on your plate? When the responsibilities of your position are unclear, this will make you feel overloaded. Clarifying the scope of your job duties and your role within the organization can offer relief. You will be able to prioritize and organize your day-to-day activities much more easily.
Also, you can unload tasks that are rightfully part of a co-worker’s (or boss’s) job function. When you no longer feel stuck trying to do it all, you will perform more effectively and productively. This will increase your sense of satisfaction and your confidence in your own abilities.
Reduce Your Workload
A career change can be a difficult transition, even if you are excited about pursuing your dreams. Maybe you’ve just earned an online degree that has opened up possibilities in a new field. Or, perhaps you have decided to start your own business. Either way, job stress management will be important during the remaining weeks or months at your current place of employment. You’ve got a lot going on – especially if you have significant obligations to fulfill at your old job before you move forward.
Pressure from Your Boss
Ironically, the more your boss likes and depends on you the worse her reaction may be when you give your notice. Sometimes, a manager will take it personally when you decide to leave. This can create unnecessary stress during your departure phase. Give your boss a few days to adjust; he or she will generally come around to being happy for you.
Leaving on good terms is important for keeping emotional stress to a minimum. Knowledge retention is one of the most important parting gifts you can give your old employer. Before you even announce your intention to leave, begin putting together a transition folder. It should include detailed instructions for how to do the more difficult parts of your job – the things it took you years to learn because no one told you how to do them.
Present this to your boss when you give your notice and offer her some options. She can have you continue to document your job, provide mentoring/training for your replacement, or simply keep performing your duties as usual until your last day. This shows good faith on your part and can make it easier for your boss to fill your position when you are gone.
When it comes to dealing with a “Tyrant” who happens to be your BOSS, I can certainly speak first hand. I use to be a concierge at the Venetian Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas and my boss was on a power trip of the highest order. She ran the department by purposefully cultivating a culture of fear. That’s never a smart strategy. It only serves to make the people who work for you hate you behind your back and even do things out of spite. She was an expert at threatening people into doing what she wanted, and would even get them to lie for her. It wasn’t a very happy place to work. However, I learned a lot from that experience. She taught me a lot about “Tangling with Tyrants”
I’m sure there are more then a few of you out there in the same situation. So I have asked a top Human Resource expert and the best selling author of “Tangling with Tyrants: Managing the Balance of Power at Work” to write a series of articles to help shed some light on this topic which can create such stress in our lives.
So it’s with great pleasure that I introduce to you, our newest guest blogger here at StopStressingNow.Com
Believe it or not, the workplace can be one of the biggest sources of stress in our lives. It’s important to arm yourself with the knowledge of how to survive in a culture of workplace stress. That’s why our resident human resource expert Tony Deblauwe is investigation both sides of the coin for us here at StopStressingNow.com. It doesn’t all have to be bad. You can learn to use that stress to your own advantage. Here’s Tony:
How Workplace Stress Can Be Good for You
When you’re stuck, it’s important to develop the right communication process and change the situation. I developed Tangling with Tyrants: Managing the Balance of Power at Work
to show people what it takes to turn a bad boss around. I reported to a bad boss once, and I did everything wrong. I was stressed all the time, I brooded over what I’d do next – everything but face the challenge head-on. As I began coaching people, I found the issue was widespread. Being the HR contact, I was expected to know what to do. Eventually I found a process that worked and chronicled techniques that were practical and quick to implement.
The initial steps to changing how you interact with your boss comes from understanding the outcomes you want. It may seem obvious, but people often drive change through emotion. “I hate my boss and I’m not going to let him get away with it.” You’re charged up, you want things to change now and unfortunately you can make hasty decisions that could make the situation worse. One tip – make a list of what bothers you in the behavior then describe what would change for you if these challenges were removed. This baseline helps you focus and create a mind-set of how to get different results.