This Isn’t Working For Me

Why are we so afraid to say that?  I think sometimes we spend more time avoiding the one phrase we really want to say and create more of a mess for ourselves than had we just bit the bullet and said, “Um, yeah, this isn’t working for me.”

Personally I have been on the receiving end of that behavior and let me tell you – it is crappy.  I certainly did not enjoy the experience and as I would not want to be the cause of that crappiness for someone else, I try to be honest – in a gentle and respectful manner – when something is not working for me.

And for this I get labeled.  I’ve been told I am intimidating, bold, brash, ballsy, bitchy – wow, there are a lot of “b”s in there; but the point is it is looked upon as a negative because I am honest.

Here’s the funny thing – those that label me are not involved in the situation directly.  Oh sure, sometimes the recipient of the “not working for me” is not so happy with me, but eventually they are actually pleased that I nipped it in the bud rather than play it out in an unintentional unkind manner.

So to the other’s I say to hell with you.  And today – I am encouraging you to do the same thing.

I had the opportunity to work with a very well respected and successful career coach early in my career – she could have been a good mentor and helped me financially.  As a new coach and business owner it was a golden opportunity -on the surface.

When we actually sat down and talked about the business and how she works I was struck with the indifference and elitist attitude in which she spoke about her clients.  It rubbed me the wrong way and my gut immediately said, “Yeah, this isn’t going to work for me.” I turned her down.

Ok, actually I said something really sarcastic knowing she wouldn’t like working with another strong woman so she decided she did not have the opportunity that she originally thought.  Image was important to her so I was being kind in the way I handled it so she felt she had all the power.  Whatever.  Point is I ate a lot of mac and cheese rather than work with someone who made my tummy hurt.

My last corporate job we had a new manager come in and immediately I knew it was not going to be good.  Let’s face it, when the guy (who was much younger, married with a stay at home wife and had a 2 and 3 year old) makes the comment that I (as a single mother having about 10 years of experience juggling four sports and my career having only missed one game in 10 years) would have to chose between my son’s activities and my career – it is not a good sign.  Actually, I thought it was a good sign and a proud moment for me that I didn’t deck him.

So, I began to make plans and preparations.  I secured a new car before I lost my “stability” then started my own company.  To hell with it – I jumped.  And I’ve never looked back!  My secret happy moment is knowing he has two young girls which will turn into two teenage girls – at the same time; but I digress.

So often I talk to clients that hate their job, it just isn’t working for them and they know it.  But they are afraid of saying it, not to their boss, but out loud to themselves.  You have three choices at this point:

  1. Suck it up and realize you need the money – at which point you find a happy place in where you are and make the most of it.
  2. Start planning and taking action to get to a place that you want to be.
  3. Jump.

I suggest 1 or 2 depending on your situation.  But if you really are unhappy then for goodness sakes do something about it.  Get your resume together, figure out something that makes you happy, start looking for a way to get paid to do that, start networking and GO!

I’m certainly not going to suffer in silence if it really isn’t working for me.  For one it sucks all the happiness out of me and I like to be happy.  Two, being happy makes me better at what I do, I can give that much more to my clients. Three, it makes me a better friend, mother, partner or significant person in the lives of those I love.  And four, no one really wants to hear me whine anyway so why do it?

If you are afraid what others might think of you if you have the stones to say “this isn’t working for me” then you need to re-read the above paragraph.  People come and go – death, divorce, life situations, kids grow up, friends move, people change – but the one thing that is constant is you.  You are the one that needs to make yourself happy before you can even think about making anyone else happy.  We are all kind of broken in some way and that is fine.  But you can’t be completely broken and help fix anyone else.  Actually you cannot be responsible for fixing anyone else, you can stand by them as they get fixed – but that is another story.

Today I give you permission to say, “This isn’t working for me”  – with two  caveats – 1. you must be willing to do something about it and 2. you must be okay with yourself in saying it.

Lisa K. McDonald, CPRW

Career Coach-Strategist

Certified Professional Resume Writer

Career Polish, Inc.

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