Key #2: Clarify What’s Wrong And What’s Missing In Your Current Situation

 

You’ve probably been thinking for a while that you want more from your work. Chances are you’ve been pondering it for weeks or even months. Maybe there are some things happening that really bother you, or it could be just a background feeling of unease.

For many people, when things at work could be better, negative thoughts start to dominate the thinking. And two things happen: the problems can seem to grow and gain importance, and secondly the problems may start to spread to other areas. For example, if you’re disturbed by your relationship with your boss, you might start to feel that it’s worse than it really is, and you may find other relationships in your life start to suffer.

There’s an easy solution to this situation: write it down! When you take the time to list all the things that are bothering you, there are four main benefits:

  1. When you get your thoughts out of your head and onto paper, you will immediately reduce the grip those thoughts have on you. You won’t have to repeat them to yourself any more. They become clearer and more realistic.
  2. You will be much more specific in your thinking so that you don’t tar your whole career with the same brush. Many clients have come to me thinking that they needed to make radical changes, but once we clarified exactly what they didn’t like, an easier path became clear.
  3. You will create a list that you can work with in planning your next steps. A clear list allows you to take specific actions to remove different obstacles.
  4. You will take a concrete step that strengthens your commitment to change. This is a relatively easy step, but very valuable.

So now here is your exercise:

Write down 10 things that you don’t like about your current job situation.

Tomorrow we’ll be checking a very important aspect of your thinking to make sure you’re really going to get what you truly want from your work.

 

Want to know what previous students have said in response to Key #2?

Not a long list!


  • Admin work

  • Tidy up things

E-course Alum

Loving Your Work
2018-01-08T13:26:04+08:00

E-course Alum

Admin work Tidy up things

Lack of Job Security and Company Culture

1. I work alone and at home. There is no social aspect to my work and I miss it sometimes.

2. My work pool is not in my control. Sometimes I have to work much longer than I want to and sometimes when I do want to work, there is no work to do.

3. The only opportunity for advancement I can clearly see would mean working through a few new job types that I do not particularly want to take on before I get to the position I might prefer.

4. I find my manager difficult to communicate with. I believe she does not read my emails, and only skims for answers that she wants from me.

5. My job is not particularly good for my body. I have typists elbow.

6. The company I work for is large and impersonal.

7. The company I work for is under threat of being taken over by an even larger US firm.

8. I am wary of my job security.

9. I do not receive very much guidance from my manager or supervisor.

10. Of those I have found, I can not relate to many of the people who I work with.

E-course Alum

Loving Your Work
2018-01-15T10:17:25+08:00

E-course Alum

1. I work alone and at home. There is no social aspect to my work and I miss it sometimes. 2. My work pool is not in my control. Sometimes I have to work much longer than I want to and sometimes when I do want to work, there is no work to do. 3. The only opportunity for advancement I can clearly see would mean working through a few new job types that I do not particularly want to take on before I get to the position I might prefer. 4. I find my manager difficult to communicate with. I believe she does not read my emails, and only skims for answers that she wants from me. 5. My job is not particularly good for my body. I have typists elbow. 6. The company I work for is large and impersonal. 7. The company I work for is under threat of being taken over by an even larger US firm. 8. I am wary of my job security. 9. I do not receive very much guidance from my manager or supervisor. 10. Of those I have found, I can not relate to many of the people who I work with.

Gain Trust and Respect


  1. Deteriorating performance despite selfless hard work for extra hours (which did not happen in my past years, my current boss has complimented me for my performance in the first year)

  2. Weak management skills (don't know how to communicate with subordinates)

  3. Cannot gain trust and respect from colleagues

  4. Cannot get along with my subordinates and colleagues, and can't handle office politics

  5. No “friends” in the workplace

  6. Relationship with my boss getting worse and worse

  7. I was promoted as manager last year, but since then I cannot perform even the basic tasks I used to do well.

  8. I became weak in organizational skills when coming to a complex project

  9. I cannot handle complex human relationships between colleagues and even clients, I am a simple person, sometimes naive

  10. I don't know if I am correct in choosing my current career.

E-course Alum

Loving Your Work
2016-04-21T21:39:21+08:00

E-course Alum

Deteriorating performance despite selfless hard work for extra hours (which did not happen in my past years, my current boss has complimented me for my performance in the first year) Weak management skills (don't know how to communicate with subordinates) Cannot gain trust and respect from colleagues Cannot get along with my subordinates and colleagues, and can't handle office politics No “friends” in the workplace Relationship with my boss getting worse and worse I was promoted as manager last year, but since then I cannot perform even the basic tasks I used to do well. I became weak in organizational skills when coming to a complex project I cannot handle complex human relationships between colleagues and even clients, I am a simple person, sometimes naive I don't know if I am correct in choosing my current career.

Chance of Promotion


  1. boredom

  2. routine work

  3. some colleagues

  4. some customers

  5. hypocrisy from many of my colleagues

  6. lack of logic from some of them

  7. lack of correct work skills from some of my colleagues

  8. few chances of promotion

  9. promises not kept from manager

  10. working hours

E-course Alum

Loving Your Work
2016-04-21T21:44:16+08:00

E-course Alum

boredom routine work some colleagues some customers hypocrisy from many of my colleagues lack of logic from some of them lack of correct work skills from some of my colleagues few chances of promotion promises not kept from manager working hours

Company Culture


  1. Unfriendly and selfish company culture

  2. Bad and not trustworthy management

  3. Boss, who I was direct report to was too emotional

  4. Boss sometimes was rude

  5. Unsystematic and unprofessional in management

  6. Over and unfair workload

  7. Not being recognized

  8. No work progression No career promotion

  9. Against the law

  10. Disrespectful and fake attitudes

E-course Alum

Loving Your Work
2016-04-21T21:45:35+08:00

E-course Alum

Unfriendly and selfish company culture Bad and not trustworthy management Boss, who I was direct report to was too emotional Boss sometimes was rude Unsystematic and unprofessional in management Over and unfair workload Not being recognized No work progression No career promotion Against the law Disrespectful and fake attitudes

Thinking Longer Term

Generally speaking, my job and company are great but I feel lost when I think about the longer term. What's wrong is:

  1. Lack of passion and enthusiasm for the job

  2. Lack of drive to find the energy

  3. Lack of purpose in my current job as I don't think it aligns with my passion and strengths

  4. Same basic process with variations apply to different client situations. Therefore, I'm starting to feel bored in my role.

  5. I could be challenged further pushing myself more.

  6. Lack of direction on career progression and next steps

  7. Feel like I'm always covering myself and having to protect/justify what I do to make sure it's right and also stated in writing to prove that I've gone through the steps. I am in the service industry so of course I should provide good service but sometimes I feel too accountable and with little benefit.

  8. I'm missing something because I don't feel that flow. I look forward to weekends and am not truly passionate about my work. This makes me think I should be doing something else because it's a waste of time to do something you're not 100% passionate about.

  9. Lack of work life balance. I would love to be able to control my time better.

  10. Lack of creativity in my current job. I feel stale and like I'm not evolving for the better.

E-course Alum

Loving Your Work
2016-04-21T21:47:08+08:00

E-course Alum

Generally speaking, my job and company are great but I feel lost when I think about the longer term. What's wrong is: Lack of passion and enthusiasm for the job Lack of drive to find the energy Lack of purpose in my current job as I don't think it aligns with my passion and strengths Same basic process with variations apply to different client situations. Therefore, I'm starting to feel bored in my role. I could be challenged further pushing myself more. Lack of direction on career progression and next steps Feel like I'm always covering myself and having to protect/justify what I do to make sure it's right and also stated in writing to prove that I've gone through the steps. I am in the service industry so of course I should provide good service but sometimes I feel too accountable and with little benefit. I'm missing something because I don't feel that flow. I look forward to weekends and am not truly passionate about my work. This makes me think I should be doing something else because it's a waste of time to do something you're not 100% passionate about. Lack of work life balance. I would love to be able to control my time better. Lack of creativity in my current job. I feel stale and like I'm not evolving for the better.

Career Development Commitment


  1. Without actual recognition in every promotion I had

  2. Without any career development commitment from the company.

  3. Without supervisory support in dealing with problem

  4. Not enjoying to work individually in big projects

  5. Feel frustrated with others not contributing but building blocks.

  6. Not knowing my real interest within the company

  7. Frustrated with everyone satisfying without improving themselves.

  8. Disappointed with everyone asking me to wait for opportunities.

  9. Concern about the possibility to achieve my career goal

  10. Unsatisfied with “just telling but not offering” type of comment to my future development.

E-course Alum

Loving Your Work
2016-04-21T21:49:56+08:00

E-course Alum

Without actual recognition in every promotion I had Without any career development commitment from the company. Without supervisory support in dealing with problem Not enjoying to work individually in big projects Feel frustrated with others not contributing but building blocks. Not knowing my real interest within the company Frustrated with everyone satisfying without improving themselves. Disappointed with everyone asking me to wait for opportunities. Concern about the possibility to achieve my career goal Unsatisfied with “just telling but not offering” type of comment to my future development.

Afraid of Making Mistakes


  1. High stress

  2. Too politicized

  3. Long hours

  4. Lack of work/life balance

  5. Lack of recognition for achievements

  6. Not enough support and nurturing from superiors

  7. Too serious and not enough fun

  8. Afraid of making a mistake

  9. Not getting along with my colleague

  10. I give too much of myself and care too much about the work. Ultimately, I feel unrewarded by my efforts (and I’m not talking in terms of money).

E-course Alum

Loving Your Work
2016-04-21T21:52:06+08:00

E-course Alum

High stress Too politicized Long hours Lack of work/life balance Lack of recognition for achievements Not enough support and nurturing from superiors Too serious and not enough fun Afraid of making a mistake Not getting along with my colleague I give too much of myself and care too much about the work. Ultimately, I feel unrewarded by my efforts (and I’m not talking in terms of money).

Not Feeling Part of the Team

I am currently teaching English part-time at Hong Kong secondary schools. This list of 10 things I don’t like about my current situation is a hybrid of things that I don’t like from this job and my previous full-time job in the US as a senior IT consultant.

  1. I didn’t feel like a trusted partner where my input was heard or valued.

  2. Remarkably tight deadlines without appropriate resources and scope management.

  3. Requirements that are not well defined or that keep changing.

  4. Dealing with disrespectful teens and crazy parents.

  5. I feel under-qualified and am trying to fix that, which is exhausting and stressful.

  6. A long commute.

  7. Not feeling like I’m part of the team – limited interaction with key staff.

  8. Bosses that are “big picture” guys leaving all the detail work to me.

  9. Lack of a mentor.

  10. Not having dependable colleagues – picking up slack for others.

E-course Alum

Loving Your Work
2016-04-21T21:54:08+08:00

E-course Alum

I am currently teaching English part-time at Hong Kong secondary schools. This list of 10 things I don’t like about my current situation is a hybrid of things that I don’t like from this job and my previous full-time job in the US as a senior IT consultant. I didn’t feel like a trusted partner where my input was heard or valued. Remarkably tight deadlines without appropriate resources and scope management. Requirements that are not well defined or that keep changing. Dealing with disrespectful teens and crazy parents. I feel under-qualified and am trying to fix that, which is exhausting and stressful. A long commute. Not feeling like I’m part of the team – limited interaction with key staff. Bosses that are “big picture” guys leaving all the detail work to me. Lack of a mentor. Not having dependable colleagues – picking up slack for others.
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