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Managing to Make a Difference by Larry Sternberg

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Chapter 74If You Feel Trapped in Your Job, Change Something

Part of developing yourself involves taking ownership for how you feel about your work. Too many people hate their jobs. For them, almost every day is a bad day. Aside from the negative impact this has on performance and engagement, it increases stress and anxiety, which has a negative impact on physical, mental, and emotional health. In many cases, people who hate their jobs bring that stress and negativity into their homes, which hurts their family and their friends. If you hate your job, if you are frequently experiencing bad days, if you feel trapped in your job, this chapter is for you.

Organizations and managers should be intentional and aggressive about creating a culture in which people feel valued, significant, and fulfilled, a culture in which people truly look forward to going to work. It is also the case, however, that each of us must take responsibility for the outcomes in our lives. Your life decisions have put you in your current situation. You might feel trapped, but you are not trapped.

Your first option is to change something external. Change some aspect of your current job or start looking for another job where you will look forward to going to work, a job in which you have no problem saying that what you are getting out of it is worth the cost. Changing jobs, however, involves great risk and often great cost. You might not be ready for a life decision like this. You might decide that, at this time, ...

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