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Remember when you got the job and were actually excited at your prospects? You were eager to get an early start and dig right into your day’s work. Meeting clients, innovation, team building exercises, travel perhaps. Then somewhere along the way little by little, your job became your life and the boss and company you work for started requiring more and more of your time. Your boss first started e-mailing and then calling at all hours. Everything all of the sudden is urgent and needed immediately and you’re expected to do it. No one before they are hired are told in their first interview that they are expected to give up their life, family, and personal time for the sake of the company, profits, the bosses’ whims, and or shareholders.
This can be very common place in small business where the owner/entrepreneur is putting in long hours and expects everyone else to do the same. The difference is the employees don’t have the same reward at the end of the day the owner or the senior executive does.
It may start slowly and you think “oh, it’s only just for now and as soon as this project or assignment ends I will get back to my life.”
Then there always seems to be another deadline, project, or disaster thrown upon you taking its place.
Challenging bosses give you unrealistic workloads and deadlines, are not in sync with the time it takes to meet them. Some bosses may have such a dysfunctional life themselves and take very little interest in your well-being, or acknowledge the additional time you have given to your work schedule and give little recognition to work/life balance. Some may even go so far as to say “just get it done“ without caring if you have the tools, resources, or knowledge to even make their request happen.
Why does this happen? You might work for a micro-managing control freak whose goal is to reach their own sense of perfection. Perhaps they fear for their own position? Whatever the reason it is no fun to work for “the bully on the playground.” It may be the “all about me” show for them and making reasonable requests doesn’t always come first to their minds.
These kind of behaviors can cause low team morale, a stressful work environment, high turnover, and actually cause less work to happen. People don’t produce the best work when they are brow beaten and a lack of effective leadership may cause dissention in the ranks with you and your co-workers.
Solutions to Take Your Professional Life Back
Be clear with your expectations up front and if it is a work situation have a formal written agreement. Ask for a written job description. Each position or assignment can be unique and you need to understand the importance of the job and specific duties in order to deliver a consistent result. This ensures clarity and a focused vision for you, your boss, and the business making it a professional place to work .When you have clear expectations set up there are no gray areas and you can work effectively. Job descriptions and or the scope of work needs to be defined in writing, understood and agreed upon by you and the boss.
Set your boundaries or other people will set them for you. Know what you want and need in order to be successful in your relationships and stick to it. You can’t change or control people. You can though control how you communicate with others. Maintaining boundaries isn’t easy. There are many who do not respect them and are like the velociraptors in Jurassic Park and are always testing your proverbial electric fence looking for a weakness. If they see your firm and consistent manner they will go in for the attack less and make fewer unreasonable demands.
If you are at the end of your rope, you need to have a discussion about it. The time to do that is when you are calm and not a pent up volcano of emotions. Get all of your anger out in a private place first and not with a “venting session” at the water cooler.
The “I’s” Have It. Using “I” statements describing how you feel will do much better than pointing the finger back at the person you are having a disagreement with and blame them for blaming you!
Requesting your boss to “to change their ways” may be as appealing as chewing on tin foil. To reduce your stress around it, plan your conversation advance.
Let your boss know that you understand there are time sensitive tasks to be done and that you have a desire to provide your best work. Let them know you need their support in creating success. Highlight examples of where you have been given projects that impacted your work hours significantly and caused excessive amounts of hours worked beyond those highlighted in your job description. Let your boss know that you need to have a better balance between home and work so that all areas don’t suffer. Let him know that you feel disappointed when you are not able to give your best consistently to work and family.
Renegotiate schedules and hours and timing wherever possible so that you feel empowered to complete realistic tasks in a reasonable time frame.
Honesty and your well-being is the number one priority. When you work for a demanding boss you may not say what needs to be said because you don’t want fear of repercussions or the loss of your job. Make a pact to be honest no matter what. Keeping resentment or bottled up emotions won’t help either of you succeed. In the long term you won’t stay at a job where you feel you are being taken advantage of. Let your boss know that you want to reach the finish line of success. When you “keep it real” do so in a positive manner. After all, at the end of your days on your deathbed you won’t say, “I am so glad that I worked so many extra hours and sacrificed my family time, and personal wellbeing, for someone else’s unrealistic demands.
Yours in Success,
Essentials Spa Consulting LLC
Durocher Enterprises Inc.