October 18, 2013

How Can I Stress Less About Work? Part 2

I'm back today with Part 2 of my Acne and the Economy series about Work Stress! 

Yesterday, I shared my observations as a small business owner being asked advice about workplace stress. Today the focus is on how to win the battle against that stress.

When I was in beauty school we were told,
“Treat the salon you’re working for as though it were your own!” 

Well guess what.  I’m not the only one who got bit in the b-hind for following that advice!  Treating the business you work for (remember - which doesn’t belong to you!) as though it were your own is a recipe for not one, but two disasters. 
Disaster #1 
Arguments and bad relations with managers/VPs/Team Leaders who don’t know as much as you (seriously, they often really don't - more about that later), and 
Disaster #2  
You end up wearing a lot of stress simply because you care too much.

That stress can wreak havoc on the quality of your skin. 

The sad fact of today’s economy is that the 90%-, 100%-, 
and 110%-giving employees cost the same in salary.  

Given the job market, the 110% giving employee will be given the additional work of a recently laid-off 90% giving employee with no additional salary, while another 90% giving employee gets a promotion and becomes a VP.  Why?  Because that colleague of yours who got promoted to Team Leader may very well have been promoted because she's better at being a whip cracker than she was at doing a job similar to yours, and was easily flattered by a pay raise she has no idea is a fraction of the pay of the 45 year old 20-years-of-experience MBA holder she just replaced.  

She also has absolutely no idea that you are the one with the job security, because you are entirely depended upon for your competence and willingness to work late every night, more depended upon than just about anybody in that company.  She's not nearly as important as you.

Now ask yourself. What happens when you try to prove yourself to an under-qualified supervisor?  You're not just over-worked or under-appreciated.  Your stress is what I call "conflict stress".  You know you know more.  You know you're right.  But you can't fight and you can't flee.  THIS is the new stress created by The Great Recession.  This is the stress I talk about in next part of this series, when I describe exactly why it's causing your chin breakouts.  But right now, all you know is that you want to do the very best you can and more.  But... it's killing you.

So.  Here is what I tell my clients: 
You must give only 100%. No more, no less.

Surprised ?  

Always remember this: the company doesn’t belong to you.  There's no question that giving 90% is unacceptable.  But more than 100%?  Why??

It's really as simple as this.  There is just no need for you to care that much when it’s not your name above that front door.  It’s great that you want to give your all, prove yourself, and that you care a great deal about the work that has your name stamped on it.  This is your pride and your integrity we're talking about.  But when all is said and done - it’s just a paycheck.  

There should only be two reasons for working your butt off:
1. Compensatory salary, and 
2. Augmentation of your resume.  
If you don’t benefit from your hard work via salary or resume, it may be time to move on, but you may not be able to, which is stressful enough as it is.  But more importantly, you must emotionally distance yourself from the company you work for entirely.

Join me after the weekend to read more in the Acne and the Economy series, where I touch upon on the topics of Corporate Stress and Acne!

Love this series so far ?  Please share !