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Monday, December 12, 2011

Tips to cope with job you hate and Letters of Recommendation

Tips To Cope With A Job You Hate

Do you remember what it was like when you were still at school and the weekend started to wind down? At around 3pm on a Sunday you started to feel sad, your eyes were drawn to your school bag which still needed to be packed and you might have started to dread what the maths teacher had in store for you over the coming week. It wasn’t a nice feeling. You think it will be better when you finish school and perhaps for a brief period of college it is. Then, a few years down the line, you look up after reading the Sunday papers, realise that it’s 3pm and you have to go to work the next day. You feel sad, your eyes are drawn to your briefcase and you start to dread what your boss has in store for you over the coming week.

Does it sound familiar?

Logic tells us that any job is better than no job, especially with unemployment being the way it is. But hating your job, as over 80% of working people do, takes a huge emotional and psychological toll which often manifests in physical illness (real, feigned and imagined).
The effects are not only felt in people’s personal lives but also in the corporate environment. People who hate their jobs simply aren’t as productive as those who love their jobs, or feel more or less neutral about going to work every day. Job haters tend to use all their available sick days in a given year, they take long coffee breaks, gaze out the window and generally seek distractions. The quality of their work is also often poor because they lack the motivation to put in the effort required.
Of course, quality of work doesn’t suffer as much when the boss is something of a demon.
Horrible bosses are able to suck the joy out of even the most satisfying jobs. Countless people who are passionate about their career paths stumble in the face of a boss with absolutely no people skills. Horrible bosses come in all forms. There are those that micromanage every single process, that are weak and unable to lead, that take all the glory and shrug off all the blame, that delegate everything, that lose their tempers and shout, that are hypocritical, that gossip, that express overt favouritism … the list goes on.
The sad truth is that the perfect boss doesn’t exist. Even bosses that seem decent for years can turn on a dime and make life impossible. It’s up to you how you decide to handle it. Some people have a very basic philosophy: they won’t work for anyone who doesn’t respect them. Other people don’t have that luxury. Mortgages, kids in school, car payments, insurance, pension plans and medical aids are all very effective at keeping people miserable in jobs they hate.

Tips to survive the job you hate

  • Talk about it. It’s not just enough to complain to your friends and family about how much you hate your job; you also have to talk to someone in your HR department. The people in the HR department are there for their ability to solve people-problems. They’re trained to help you manage stress and deal with internal hassles all while maintaining confidentiality. If the problem is a big one, like sexual harassment, then they will ask your permission before taking the matter further.
    If you work for a very small company without an HR department then you’ll have to bite the bullet and try talk to your boss or immediate manager.
  • Get a hobby. As difficult as it sounds you need to make a concerted effort to leave your work problems at work. The best way to do this is to distract yourself with something that you love, or to try different things until you unlock your secret passion. Many community centres and libraries offer classes and groups for a range of activities, such as pottery, pencil drawings, scrapbooking, writing, yoga, pilates and aromatherapy. A lot of places will let you try out a lesson for free to see if you like it before committing yourself to the class. Find out about local sports clubs in your area, even if it’s just bowls or hiking. Alternatively, research some hobbies on the internet. You’ll find information and tutorials on anything from bird watching to knife making.
  • Save the best for last. People have a tendency to leave the worst for last, but, thinking back to you childhood again, do you remember saving the best food on your plate for last? Remember holding breath while bolting the broccoli and then savouring the mashed potatoes? Revive this childhood tradition in the workplace. Rather than procrastinate and leave the most tiresome and dreaded assignments or tasks for the end of the day or the end of the week or the last minute of the deadline, get them done first. Having the worst behind you allows you to savour the bits of your job that you still enjoy. Otherwise, even the fun bits are tainted by the awful bits looming over your head.
If nothing helps and you still feel like crying in the car on your way to work every morning you should think very seriously about putting your CV on some job sites and expanding your horizons. In the end, no job is worth your self-esteem, dignity and sanity.
Sandy writes for a number of different blogs, on a number of different topics, including job posting software, advertising, travel, technology and the environment.

Many people decide on going to graduate school after they finish their four-year degree. Graduate school is a great way to continue your education and get your master’s degree or Ph.D. My sister is currently in graduate school and in order to get in, she had to send in letters of recommendation. This is a very crucial part of the application process. The school you are applying for will really look at the recommendation that the person gives you. They will take into account how the person recommends you and what they say about you. It is crucial to get someone’s opinion of your work ethic. In order to receive some good letters, follow these tips:

Content

You may think that the most important thing is to get a well-established and really smart person to write your letter. This is not always the best option. The best person to write your letter would be someone who knows you very well and has seen you work really hard in a class or work setting. This could be a teacher’s aid, rather than the professor. Asking someone who knows you best gives you a greater chance of proving your hard work to a graduate school. Choose someone who has seen you in group settings, or someone who has seen you solve problems in the work place. Graduate schools are going to be looking for students who are able to analyze situations and solve problems. When you are looking for your letter writer, don’t worry about all the credentials and degrees a person may have, look for someone who knows you personally and has seen you when you are working your hardest.

Asking

When you figure out who you are going to ask, set up a meeting with them. Be professional about it and do it in person, or at least over the phone. Make sure you ask them if they have time to do it. If they don’t have time, don’t take it personally. Writing a good letter of recommendation is a lot to ask from a person, and many people are too busy to do anything like that. If they do have time and they say yes, make sure to ask them what you can do to help them. If you meet with them in person, you can talk to them about your goals and your interests which will help them know exactly what kind of letter they should write.

Timing

Make sure you ask the person with plenty of time to spare. Do not throw it on them last minute because they will most likely not do it. Give them plenty of time to accept the assignment. You want to ask them way before you turn in your application because you want to make sure that it is in on time. Also, have a rough draft of your resume and personal statement done before you ask them so your letter writer can draw from those to make your application flow.

Start Now

If you are still getting your undergraduate degree, make sure you are finding connections with professors and other people at school or work. Work hard in group settings and show your professors that you are capable of doing well in any setting. Start preparing now in order to get the best letter you can possibly get. Do all your work and ask your teachers for help. They will get to know you if you are in their office during office hours getting help or if you participate a lot in class. Be a good student and you will get a good recommendation.
Meagan Hollman composes for MyCollegesandCareers.com. My Colleges and Careers gives people who want graduate, and undergraduate, credentials the way to discover which online masters degree programs fit their needs best, and help them reach their potential.

As a person who still to some degree has to put up with a job that I have very much learned to hate, because my new job is still in very early stages and very part-time, too part-time to leave the job that I hate. I hope that by passing this on I can help someone else who is in the same boat that I am to cope with their job, while finding a new job or if not, then maybe use the 'hated job' to pay for college, which would enable one to get better job. After all, I  do have new job, where I am hoping that in due time I can and will work my way to full-time. In the meantime, I hope that by the Grace of God, I can be of service to others, one way or another, just somehow.