Cynicism, hostility, and anger are going to kill you. Actually, if they don’t kill you, they will definitely kill your career. Or, if you don’t have a career, these three demons may be what’s killing your chance of getting a job offer.
Demons that kill your chance
Author Redford Williams’ book, Anger Kills, documents how heart disease, blood pressure, and assorted health risks correlate with what I think can be distilled down to one word: hate. Now you probably don’t think of yourself as a hater. You think you are simply impatient. You think you are just smarter, faster and better at doing whatever it is you that irks you about waiting in a line or not being picked to lead that new project. Maybe you don’t think a word comes out of your boss’s mouth that isn’t stupid. After all, we all know that the higher up the ladder, the less in touch with what’s happening on the ground – and you may be the guy on the ground.
It’s an odd time of year to be talking about hate, anger, cynicism, and hostility. Isn’t it the Grinch who stole Christmas – and you like Christmas! The time off, the drinks, the office party (which is making a small sized comeback this year)…oh and the end of the year review where you’re told your bonus this year is you have a job next year. Some bonus.
If there ever were a good time to talk about your darker side, this is surprisingly a great time for two reasons.
One, everyone else believes that no one is hiring, promoting, or even working during the last two weeks of the year. So, that means if you are looking for work or looking to trade up the ladder or looking for a freelance gig, you have the least competition that you will see until next year around the holidays. Yes, pretty much everyone else has kicked it. But, if you are making calls on December 24, guess who will be in the office? The boss, certainly if he or she is a business owner. That’s when we get our work done along with New Years Eve day, weekends, and all the official holidays. The assistants and receptionists are home under the mistletoe or at Best Buy. So, calls come directly into our offices.
Two, you are about to make some sort of New Year’s resolutions. Oh, you might not make them official. But your brain feels one door closing and is looking to see what other doors you might open. So, it’s a good time to give you brain a really serious talking-to.
I had a coaching client in the office last Friday. Joanna had great experience in marketing and advertising. She had gone back to school to get a degree in interior design. She is now credentialed, capable, and experienced to create environments for brands, so consumers and prospects can experience the brand personality. This plays to hotels, museums, pop-up stores – the list is nearly endless.
What’s stopping her? Why is she only getting to the third and fourth stage of every job opening set up by her recruiter? I didn’t know, because she is so perfect in almost every way. So, then I had her talk about her past job experiences to me. Although she is a lovely person, she goes through her resume with a witty but catty, cynical or sarcastic comment on each job or boss. Each one accompanies the reasons why the company is great but there’s always this whiplash – always funny – but always angry.
Did she know that? No. Not at all. I might as well have told her she had a turnip on her nose. She had no idea. She didn’t even feel angry – it was just her “sense of humor.”
Discover what’s killing you
Her homework now is to write all of that down. Then, tear it up and throw it away. Her next assignment is to write down pages and pages of why she loved each job, what she learned and why she admires the people she worked with and for.
If you can’t afford any other gift for yourself this holiday, give yourself the gift of time. Write away the thoughts that are killing you. Then, celebrate all that you’ve had and all you will.