We have to spend 40 hours of our week at work, stuck in an office with our colleagues while we count down until 5 o’clock, live for the weekend and just generally wish we were somewhere else. If you find yourself stuck in a career rut and the thought of getting out of your lovely, warm, cocoon-like duvet to face another 8 hours of hell is seriously affecting your mental well-being – you’re not alone. I know all too well the horrible, crushing feeling of dread that the 6am alarm can bring if you’re really not happy at work. That’s why I’ve set out to find the biggest problems that Flurt gurls face during the daily grind. Here’s how to tackle them without losing your sanity, or your job.
1. Clashing With Co-Workers
Sometimes people just don’t get along. The chemistry isn’t right, your interests aren’t the same, but you still have to sit next to one another for the best part of your work day. We all know we’re supposed to leave our personal problems behind us when we walk through the door, but it’s hard not to let personal differences affect work related tasks. If you have a problem with a colleague, or you find yourself making unprofessional, snide remarks because of a personality clash, you need to address this head on, and fast. Ask the colleague to meet up with you outside of work, away from the triggers that are causing the relationship problems between you. Go out for lunch or coffee and talk everything out until you find a way to stand the sight of each other from 9 to 5 again. You can be sure your boss will have noticed the issues between you, and unless you fix them it’s only going to be detrimental to the both of you in the long run.
2. You Feel Underappreciated and Underpaid
No matter what job promotion you go for, you never seem to get ahead. You’re channelling your inner Dolly Parton every day but your cup of ambition has definitely got up and gone. Your input isn’t valued and you feel you don’t get taken seriously or listened to in meetings. And that time you dared to bring up a pay rise? Forget it! You’ve been brave and broached the dreaded subject in every yearly review you’ve ever had. You’ve got bills to pay and you’ve got your eyes on this season’s Manolo Blahnik’s (a gurl can dream, right?) and it’s just not happening. Even in 2014 there is still a ridiculous gender pay gap. On April 8, 2014, President Obama said of American female workers, “today, the average full-time working woman earns just 77 cents for every dollar a man earns…in 2014, that’s an embarrassment. It is wrong.” The gender gap issue is a familiar problem across most Western countries, with Canadian women earning on average 17% less than men in the same job role, and in the UK there’s a 10% difference. Advancements have been made over recent years, but more needs to be done to raise awareness and make a real change for future generations. If we don’t speak out and demand that this injustice is stopped, then we’re our own worst enemies. Stand up and be heard gurls – don’t settle for anything less than your full worth.
3. Sexist Comments
Sexist comments in the work place are never OK. It’s never funny and you’re definitely not a prude or over-reacting. Period. Unwelcome comments about your menstrual cycle, your weight or you’re your personal life are usually masked with humour. Male colleagues insist it’s just a joke but it makes you feel ant-sized and completely objectified. If you don’t feel you can stand up for yourself there and then, speak to your boss or a female colleague that you can trust to handle the issue sensitively, professionally and swiftly. Just because you’re female doesn’t mean you should have to sit and listen to comments about what you’re wearing or jokes about your co-workers fantasizing about your sexual abilities. Sexism in the workplace is a huge problem, so speak out if you see it happening to yourself or other colleagues.
Until you find the holy grail of jobs, hang in there and follow this advice for some serious work-life improvement. I’m a great believer in the saying that if you don’t like something, change it! Life’s too short to be unhappy!