Getting back up when your job gets you down

Beth Braccio Hering, 

Let's face it: Even the most enthusiastic workers have moments when they dislike their jobs. Here, seven people discuss those instances -- and what they do to get over them.

Mark Fellhauer, chief marketing officer, St. Louis:
"Personally, I 'hate' my job when things which are for the most part out of my control impact the performance of my (financial) institution. An example is we are having a tough time coping with the local real estate market. Given that real estate loans are the majority of our revenue and asset base, it is not difficult to image what this has done to our growth and profitability.

"What I do to combat this is look for small 'wins' throughout the day. I look for something that I can control and execute it well. It could be something as simple as following up with someone quicker than expected or calling a referral source and scheduling a lunch. This typically carries over to the next task and generally has a snowball effect of taking something bad and turning it into a positive."

Cheryl Pozek, recruiting team leader, Dearborn, Mich.:
"I hate my job when I am working with a candidate who says he really needs a job or wants to make a move to another company and I submit him for a position that perfectly fits his qualifications, salary requirements and location -- only to have the hiring manager sit on résumés for a month or so, then call for an interview and that candidate is no longer available.

"I remember why I love my job when I get a job for someone who has been unemployed for more than two years and was about to lose his house."

Chris Formosa, customer relations consultant, Vancouver, British Columbia:"I hate my job when I speak to customers with unrealistic expectations and demands. I also hate when management expects too much and doesn't provide enough support.

"In order to remind myself of what I like about the job, I try to wow the customer. Once customers feel like I have gone above and beyond to help them, it can be quite rewarding to hear how their mood has changed."

Derrick Hayes, juvenile corrections officer, Columbus, Ga.:
"What can be frustrating is when information is not passed on correctly from the person who you are relieving or from your supervisors. This is important as it gives you things to look for. If you are not informed properly, a fight can break out that could have been prevented.

"What makes me happiest about my job is when youth are released and you see them in society and they thank you."

JaLeen Bultman-Deardurff, life skills aide, Rensselaer, Ind.:
"I work with special-needs middle-school children. I hate when parents undo everything we teach the kids, and there's nothing we can do about it. For example, we have one student with Angelman Syndrome [a genetic disorder that affects the nervous system]. She is unable to communicate, but I will give her a chance to make choices. At breakfast she can have juice, so I hold up two different kinds and let her choose which one she wants ... Well, I found out at home the family just does everything for her and doesn't bother letting her point to things she wants.

To love the job again, "I remember these kids need help. Some of them come from not-so-great homes, and we try to counterbalance that need."

Erika Walker, human resources manager, Orlando, Fla.:
"I work for a professional writing and research company. The times I hate my job are when the customer complains and is completely dissatisfied with the work one of the new writers has completed. Hiring professional writers is my core responsibility, and I feel personally responsible if the new writer does not meet the customer's expectations.

"To help fight the disappointment, I review the testimonials section on our website where our frequent customers leave their gratitude for the help we provided. All these comments remind me that there are hundreds of people whom we have helped."

Johnny Atomic, illustrator, Tampa, Fla.:
"What I hate is that a publishing schedule doesn't take into account any form of 'off' time. When I did my last book, I had 90 days to finish, but that was calculated against the idea of my working every day without a break in an assumed 6-8 hour day ... Eventually, working without any break at all will fatigue you so badly that you will end up taking a day off, even though one isn't in the schedule.
"On the other hand, I know that when my deadline is over, I get to take a monthlong vacation with my whole family. My industry is feast or famine, but the workload is also hellish or heavenly. I try to concentrate on the heavenly part."

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