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How to overcome bad periods at work. Let's share from our experiences

gabriela profile image Gabi ・1 min read

Hi, how did you overcome a career bottleneck or a bad period at a job (present or past)? We can all learn from other people's experiences and great 💡 can come up to help others.

Sometimes we don't know who we can ask about this or even how. This could be because of communication issues, being afraid that you look too vulnerable or just by simply trying to fix everything on your own.

My response to this would be: I had some moments until now in my career when I felt like I was not where I wanted - work wise, career wise - and what I did is to work on a side project for me only in which I had fun with new technologies or just with a new idea. I started investing time and money in my own education, not relying on companies to help out (some do by the way).

Sometimes the politics at work were too much for me, either because I saw them too intense or too personal. What I always try to do is find "my people" at work, try to form professional relationships, and try to help as much as possible, even outside my job specs (I can ask around, I can read articles as well etc).

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gabriela profile

Gabi

@gabriela

Remote software developer playing with Java, SpringBoot, JavaScript and React.Js. Love creating useful products for people and always taking time for other creative hobbies.

Discussion

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I've been coding since 1998, needless to say I've had several moments in my career where I've felt that my environment had become toxic or simply unbearable. There are a few simple things that I've learned along the way to prevent and mitigate times like that.

Firstly, understand that you are an individual. You cannot know everything. There is no shame in asking for help.

Secondly, no matter how big the issue, most things can be resolved by talking it out. If you don't understand something, ask.

Lastly, and I can't put enough emphasis on this one, you create your own environment. If you are continuously grumpy, that's your environment. Interactions dictate your workplace success.

 

Thank you for sharing from your experience. Time and exposure is a great teacher. I agree that we should communicate as much as possible, and hopefully there is another individual listening and communicating back. Best way to solve issues.

 

Even if they are not, and they try everything they can to derail your every move, What you need to remember is that you are there as an authority on what you do.

There are certain techniques that can be utilized to defuse situations like that.

I've had a few occasions where I've done some work for a boss or a customer, where they have come to me and told me to copy some code and alter it to work in a certain way, and have told me it will take me 5 minutes to do. My first response is, "5 minutes? Please come sit with me and show me how to do it in 5 minutes. I'm obviously doing something wrong". Of course it never takes 5 minutes and they never bothered me again. I know it sounds condescending but sometimes, people need to be put on the spot like that.

Derailers (people who always know better) are a part of the business world unfortunately. Pushing them outside of their comfort zone often help you along.

Don't be intimidated by burocratic nonsense.

You have a reason for being there.

One last thing, do you know the difference between a software designer and a software solution provider?

Think about it :)

 

I was at school and here in France we can follow courses and have a job at the same time (sort of a part time job). I was in my first year and I was still in a learning process. I found a company for two years. I though that it was gonna be all fun and games learning and applying my skills but I had lesser and lesser time to learn (their codebase was at 95% from my own work and research and they were here just to tell me what to do after each features). I was literally on my own. The head of the IT department was here one day if not less per week. I was here 2/3 days and it was really hard to follow. The quality of work I produced was decreasing as I lost passion and joy to do my work. There was this constant pressure and I was just afraid to say no because I was young and unexperienced. Turns out just before the end of the two years I met someone on LinkedIn that was happy to talk about my work and what I wanted to do. He wanted to see me and after the interview we've had he really wanted me for my curiosity and my passion. It was like in a game where one of your teammate cast a spell to revive you after your death. I decided to take a deep breath and start saying no to the pressure I had at work. Things didn't end up well but I finally managed to quit my job which was a huge success for me. Now I get to do my job in a happy work place where humans are put before work, I can make proposals of technologies I want to work with and I'm actually more productive than in my previous job where they though that they could enforce they power on me to produce each time more. And I'm learning a lot of new things every now and then and they push me toward this learning process.

If I can give you an advice: learning to be happy is one of the hardest thing to do but you'll do yourself a favor by doing that. We all deserve it.

 

Also knowing when to say NO also it's a way to be happy!

I avoided a stressful time on a company as you did by just saying NO.

 

You are absolutely right. It may be silly when you think about it but as for some people it is a real life struggle.

 

Thanks for sharing your story. It must have been quite difficult,glad this passed. I agree, we all try to be happy at work.

 

The hardest is when it's out of your control... I think the number one thing you can do is focus on what you can control - and then work from there. It's difficult though! But sort out what you can control, and what you can't control - and then at least you'll understand what your options are.

 

I was asked, not in so many words, to lie to customers. It wasn't clearly stated, and it started off as more of "white lie" but as time went on, I saw that this was a way this company operated. It was a slippery slope. I quit.

 

I don't know if that counts as a method for overcoming but : this year, I had a bad period, then went deeper, then just completely crashed, went to medical clinic for one month, changed jobs, slowly got better and now I'm fine, even good. Sometimes you just have to accept that things will suck for a while but keep faith that "we shall overcome some day". Hearing and singing that song actually helped me in the dark moments.

 

I am glad you overcome your bad period of time. And you are right, when things don't look to bright just continuing and moving forward is the best action.