Most of us have experienced it. Either it’s a job that you took thinking it’s the greatest growth opportunity but ended up making coffee for your colleagues, or you felt like an outsider in your team, or your boss simply was an idiot. Whatever the reason is, going through uncomfortable, or even traumatizing work experiences will affect your attitude to your career, colleagues and work place dynamics.
If you can take the experience as a learning point and move on stronger and wiser, great! Next time you’ll know better and can avoid experiencing it again. However, if the experience has been very overwhelming and perhaps affected your self-confidence, this might be challenging and take time. And it’s absolutely okay.
It’s never good to swell on hardships, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give yourself some slack. Take some time to go through what happened, try to understand what triggered the situation and most importantly, why did you feel threatened. This is important, as it will help you to avoid a similar situation in the future or at least help to handle it confidently. If it is time to look for a new challenge and a new team, here are some tips for landing the best job offers!
Three things to keep in mind
1. Be honest about it, never embarrassed or hateful
It’s never a good idea to try to hide bad experiences – however, instead of feeling sorry for yourself, try to take it as a learning experience. Blaming others is an easy way to go, but it’s not any wiser. Bitter accusations will only increase and prolong the whole conflict and eventually, will make you feel and in the worst case also look worse. If the situation is not solved yet, try to bring someone neutral to the discussion. It will give both sides some perspective and also help to keep the situation civilized.
2. Remember you are not the only one
Bad work experiences are extremely common. People seem to be very talented in miscommunicating and misunderstanding each other’s motivation and point of views, and that will eventually lead to someone being overwhelmed or upset. This is something to keep in mind – likely at least some of your colleagues and friends have similar experiences as their burden. Discussing those experiences together will help you to overcome it and get a broader perspective. Also, talking about common experiences is a good team building practice.
3. Focus on the positives
Even though the experience might have affected our confidence, try not to focus the negativity – positivity creates more positivity! Often people who have experienced difficult things, tend to expect it to happen again. It’s a natural reaction, but expecting the worst might just give you it. Again, positivity really creates more positivity, eventually.
Keep calm and move on
In conclusion, it’s all about right communication. You can turn a bad work experience to a strength, but in order to do so you need to be a bit clever about it. Put aside the hard feelings and try to think what could have been done differently on both sides and how to avoid this in the future? How was it resolved and is there something you could learn about the solution?
Try to be objective – what if it’s just the pot calling the kettle black? This is by far the greatest challenge for most of us, but learning to take a step back and at least aiming to understand the opposite perspective will be one of the most valuable lessons you’ll ever learn about teamwork. If it is time to look for new opportunities, see our open positions from the link below.