What do you do when “there’s nothing you can do”?
Let’s keep it to the workplace but even there, how often do you hear or say, “There’s nothing you can do”? I’m guilty here as well but honestly this is an absolute lazy, denial, why bother, cop out. Imagine if Patrick Henry said this? When he was faced with this, he said basically; bullshit, either “give me liberty or give me death” (but whatever you decide it must be something!). It takes courage to NOT do anything when there’s NOTHING you can do!
Work sucks, there’s nothing you can do
Seniors are corrupt, there’s nothing you can do
Everything is being outsourced; there’s nothing you can do
I can’t believe he got promoted; there’s nothing you can do
Well there’s plenty you (we) can do.
Previously I blogged when the going gets tough, the tough stay and fight. The challenge is practicing what I preach and not succumbing to “there’s nothing you can do”.
OK so (for starters) let’s look at the first of the four (above) “there’s nothing you” can do examples and see if we can make some changes to at least pass the why bother test.
Work sucks; there nothing you can do. Why bother? Well how about if work sucks and you work there, then you are part of the “sucks”!!!!!
Is that what you want?
Is that your idea of being a success (or maybe you spell it suck-cess)
I looked at this, and acted as if this was in fact my company and what the employees that worked here were saying about it. Then I started to make lists of why this may be, what are the root causes and most importantly my solutions.
Work sucks because
– it just does
– the pace is too chaotic
– we’re doing more with less
– it’s only a matter of time before I’m impacted
– I have nowhere to go or believe me I would be gone
Hmmm; where’s I need more money? I guess I left it out because it’s implied and also because I would always need more money regardless if work sucks or not!
So going thru the list;
It just does; too generic (almost ignorant). This is just immature negative rhetoric so I’m forced to disregard. I’m a highly (or competitively) paid technology professional, if this is the best I can come up with; dis-regard and be grateful I’m employed at all.
Too Chaotic? Deep dive (or upon further review) the chaos was mainly reactionary, responding to an email at any hour on the day/night/weekend but not really helping anything or making anything better. So for me, I’m blackberry free now for over two years and rarely respond to reply all emails. Not perfect, not a cure all but NOT nothing!
Doing more with less; I respect this “must change “ workplace problem however there were some “things” that could be done after all here too: I now calculate my project estimates based on a six hour day (not an eight hour day), I asked for tasks assigned to me to be value proven so I could prioritize accordingly. When told everything is a priority; I just dis-regard that incompetent statement. Again, not perfect, not a cure all but NOT nothing.
It’s only a matter of time before I’m impacted: I needed to develop a sense of urgency while changing my subscription to the “there’s nothing you can do” attitude in the workplace. One by one, something by something, keep moving in the right direction but make sure you keep moving. Eventually, I’ll be re-invented and “there’s nothing you can do” will become “here’s what I think”. I decided to write a book in 2009, a seminar in 2010 (since certified by the industry for market need, delivery and content), I remodeled my group to achieve a 25% savings in contractor costs or a 25% increase in project delivery (take your pick). Not perfect, not a cure all but NOT nothing. If (or when) I’m impacted or downsized at my job, I know I’ve left no stone un-turned to prevent this and actually re-invented myself during the process.
I have nowhere to go or believe me I would be gone: Well now I’m a published author, certified seminar leader, team builder and efficiency architect. Not perfect, not a cure all but NOT nothing. Now at least there are places I can go BUT only if I have to and hopefully at my choosing.
The point here is do something! Anything is something, you can even proceed with I’ll try anything until something develops; that’s good too; any strategy is a good strategy.
One other thing; before you say that maybe I could be blackberry free but you can’t or that maybe I can avoid replying to emails 7 X 24 but you can’t, I’m telling you that we’re no different; make a line in the sand, look yourself in the mirror and do something. I never asked for or received “permission” from my seniors to make any of these changes; but they’ve been made.
Change takes courage and there’s a risk but when you consider what’s at stake the risk is justified.
I’m telling you that work no longer sucks; for me, there’s still plenty of opportunity for many improvements but its way above “sucks”. I’m proud of this accomplishment since it’s a result of my actions and that I refused to accept “there’s nothing you can do”.
What about you?