Job and salary

“Why are you still doing all this to yourself?” I ask many clients who complain to me about their bad job, which they have stubbornly endured for years. They complain loudly about incompetent bosses or nasty colleagues and get upset about poor management decisions. At the same time, they are annoyed with themselves for having to endure their job, which is no longer fulfilling, day after day for so long. Why you should decide today never to earn compensation at work again.

Yes, why do so many employees do this to themselves, don’t change anything and endure the pain of sick jobs? The answers to these questions often sound strikingly similar in coaching: Either it is the colleagues in the team that they love, who they believe cannot let them down when they are in trouble, or it is their above-average salary prevents them from changing. If in doubt, it is a mixture of several such supposedly good reasons that makes her chronic dissatisfaction painful to endure.

Unbelievable! When doing nothing is highly paid

If you feel like it, then read some of the now over 100 comments under my article “Boredom at work: What to do when there’s nothing to do?” ” through. The main reason why chronically bored people persevere despite high levels of frustration is either an above-average salary or a very secure salary.

Incidentally, a particularly explosive combination, because earning a lot of money by doing nothing seems like a stroke of luck to outsiders, but for those affected it is daily torture. The physical symptoms of a boreout are similar to those of a burnout, but there are also supposedly wise sayings from family and friends who don’t understand how stressful boredom can be in everyday working life.

The higher the salary or the more secure the job – for example in the public sector, the more difficult it is for those affected to speak to their managers or colleagues about the situation, let alone make a clear decision to change for themselves. Embedded in this security, they develop into perfect masters at constantly finding new arguments that make changing jobs simply impossible.

Job satisfaction: Money is unimportant important

I talk intensively with all clients about their values ​​in their job and what is really important and should be fulfilled so that they feel good and are motivated. Money rarely makes it into the top values, especially for employees with professional experience. Instead, freedom to make decisions and design, experience meaning, challenges for personal and professional development, achieve goals and feel recognition are the far more important values ​​for them.

Everyone, especially high earners, tell me that money is of course important in order to meet a certain standard of living or to be able to meet financial obligations, but it is even more important that the job is also enjoyable . If all of this is no longer fulfilled and the emotional suffering increases, then a good salary becomes compensation for pain and suffering.

Compensation for pain and suffering: satisfaction for frustrated high earners

The lawyer says that compensation for pain and suffering is the claim to compensation as compensation or satisfaction for non-material damage. At work, it is the consolation that many frustrated high earners stick on themselves and thus gloss over a stressful situation: “If I hate my job, then I want to at least be able to buy expensive clothes out of frustration,” a client told me recently. “And if they want to get rid of me, then they’ll really have to bleed!” she continued angrily.

If salary becomes compensation for pain and suffering, then I am of the opinion that it is high time to change something. Because anything that hurts permanently is unhealthy. Anyone who glosses over their sick job with compensation runs the risk of doing  their job by the book and  slipping into a victim attitude of resignation and passivity. Anyone who gives up more and more personal responsibility will find it increasingly difficult to cope with positive changes and ultimately a job change.

“I will never earn compensation again!”

A few years ago I consciously decided never to earn compensation again. There was a time at the beginning of my self-employment when I accepted jobs for good money knowing that they wouldn’t bring me any joy and would drain my energy. And that’s how it often happened. The only energy I got from such assignments was writing the invoice.

I don’t want to miss this time and the experiences because they were valuable in helping me become clearer about what is important to me in my job, what is good for me personally and what this meant for my positioning and visibility in the market. And of course every euro is welcome, especially at the beginning of self-employment.

Today I consciously decide which assignments I accept and which companies and clients I want to work with in coaching. I refuse assignments that I am sure in advance that they do not correspond to my personal values ​​or my attitude as a coach – and that in the end it will be compensation that I deserve.

Some of you may now think that as a self-employed person I can choose and consider myself lucky to be so selective in such a luxury situation today – after all, as an employee you have no choice. Yes, you are certainly right to a certain extent that I can make decisions and work more independently, but let’s be honest, the form of work and its general conditions is really a reason for an employed employee to become a helpless victim of the circumstances of an unfulfilling job or an unsuitable environment make?

Your decision: How much more pain can you endure?

We are all the boss of our lives. It is entirely your decision whether you endure a lousy job and celebrate your good salary month after month as compensation for your pain, or whether you work on your own responsibility to change the situation that is stressful for you.

In my work, especially with clients who have been earning very well in their positions for a long time, I see that the emotional and sometimes physical pain must first become very great in order to get them to take action. Sometimes it feels almost masochistic for me through the neutral coach glasses, even though I know from my own experience exactly how much pain I used to endure for far too long for good money.

It won’t surprise you, but our body signals to us early on and very clearly when we are doing or enduring something that is not good for us. If we regularly overexploit our bodies by working too long and not relaxing enough, constantly acting against our personal needs and individual values ​​or sacrificing ourselves unconditionally for other people and forgetting ourselves in the process.

A good salary often allows us to subconsciously overlook these signals from the body. It is all the more important not to officially declare the high salary as compensation, but rather to make conscious decisions in good time.

A really good salary is only the reward for healthy work

You can decide to have a conversation with your boss or colleagues and talk about everything that is currently bothering you and look for solutions together to turn the compensation for pain and suffering into a healthy salary again.

But you can also decide to take your time and look for alternative positions and employers. Because who knows if there aren’t much healthier jobs out there with the same or even higher salary waiting for you. And you can probably even decide to quit your well-paid lousy job tomorrow, use your savings to bridge a dry spell, and look for new positions where you might earn a little less, but everything is largely fulfilled, really is important to you.

Even if I personally don’t like this alternative at all, you can also consciously decide to keep the lousy job for a defined period of time and continue to collect your high salary because it is important for your life situation at the moment. But then there will be no more complaining! 😉

Whatever you decide for your future, decide today that your salary should never again be compensation for pain and suffering, but only reward and recognition for healthy work.


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