Over It at the Office

Over It at the Office

Question: My workplace has developed into a pretty negative environment. I'm trying to be a positive influence, but it's not hard to get sucked down into the complaining and propagating the negativity. We are in a big post-acquisition transition. Things will be tough for a while. How can I stay above the fray and hopefully help raise up my team?

Answer: The best way to stay above the fray is to do exactly what you've already suggested: help raise up your team. Even if you personally feel "over it"an admittedly difficult mental state to return fromyou have far more influence over your colleagues' daily lives than you think. 

First, avoid partaking in the complaining and negativity at all cost. It looks good on no one and only adds fuel to the fire. Next, write a list of things that you have control over. Do any of those things overlap with the needs or wants of your teammates? Make them align if so. It's difficult to get concrete without knowing more about your industry and team structure, but I'm sure you have some ideas, even if it's as simple as you entering the office with a smile on your face each day (fake it 'til you make it, they say).

While you do that, start looking for a new job. The beauty is that you needn't actually take one that isn't an improvement over where you're at, and the mere act of looking will add an air of possibility to your workweek. If you're still at your current job three to six months down the road, the dust will have settled enough to better assess whether it's worth sticking around longer or time to double your efforts on the job search front. 

It's tempting in situations of discontent to resign yourself to you it, to sit back and secretly hope that someone (or some new business development) will rescue you from it. Do not do this. Remembering that you play a role, and that the hard work is on you, will make your next step(s) all the more rewarding. 

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