We live in an ever more personalized world. Almost everything can be tailored to your specific needs, desires or tastes. If you've ever logged into a web browser, this customization is being done for you without your knowledge.
Even if you're not logged into Google, its search results will not only take in the objective information needed to answer your query, but it will also tailor it to be more in line with your past behaviors based on cookies in your browser - unless you opt out of this feature by turning off your search history personalization.
All this seems well and good, and for simple things, like search results, it may not be such a bad thing. Unfortunately, there can be some unpleasant side effects as we begin to expect that everything will be as we deem it should be, tailored to our every whim.
This can be especially dangerous when it comes to the world of work.
There's a Reason It's Called 'Work'
If you are working for a company, no matter what your role is, you are there to help the company succeed and therefore you should be compensated appropriately. Businesses must weigh decisions all the time about compensation and service to their clients. They balance this with protecting the bottom line, while ensuring a healthy future of the business, so that employees can continue to draw a paycheck.
There is a natural conflict between the needs of the employee (you) and the needs of the organization (where you work). This conflict can be compounded if you become disengaged with work. This is not only harmful to the company, but also harmful to you, the employee, as this may lead to distraction, decreased effort, poor performance, bad reviews and, ultimately, it could damage your career.
If you're having problems with your work situation, you are obligated to bring up reasonable concerns to your manager. If the situation is untenable, then perhaps it's time to move on. There is no such thing as a perfect job, and if you keep looking for that while ignoring your obligations, it will hurt you in the long run.
Instead, try to look at the opportunities you'll have in the future, based on your performance in these less than ideal conditions. Maybe it won't be with the same company, but the skills and knowledge that you gain in working through difficult employment situations will undoubtedly serve you well in the future.
Your Job Is Your Choice
Don't forget that your job is your choice, to an extent. You don't have to keep going into the office every day; you can always quit. This is not something I'd recommend, unless you have a substantial cash reserve (as well as another opportunity on the horizon), but, technically, it is always an option. According to a recent JobsInDE.com poll, 35 percent would leave their current job for another if it paid more; 16 percent would leave for better benefits elsewhere.
Change Your Perspective
If you're unhappy in your job situation, here are some things to ponder that could turn things around for the better:
- What brought you to the job in the first place? You have control over how you approach the work that you do. Think about those aspects of the work you enjoy, and try to find new and different ways to do more of that, and maybe even do it better.
- While there are obvious limitations, most managers would welcome an employee bringing ideas to the table about how they might be able to improve the process.
- As Seth Godin points out in his book, Linchpin, the days of the "factory worker" are almost gone, and that means employers need you to bring your full self to work. Find ways to engage in your work in a way that you enjoy, and you might find yourself feeling differently about your job.
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