Amy, my client (not her real name), set a goal when we began our coaching sessions to find a position where she could achieve professional success and be happy at work in 3 months. She had been working in her position for about 6 months and was miserable. The environment was toxic, there was little or no direction, and everyone was tense and unhappy. After 2 months of coaching she found a new job.

Amy's friend, Claire, still worked in the old company and continued to call Amy at her home after Amy left the job. During each call Claire would complain that she was getting negative feedback about her performance from her manager. Claire thought she was doing what she was supposed to do and felt that the manager and his boss were out to limit her job success.

Amy was torn between being a good friend and protecting herself from being drawn into the negativity of her friend's situation. Since the situation sounded dire, Amy did suggest Claire look for a new job.

I was amused and also impressed when Amy spoke of putting on her shield so that the talk slid off her and did not stay with her. It was a great image and helped Amy to be a good listener without being pulled into the negative spiral.

What else could she do? She did try to help her friend see what her other options were so that instead of being a victim she could move on to find job success elsewhere. Amy however knew that for her own mental well being she must somehow limit the amount of negative talk she listened to.

Amy herself was a good role model for Claire. She had been in the same negative environment although no one had given Amy a negative feedback on her performance. Amy did feel the tension and lack of direction. But she had taken action by hiring a career coach and then finding a new job with a healthier environment where she could achieve professional success.

With so many people out of work today many of us have friends and relatives who need a good listener. Do you hesitate to take their call or to call them? Perhaps the image of putting on a shield will help you too. It is important to protect yourself from being pulled into the negative energy but people do need your support.

Claire did finally resign from her position. She told Amy she knew from the negative feedback that she was going to be fired anyway. Unfortunately she did not have another job lined up so she'll have to begin a job search now. It will be much harder for her to find a job when she is unemployed and she will need to have a good answer to the question about why she resigned. A career coach can help her with that.

Sometimes circumstances are such that it is impossible to convince your manager and employer that you are doing the job well. You may believe it but if they don't your job success is in jeopardy. Whenever you are working for someone, listen carefully for the negative feedback and be ready to take action if he/she sounds unhappy with your work. Hiring a career coach can be a life saver if you are in this situation.

I know from experience that if a job pays well and you have been comfortable doing it, it is easier to believe that everything will turn out well if you sit tight. Sometimes that turns out to be true but what if it doesn't and you find yourself where Claire found herself.

You are in charge of your own career success. If you want to be happy at work you need to be ready to take the steps necessary to make sure you are always in a good work situation.

Author's Bio: 

Alvah Parker is a Practice Advisor (The Attorneys’ Coach) and a Career Changers’ Coach as well as publisher of “Parker’s Points”, an email tip list and “Road to Success”, an ezine. Subscribe now to these free monthly publications at her website and receive a Values Assessment as a free gift. Work becomes more meaningful and enjoyable when you work from your values. Parker works with clients who want to be happy at work.