Biz Doc: It Has Come To This

Get Better, Not Bitter!

June 2009

Are you sweeping and weeping or cleaning up your act?

I ask that question not to be trite but to determine in which of two camps you are sitting: Bitter about your job situation or determined to get better, be better, find a better job?

Today I visited my favorite coffee spot for a big wake-me-up (triple venti, white chocolate, non fat, easy whip) on an overcast June Saturday in Los Angeles .   While waiting for my drink I concluded once and for all that the weekday crowd had a much better attitude than the weekend crowd.  There are a couple fairly well-defined encampments.  Here’s an unscientific, over-simplified, idiosyncratic look at the two:

Weekday Crowd:

  • Searching job sites and reading job postings while asking others for opinions
  • Being greeted with positive encouragement by ‘regulars’ who offer advice
  • Dressed business casual or just casual – but in all cases neat and ready for the day

Weekend Crowd:

  • Carping and griping about employers, the economy, CEOs…
  • Avoided by ‘regulars’ who sense the bitterness emanating into the room
  • Dressed like they rolled out of bed… hang-on, they DID!

Get the picture?  While denizens of each tribe can be found any day, in the scope of my experience here in Los Angeles, the generalization stands as reasonably fair.

There is a place to gather and gripe about dissappointment, frustration and vent a little steam.  It’s called a bar.  On the other hand, the wifi-enabled coffee shot is invariably linked to working and the daily commute.  If you need to be bitter, don’t do it there.

Beyond the appropriateness of location-specific venting is a question about the depth and enduring nature of the venting.  Do you blow off steam and let it go or do you build up like a pressure cooker?  Both options are obvious to others.

Bad things happen to good people.  That’s a truth consistently validated by nearly 3,000 years of recorded human history.  When the bad comes to your career it is critical to use the energy positively and prepare yourself for the next step.  Yes that’s obvious but is bears repeating because, as the attendees of the “Its not My Fault” society at the coffee shop showed, some people heed to hear it.

Get better, be better and find that better job.

Starting now.

“A broom is drearily sweeping up the broken pieces of yesterday’s life,
Somewhere a Queen is weeping, somewhere a King has no wife.
The Wind Cries Mary – Jimi Hendrix


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