Sunday Slump

It’s Sunday afternoon. How do you feel? Many people hate Sunday afternoons. It means that the weekend is almost over and tomorrow is the start of a whole long workweek. Maybe you didn’t squeeze enough fun into the weekend, maybe there are projects you still have to finish. Or maybe, you just hate the idea of the Monday morning commute.

images3.jpegThere is, of course, the big reason: you and your job aren’t suited for each other.

People stay in relationships for tissue-thin reasons. Someone I know stayed in a bad personal relationship because she didn’t want to have to sort through the junk drawer and the storage shed.

Maybe you are staying in your bad job relationship because it’s easier than looking for a new job. Or the commute is easy.

From coaching people for more than five years, I know that no amount of money is worth a job that hurts your values, sucks away your joy, or makes you sick. Pay attention to those stomach- muscle- and headaches, they aren’t accidental if you keep having them on Sunday evenings and Monday mornings.images-1.jpeg

What to do if you and your job aren’t working out? Figure out exactly what’s eating you. Is it one colleague? Your boss? The amount of work you are expected to do? The corporate culture?

Is this something you can fix? Would talking to the person involved make things better? If the problem is your boss, would an open discussion make things better? I once asked a supervisor, “What one change would you like to see in my work to help the department?” She considered it for a moment and said, “The whole department comes in either Saturday morning or Sunday afternoon. Some do it on both days. You are never here. I hate that.”

“Is my work behind in any way?” I asked.
“It’s not that. But we are a team, and your not coming in on the weekend makes you not a team player,” she said. “Other people think so, too.”

I thought it over. I stayed late some evenings, was often the last one to leave. Other days, I came in early enough to turn on the lights and make the coffee. I never saw any of my team members there on those days. But it was less about getting the work done than when the work got done. Knowing my supervisor had discussed the matter with my team and behind my back was also valuable information. That gave me a good picture of what I was facing. I made no excuses and thanked her for being open.

It was good for me to hear what the sticking point was. It gave me the chance to think through my choices, as well as who I was working for. If I worked six days a week, would it be enough? As it turned out, no. And eventually, I left the company with no regrets, although I left behind a serious salary and health benefits.

If your work isn’t helping you grow, it may be time to consider your chances. You always have a choice–even if that choice doesn’t look great, even if looking for a job is a pain. You have a choice. If your choice is to stay and change, that, too, is a choice.
But sometimes, getting ground down on a daily basis is not worth the job security.

–Quinn McDonald owns QuinnCreative, and offers life- and creativity coaching, training in writing, creating and giving presentations, and journal-writing. She is a seminar leader and speaker. (c) 2007. All rights reserved. Calendar image: Handcuffs: