How to avoid taking a job you will hate

By David Joel Miller

How long before you hate that job?

Jobs

Jobs

 

Some jobs are terrible at first look. You can tell you will hate them from a distance. But a lot of other jobs fool you. You think they will be “OK.” But after a few weeks or mouths, maybe years, you discover you hate this job.

How can you avoid a job you will hate?

One important factor is the fit between the job and the person who fills that position. Here is an example of how job fit affects loving or hating your job.

A large company had a number of jobs available. One was in the data entry department. The person who gets this one will sit all day in a cubicle and enters data on a computer screen. Most of the time they will work from a large stack of forms and there is little interaction with others.

The other position is a data collector. This person walks up and down a mall and asks people if they will be willing to answer a few questions. When someone says yes, they then spend the next few minutes asking that person questions, getting their opinions on things.

Some of you have already decided which job you want just from the descriptions.

So one person, lets call him Bob, comes for the interview and this person is very shy. Bob hates being around crowds. He gets nervous just talking to strangers.

The second applicant, Lets call her Nancy, loves talking to people. Someone new is the high point of their day. The thought of having to be cooped up in a cubical all day sounds like Nancy’s idea of hell.

So what would happen if outgoing Nancy gets the job to enter the data, and shy Bob gets assigned to go to the mall?

Would things work better if Shy Bob gets the computer job and outgoing Nancy gets the interview job?

This example illustrates two things at work. The fit for the job is the best predictor of how happy the person is likely to be on the job. Job satisfaction is also a big predictor of how well that employee will perform.

The second thing this example illustrates is how important it is to pick people for the qualities they really have not for stereotypes.

It would be easy to expect Bob, the man, to be better at going out and meeting people and Nancy, the woman, to be the shy one who would want to stay in the office.

This fallacy results in some people getting hired because they look or act a certain way, rather than because they are the best person for the job.  So a good way to avoid a job you will come to hate is to take a hard look at yourself, what you like and do not like and aim for the job that will make best use of your talents and will not ask you to do things that are among your least favorite things to do list.

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Get the latest updates on my books, due out later this year by signing up for my newsletter. Newsletter subscribers will also be notified about live training opportunities and free or discounted books. Sign up here – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse and Co-occurring disorders see the about the author page. For information about my other writing work beyond this blog check out my Google+ page or the Facebook author’s page, up under David Joel Miller. Posts to the “books, trainings and classes” category will tell you about those activities. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books

Looking for a job doing anything leaves you doing nothing

By David Joel Miller

Looking for a job doing anything?

Jobs

Getting a job is one way to rapidly improve your mood, reduce depression and anxiety. More and more mentally ill are working, not at jobs manufactured for them, but at important and rewarding jobs right alongside other people who may never have experienced a mental health challenge.

If the person next to you at work chooses to not tell you about their mental health issues many times no one would know.

Few things in life can pull you down into depression or anxiety as dramatically as losing your job or going through long periods of unemployment. Counselors and clients often spend a lot of time working on depression and neglect the impact that having a job or other purpose in life might have on the client’s mental health.

One major missing piece in the treatment of mental illness has been our failure to provide career counseling and guidance to those with mental health challenges.

Some of life’s most needed skills; things like managing anger, having a healthy relationship and find a job are missing from many people’s education.

Now if you were one of those people who just naturally knew how to find that high paying career, never were laid off or down sized and had a period of unemployment, you may not have needed any career guidance. But if you are like most of us, you have had to make it through periods of unemployment and underemployment and you may have felt a good deal of anxiety and depression during those times.

Employment development departments and other agencies may work to help people find work, but how to manage those emotions while doing a job search is often missing from the equation.

One mistake I see discouraged and depressed job seekers making is to start looking for a job “doing anything.”

The willingness to take what jobs are available and at the wages that are available is a laudable quality. But looking for a job doing “anything” rarely works.

If you do not know what you are looking for how will you know it when you see it?

Try looking in the paper or online under the heading “Anything.” Did you find any listings? Looking for “a job doing anything” is not the same thing as being willing to do anything.

The more focused you are in what you are looking for the more opportunities you might find. Having two, three or more specific things you would like to do for a living will net more leads than constantly looking at everything and anything.

That unfocused job search will net you a lot of jobs you are not qualified for or which require work at times and locations you can’t do, but not many opportunities that are possibilities.

Spending time learning about the world of work, what jobs exists and what jobs might be a good fit with your abilities, interests and education will go a long way in narrowing you search from looking everywhere at everything and finding nothing to looking  in a few key areas in which you have a good chance to find something.

There are a few important things that you need to know to narrow your job search and improve your chances.

  1. Know yourself, you likes, your abilities and your interests.
  2. Know about the world of work, what jobs are out there
  3. How do you land that job once you have found it?

In future posts I want to explore a few of the basics of career counseling that Professional Counselors practice with their clients.

While you may not be out of work now there is always a chance to improve your situation. Sometimes this improvement comes from finding a job and sometimes it comes from advancing within the place you find yourself.

Either way best wishes on making a job a part of your recovery and your happy life plan.

Keep an eye out and we will take a look at more career information in the posts to come.

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Get the latest updates on my books, due out later this year by signing up for my newsletter. Newsletter subscribers will also be notified about live training opportunities and free or discounted books. Sign up here – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse and Co-occurring disorders see the about the author page. For information about my other writing work beyond this blog check out my Google+ page or the Facebook author’s page, up under David Joel Miller. Posts to the “books, trainings and classes” category will tell you about those activities. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books

Does US mean no more ME? Relationship strain.

By David Joel Miller

 

Can your relationship survive?

Unhappy Family

Unhappy Family.
Photo courtesy of Flickr (coffeehistorian).

The client comes for counseling, sometimes it is a couple, sometimes they have already spit or divorced and the client comes alone. The complaints are remarkably similar.

In the beginning this relationship was so perfect. We spent a lot of time together, couldn’t wait to be together and then things started to change.

Starting a new relationship sets off a series of changes in everyone’s life. Some of these changes are enjoyable, falling in love is better than most drugs. But that new relationship also sets off stress. Those seeds of change planted at the start of the relationship become the weeds of disappointment later on.

In the process of creating an US the couple finds themselves distancing from people who have been in their life before the relationship. Most of us have full lives, even when we say that there is something missing, like love, still to make room for the new partner something has to go.

The picture I get of this person entering a new relationship is sort of like my desk. It is full. No matter how much I clean it off more stuff appears and fills it up. So anytime I add a new thing, a book I want to read, something else I planned to look at gets covered up or if I push that new book onto the desk something falls off the other side.

Is your relationship overly full like that?

So to make room for that new love, you see less of old friends. Maybe your new partner doesn’t like some of your friends, so you stop seeing them. There may be conflicts between your partner’s interests and expectations and what your family expects. So you change a little and then your relationships with family and friends, those relationships change in response.

As the relationship progresses all sorts of conflicts arise. Where do you spend holidays? Do you go to activates with your friends and family or your partners?  As your new love takes you away from your established relationship your family and friends may push back.

You may be expected for a holiday meal with one part of the extended family and another part is angry because they expected you. You can see how the conflicts mount up.

You may decide to adopt the customs of one person or the other or you may compromise. Either way life activities outside the relationship will change. You have to stop doing some things to make way for others.

Creating an US in your relationship.

At this stage couples come to counseling for help in creating space for an US. They need help in setting boundaries with people outside the relationship. They may also need help setting boundaries within the relationship.

The resentments may accumulate. You have given up a lot to make this relationship work and now you wonder what happened to ME since we became US?

Not losing ME in your relationship.

He came home from work after a hard day and she wasn’t there, out with her girlfriends again. She used to call him about every little decision now she calls her mother and tells him what her mom said she should do.

He used to want to be with her all the time. Now he spends Friday night out with the guys. Soon Friday turns into 3 or 4 nights a week. He starts going to the gym or running every day.

The time they used to spend together each now wants time apart. Often one or the other partner thinks the other is having an affair, sometimes they are, but most of the time they just decide to go back to doing the things they did before they got into this relationship, before WE and US started to obliterate the “ME.”

Rarely does a couple both start the US to Me change at the same time.

So as the process of reestablishing ME begins to take shape, The relationship undergoes a new strain, creating separateness within togetherness.

Relationship counselors have looked a lot at the progression of relationships. We are seeing that relationships, and people in them go through a series of changes. If one partner’s changes are out of step with the others then there can be problems in the relationship.

Sometimes that first embrace gets too tight and one person may push the other away.

This is a time to look at how the relationship is progressing not to think you picked the wrong person. Healthy relationships change over time.

There can be ME’s for both partners within the US. It takes time, understanding and effort to create that space within the loving relationship.

Frequently the two of you become three or more and then the relationship stress mounts. Do you have to give up being that loving couple to be a family? Can there still be a ME and US and an ALL OF US?

Making it a Family.

Family can and do make these transitions. It helps if you know they are coming. If these inevitable relationship strains and changes are making you wonder if you made the right choice in the first place, consider relationship or family counseling.

All relationships continue to change and starting over with a new partner means going through these relationship changes all over again. Couples who are willing to work at navigating the changes that always come, end up navigating those changes together.

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Get the latest updates on my books, due out later this year by signing up for my newsletter. Newsletter subscribers will also be notified about live training opportunities and free or discounted books. Sign up here – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse and Co-occurring disorders see the about the author page. For information about my other writing work beyond this blog check out my Google+ page or the Facebook author’s page, up under David Joel Miller. Posts to the “books, trainings and classes” category will tell you about those activities. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books

What do several failed relationships mean?

By David Joel Miller

Why do you have multiple failed relationships?

Failed Relationship

Failed Relationships.
FreeDigitalPhotos.net

There are several things you should be looking at if you have repeated failed relationships.

Here are some possible reasons that this same thing keeps happening to you.

Take a look at this list and see if any of these applies to you. Tis may be your chance to learn a needed lesson.

It could be bad luck, maybe.

This to me is the least likely possibility. Sure it is possible that someone can have a bad outcome from an effort several times. But the more often things happen “again” the more we need to start looking at ourselves rather than blaming this recurrence on bad luck.

You get with people thinking you will change the.

This is a more common problem. You get with a new romantic partner thinking all they need is someone who cares about them and they will straighten up and go right.

Having a supportive person in your corner is wonderful, but if you have started thinking that this potential partner will suddenly change if you just love them enough you are headed for heart-break.

Snakes remain snakes and addicts rarely give it up just because you want them to. Lots of us have capes hanging in the closet just waiting for the opportunity to become Captain-Save-a-bum.

Ladies if he cheated on his last partner or has multiple babies’ mama’s these are all bad signs.

You incompatibility detector is not working.

In the early stages of courtship we see what we want to see. The red flags and the bells and sirens are all there we just chose to ignore them.

If you do not invest a significant amount of time getting to know who this person is under normal, non-dating circumstances, you have no idea who you are getting. Despite having a host of bad experiences do you tend to keep doing it over and over. You know you do!

Can you spot the “perfect partner” across a crowded room? They never look or act so good when you get to know them up close. Make sure you checked this person out well.  You always need to allow for shrinkage and spoilage. Guys – expect her perfect figure to disappear in the light of reality.

You expect relationships to be easy or 50 -50.

No, 50-50 relationships do not work. It takes something like 80-80, to make it work. If both of you do not think you are doing more than your partner you will never meet in the middle.

If you are keeping score that is a bad sign also.

So very often we think we need to do all the work on the front end to catch that great person. Great partners are not caught. You do that and they keep trying to get away. They have to be nurtured and that means it takes more effort to maintain a relationship than to get one started.

You keep looking in the wrong places.

Very common scenario in counseling. Woman has been abused; he is an alcoholic or addict. She may have had a father who came from that mold. So she gets loose from this abusive man.

What do you think happens the day after the divorce?

Her girlfriends take her out to celebrate and they hit the club. That very night she meets this new – wonderful guy.A year later, now pregnant – again- she finds he is an alcoholic abusive cheater. What went wrong?

If you meet them in crack houses the chances are they are drug users. If you meet them over alcohol they may be already married to their bottle.

Where you meet people often tells you a whole lot about who they are and who they will become. I know there are exceptions but not every plant in the weed patch turns into a rose.

The problem is you – you need to work on yourself.

When you are sick, emotionally or mentally, you tend to attract other people who have those same problems. Two people who have a mental illness can meet and have a great relationship.

What they need to do, for that to happen, is for both of them to work on themselves. As you get healthier you attract healthier people into your life.

You do not expect relationships to work.

You got into this relationship thinking it would be OK for now. If it didn’t work out you could always get a divorce. Start out thinking that way and you are highly likely to create those situations. This is extra messy if you thought this might end but you went ahead and had children with this person anyway.

Remember the rule, you can break up with a romantic partner but baby’s mothers and fathers are in your life one way or the other, for the rest of your life and beyond. How have you been doing in the romantic relationship department? Do you keep making the same mistakes – getting the same result over and over?

Want to sign up for my mailing list?

Get the latest updates on my books, due out later this year by signing up for my newsletter. Newsletter subscribers will also be notified about live training opportunities and free or discounted books. Sign up here – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse and Co-occurring disorders see the about the author page. For information about my other writing work beyond this blog check out my Google+ page or the Facebook author’s page, up under David Joel Miller. Posts to the “books, trainings and classes” category will tell you about those activities. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books

Men don’t only want one thing! Ladies you’ve been misled.

By David Joel Miller.

It takes way more than sex to keep a man’s interest.

sex-on-a-cork-board

sex-on-a-cork-board.
FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The spring falling-in-love season is about over, the summer wedding season has begun. The divorce and break up season, that season is pretty much year round.

Women who come for counseling and they mostly come during and after the break up, repeatedly tell me, and remember I am a man, that men only want one thing.

Women seem to think that all men expect in a relationship is sex. They are so wrong. Men want sex, yes the do. It is a biological imperative for men to make that contribution to the continuation of the human race. But ladies if you think that is all it takes to keep a man happy no wonder so many relationships are in trouble.

It talks more than great sex to keep a relationship happy and functional.

For your edification ladies, men in the after-the-break-up counseling, they say Women only want one thing. What they think women want is way different from what you ladies say they want. I will tell you about what men think is the only thing you women want in a future post.

What do men want other than sex?

Women seem to think, some of you anyway, that you spread your legs apart and the man should be happy. Then when he does not do what you want you withdraw the sex and say he only wanted one thing. He was settling for the thing you offered but many men want so much more than just sex.

Some women use sex to get the man hooked – The old bait and switch.

Try taking your kids to the amusement park, let them ride the roller-coaster once. Then plan to spend the rest of the day looking at the flowers and the decor. How long till they feel cheated and want to go home.

For men sex is symbolic as well as physical. If you love me you would want to do that. So they find it hard to believe you genuinely care about them if the sex is not happening. They think you should want to give them this gift. Women on the other hand want to feel loved before they are interested in sex. So we do the love dance, do you love me or not and each couple finds the time and place to complete the dance and engage in sex.

Some of you start at the end of the dance and then wonder why neither of you know the steps to keep it going.

What else do men want?

Men want to know that they can make you happy.

In the courting stage you let him know he was making you happy.  You laughed at his jokes, smiled when you saw him and talked about the things he was interested in.

One day after you two are together, you stop laughing at his jokes, you don’t want to hear about his team or his interests and if he leaves his socks on the floor one more time that will be the end of the sex.

Men hang in there for a while, some longer than others, but if nothing he does pleases you and then you stop telling him you love him in the bedroom, you know the rest.

Men want to be with someone who likes them.

All day they are out at work. People are critical. then the man comes home and what does his partner and lover do? She tells him all the things he is doing wrong.

When you were dating he thought you liked him. Suddenly he is living with a person who thinks he is a SOS (sack of stuff.)

I know you ladies thing you are being helpful telling him all the things he could improve on, but he knows he is not perfect. He just would like to come home to someone who could affirm he is a worthwhile person. He needs someone in his house, his castle, who thinks he is a great guy.

So ladies when you decide you no longer need to affirm his worth, that it is your sworn duty to tell him all his flaws, is it any wonder he goes looking for those affirmations from his therapist or his mistress?

So ladies if you think all men want is sex, you are putting your man on an emotional starvation diet. Eventually you will get tired of giving him the sex and then things will be all over.

Men need affirmation to know they can make you happy, they need appreciation for what they do and they need to know that you still like them and want them. It takes a full cores emotional meal to keep a man’s love needs fed.

There is that other secret men keep. Many men are convinced that women only want one thing and it is not always something men have to give. Next post the thing men say is “all women want” in the relationship and why this pushes men away.

Want to sign up for my mailing list?

Get the latest updates on my books, due out later this year by signing up for my newsletter. Newsletter subscribers will also be notified about live training opportunities and free or discounted books. Sign up here – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse and Co-occurring disorders see the about the author page. For information about my other writing work beyond this blog check out my Google+ page or the Facebook author’s page, up under David Joel Miller. Posts to the “books, trainings and classes” category will tell you about those activities. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books

Drugs and alcohol – top men’s issues

By David Joel Miller.

Men’s Issues.

Men's issues

Men’s issues
“Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net”.

The use and misuse of substances, drugs and alcohol, is the number one issue for most men who come to counseling.

Traditional counseling with its emphasis on feelings and learning to communicate has let a lot of men down. Even when we have talked about gender specific counseling strategies, gender mostly meant women. Men got left out. That is beginning to change.

What brings men to counseling.

Most men do not come to counseling willingly. Usually they are forced, by the legal system, by their spouses and partners, or because they are out of work and required to do something to get further assistance.

Furthermore when men get to the therapy room most often they experience a woman professional whose focus is on telling them that what they have learned about their role as a man is wrong and that to be mentally healthy they need to think and act more like a woman.

Men get the bulk of their counseling these days in prisons and drug rehabs.

Drugs and alcohol permeate men’s lives, their experiences of what it means to be a man and the way in which drug and alcohol use has interacted with the other parts of their lives. Here are some reasons men develop poor relationships with drugs and alcohol.

Men often begin to use and abuse substances at an earlier age than women.

They are often introduced to substances by an older male family member or a close male friend. Women you need time to catch up. Women commonly get shown how to use substances by a boyfriend.

This early use results in gaps in mens learning. You don’t remember all the things you did, let alone the things that happened, when you were drunk. Lots of men fail in school because they were just to stoned to pay attention in class.

If you don’t learn skills as a teen you may need to go back and learn them when you get out of prison.

Men learn and are taught “real men” consume large quantities of substances.

Sorry guys, there are no supermen or men of steel among us. Even professional athletes get hurt. Real men do feel pain. The fact that we guys do not go to treatment for physical or psychological traumas results in men living fewer years and dying younger than their women companions.

Early and heavy use of substances, alcohol is especially implicated here, result in more illegal activities and send many men to jail or prison.

No, just drinking alcohol does not make you commit a crime, but most men who go to jail were drunk or high when they did that crime. Remember that alcohol shuts off the part of the brain that tells you “Hay stupid, don’t do that!”

Still the myth that real men drink a lot and then do amazing feats of strength persists.

The majority of people with co-occurring disorders are men.

Men try to keep up this facade of invincibility right up to the grave. Men with mental health problems do not go for treatment. Mostly they use drugs and alcohol to cope with their mental illness and then end up in jail or prison.

The textbooks say that mental illness is more common in women than men. I do not believe that. I think those books are wrong. Women get counted as mentally ill because they get referred to outpatient clinics for treatment and they get counted there.

Men end up in prison and their diagnosis? They get labeled anti-social and told the problem is they are criminals. The result they keep trying to get well without accessing treatment.

Men are the homeless.

See pictures of women homeless on T. V.? The truth is that 80% of the homeless are men, men with a mental illness and a substance abuse problem mostly.

No the homeless do not choose to be homeless. That is the lie that those with good paying jobs tell themselves so they do not have to worry about it happening to them.

Most homeless men have substance abuse problems. If you had to live like that you might abuse something to cope. They also have mental illnesses. They may not want to take jobs; they may be so demoralized they do not think they could work if they got one. But no, they do not like going to the bathroom outside or staying in the shade under the bridge all day in the over one hundred degree weather.

Most of the homeless would love to have a place to stay. They just do not see how they can get one.

The reason these men stay homeless? They keep wrestling with that bottle or pipe believing that they should be able to control that substance. They think the drug is their crutch, but it is their controller.

The reasons men start and continue to drink and use are different from women’s.

Women use substances for fun or because they have suffered a trauma and they want to forget. Men use and drink because they have to, are expected to. If you can’t drink a lot you might as well turn in your membership card in the man club right now. That’s what men were taught. This is not true.

There are real men, strong, effective and successful men who do not drink and do not do drugs. This notion that real men can hold their liquor, that is a fable. Eventually everyone’s liver gets old and your tolerance declines. The amount you used to be able to do with no problem now gets you in trouble. Most real men eventually give it up.

We need to wrap this one up. I have painted a very bleak picture here, addicted, alcoholic homeless men. These are not the only men with a substance abuse problem. Substance abuse is a major men’s problem, even when that man looks perfectly normal. Drug addiction and alcoholism is also a women’s problem, though it affects women differently. For a long time we only had special programs for women substance abusers. We now see both genders need help with this problem, so do children.

Turns out that this pesky weed, substance abuse, is involved with most every social problem we are willing to look at honestly.

Want to sign up for my mailing list?

Get the latest updates on my books, due out later this year by signing up for my newsletter. Newsletter subscribers will also be notified about live training opportunities and free or discounted books. Sign up here – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse and Co-occurring disorders see the about the author page. For information about my other writing work beyond this blog check out my Google+ page or the Facebook author’s page, up under David Joel Miller. Posts to the “books, trainings and classes” category will tell you about those activities. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books

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