I was just chilling over on Boring Facebook (aka LinkedIn) responding to messages and whatnot and ran into a post about learning to get along with a manager that hates you. My immediate question was "I wonder if there is a post somewhere about what a boss can do when their employees hate them?"
Of course there isn't, because that would imply that bosses should adjust to their employees.
When I looked at the comments, the first one was a list of "20 Ways to be an Outstanding Staff " member.
I 'bout died laughing...
Since I'm retired from arguing with people on the internet, I shared it with my commentary instead.
Then I started typing this email to you.
In my book #FreelancingFAIL*, I go into some detail about how freelancers shoot themselves in the foot by quitting prematurely:
#FreelancingFAIL number five: The Quitter by Samax Amen Cintiq + Adobe Photoshop + fonts by Blambot + Kimberly Geswein
There are going to be conflicts sometimes working with other people. Some of it is substantive, and some of it is just personality friction that can be worked out.
One of the things that causes people to quit prematurely is "Shiny Object Syndrome..."
Let me break out my sketchbook to explain real quick:
According to Kelley and Conner's Emotional Cycle of Change, when you voluntarily start something new (a job, a spiritual conversion, a marriage), you are energized by a "this is gonna fix all my problems" feeling called Uninformed Optimism, and motivation comes easily.
When this honeymoon period wears off, perhaps because you've hit difficulties, Informed Pessimism (that familiar "this is harder than I expected" feeling) kicks in, and you land in what we call "The Valley of Despair".
At this stage of the cycle, many freelancers start looking for excuses to abandon what they're doing to seek out the warm fuzzy feelings of Uninformed Optimism again.
If you're not careful, this cycle will never resolve itself. You'll slide into the Valley of Despair again, look around for something better, and the cycle will repeat.
This loop is called Shiny Object Syndrome.
I was stuck in this loop when I joined the No Pants Project coaching program, and learned how to break out of this cycle, where you find Informed Optimism, increased happiness, freedom, and dolla-dolla-bills, y'all.
I would say that this is the most important lesson I learned, and I make sure to drive it home in #FreelancingFAIL.
But as I also say in the book:
"Don't get me wrong, there are definitely times when you should quit.
Safety issues. Although I am a big fan of empathy in business, you have to always remember to practice self-care. Putting yourself at undue physical, emotional, or financial risk is not required. Remember, you are the most valuable asset you will ever have!
Values mismatch. The last full-time job I worked REALLY made me feel like a bad person. The company was in a sector I felt guilty working in, headed by leadership that were observably bad people. Working for them soured me on the entire industry. Getting out was a spiritual necessity. As much as I like making money, the values have got to be compatible.
End of an Era. Some relationships (including business relationships) just have an expiration date. Sometimes, it's just time to part ways...".
I have definitely had bosses that hated me. I can work in that environment for a while, but not for long. I have been lucky in that most of the time, I got along well with my direct supervisor, even when their boss didn't care for me.
Whenever I needed to quit, I already had freelancing to fall back on. Now that I'm solidly freelancing full time, working situations where hate is part of the equation at all is not an option.
I choose who I work with, just like they choose me. I have options now, and they know that.