toxic jobs

Personal stories about toxic jobs and workplace woes.

November 02, 2007

boat rockers v job survivors

Yvonne is 52, married with adult children living independently, and she recently quit a job in the telecoms industry requiring staff to take pay cuts. She could afford to do so because she's been a boat rocker since birth and that, perhaps, is the difference between those who do well at work and those who merely survive in their jobs.

"I didn’t see the CEO at my last job taking a pay cut," laughs Yvonne, "and be damned if I was going to be treated as less valuable than he was."

"I found a new job very quickly," says Yvonne, "and while the conveniences at my new workplace are not as good as they were at the old place, the money I’m earning is very good."

"Let’s face it," laughs Yvonne, "My old workplace’s gymnasium was a great convenience for staff, but with the money I’m earning now I can afford to buy my own home gym!"

Yvonne is a careerist as opposed to a job survivor. The difference between her and her co-workers who stayed and took a pay cut is basically that she values herself more than they do.

"Having a second income coming in and kids living independently does help," admits Yvonne, "but I’ve always valued myself highly and demanded high pay and respect. Even when the kids were young and Jack and I were on struggle street, I’d hold out for what I thought I was worth. And I got it!"

"Maybe it has something to do with being the eldest kid in my family," confides Yvonne. "I always took charge and got the first pick of everything. My younger sisters got my hand-me-downs. I just grew up accepting that I deserved the best and maybe that accounts for why I’d never accept less than what I think I’m worth."

Careerists, according to Yvonne, actually make a point to rock the boat at work - it gets them noticed. They are not people pleasers - they please themselves. And because they do rock the boat, and they do please themselves, these women share the typical success traits of men. These traits propel them up the ladder of success, into six-figure incomes, very quickly.

"And I got there not by working harder than anyone else," laughs Yvonne. "I got there by believing I’m worth a six-figure income and by being prepared to risk all if any company I worked for didn’t share my beliefs."

"Basically," says Yvonne, "female careerists take charge of their careers and that means taking risks. Their security needs are not as high as the personal values they place on themselves."

Some of Yvonne’s old co-workers were reasonably wealthy women, or had husbands earning good incomes, but they were more interested in job security than their own personal worth.

"I’ve always been a risk-taker," laughs Yvonne, "and if you don’t put tickets on yourself then nobody is going to put them there for you. You’re only worth as much as you think you are."

"I don’t think anyone can be a careerist without taking risks," explains Yvonne. "If it was job security I wanted, then I’d need to develop job survival skills. I have no job survival skills whatsoever. You would never catch me bowing and kowtowing to anyone."

"I think that even if I were a single mother with half a dozen kids to feed I’d still take risks," says Yvonne, "because that’s how I am. That’s my make-up, my personality."

"I started off at the bottom of the employment ladder as a young girl," admits Yvonne, "but I knew instinctively that successful career women don't stay there any longer than they have to."

"It's nice and safe down there," says Yvonne, "and that's where many women stay and survive in their jobs for years. But it’s not something I can do."

Yvonne concedes that it’s not particularly safe at the top of the employment ladder either, but by using intuition to their advantage, having high self-esteem and by developing superb negotiating skills and being prepared to risk all, she believes that female careerists can go from strength to strength.

"Job security is not high on my list of priorities," confides Yvonne. "Being paid what I’m worth is what it’s all about."

Like men, female careerists judge themselves by the amount of money they earn, and if they don't get regular raises they kick up a fuss. They don’t take pay cuts and they don’t compromise themselves in any way in order to hold on to a job.

The social fabric of the workplace is important to the career women as a tool rather than the crutch it is for the many women who tend to congregate at the lower levels, where camaraderie is high.

"The higher up you travel," says Yvonne, "the less likely you are to enjoy the company of co-workers - but that’s not a problem for me."

Yvonne believes that another fundamental difference between female careerists and job survivors is that careerists don’t go to work to make friends. They work to make money. They are highly competitive women and they use their superlative intuition and negotiating skills to get what they want and to get people to do what they want them to do.

"I’m a believer in karma," admits Yvonne, "so I’ve never resorted to back-stabbing or ratting on people in order to get what I’m worth. But believe me, this sort of evil stuff does go on and those who practice it don’t sleep well at nights, knowing that they have enemies."

"I’m smart enough to know that the place to make friends is outside work," says Yvonne. "I’m not ruthless, greedy or mean to anyone. I work for money and I want to be paid what I’m worth. It’s as simple as that."

Yvonne's story first appeared as value yourself highly and is reprinted with permission.

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Copyright 2006-2014 all rights reserved Toxic Jobs



Index A-Z Toxic Jobs and Workplace Woes

Previous 10 Stories