Do you feel trapped in a job you don’t like? You can escape the trap. We’ll tell you how in this week’s episode.

Would you like to know the secret to fitting in on a new job? This week’s episode gives you simple, practical strategies that will help you rapidly assimilate.

Research shows that way too many people are disengaged at work, and too many people are in jobs they do not like. Also, many of those people feel like they are trapped. They cannot envision how they can escape the trap. If you feel like this, then this episode is for you.

Escaping the trap begins by changing how you think about your situation. You are not trapped. You have agency. You can change your situation. You’ve made life decisions that have brought you where you are, and you’re choosing to stay there.

Ask yourself these questions:

  1. Why do I stay in this job?
  2. What are the social, emotional and spiritual costs to me and my family?
  3. Is what I’m getting out of this situation worth what it’s costing me?

Be totally honest with yourself. There are no wrong answers. The honest answers are right for you. For instance, you might say, “I don’t like this job, but it pays very well and I do like the money.” There’s nothing wrong with that.  Just don’t adopt a victim mentality. Embrace the fact that staying in that job is a cost to you for receiving that money. Quit complaining. Recognize that you’re making a choice. Own your decision. Once you own the fact that you stay in that job by choice, you are no longer trapped.

You might decide that what you’re getting out of this situation is not worth what it’s costing you. In that case, you need to look for another job.

If you get a new job, you’re faced with question, “What can I do to fit in rapidly?” In the final segments of the podcast, we answer that question with a series of tips that can be implemented by anyone. Some of these tips have become platitudes because they’ve been repeated so frequently. For instance,

  1. Demonstrate a positive attitude every single day.
  2. Work hard.

Despite the fact that they’re platitudes, they’re also really good advice. If you do only those two things everyone will have a good first impression. We also address several additional tips that are not so obvious, such as: Dress Appropriately. Literally, your appearance is the first thing people see. Think about what you wear to work as a uniform. Make sure your choices fit in with what most others wear.

Tune in to hear several other simple, practical tips. We promise that if you implement these tips, fitting in will be a breeze.

Until next time, manage to make a difference every day!

+ Larry Sternberg, J.D. and Kim Turnage, Ph.D.


This post highlights chapters from Managing to Make a Difference (Wiley), a handbook for hitting the sweet spot of middle management. Click here to see posts on previous chapters. Connect with Kim Turnage and Larry Sternberg on LinkedIn to see their latest updates.

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