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You are here: Home » Career » Is your Job Sucking the Life Out of You?

Is your Job Sucking the Life Out of You?

by amanda

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Once upon a time…

There was a talented, highly skilled woman called Sally.

One day, Sally becomes pregnant and gives birth to a son. She drops out from the senior level role she has reached in her industry and finds a job in the same industry at a different company. She agrees to a massive pay cut because she’s so relieved to have found a company that will allow her a degree of flexible working.

But Sally soon finds that lower pay does not mean less responsibility. Her boss, knowing she has found a highly valuable “human resource” at a bargain price, has no scruples about squeezing every last drop out of Sally.

Sally looks around to find a job commensurate with her high skill level, but every time she meets with a recruitment consultant, she watches their faces drop when they discover that she is a woman of childbearing age who already has one young child.

So Sally gives up. She trudges on with her high pressure, badly paid job and keenly feels that she is neither valued nor cared for in her company. She steels herself daily to work in an atmosphere of political posturing and a culture of blame and tries to find strategies to cope with a boss who seems to have adopted a leadership style that is part Margaret Thatcher and part Genghis Khan.

Sally experiences a health problem and the doctor tells her to take some time off. But Sally ignores her doctor’s advice and goes back to work because she fears the repercussions. Sally’s health suffers even more.

Sally doubts herself, she loses her energy, she loses her confidence. In fact, she loses sight of all her skills, experience and achievement.

She is well and truly stuck.

She begins to dread going to the office. On Sunday evenings she can feel the prospect of Monday morning creeping up on her, like a Dementor, sucking the life out of her


Yup.. it’s a true story.  Sally’s story is a combination of what I’ve heard from women many, many times over the past 11 years as a professional Coach to women with children.

And it pi***s me off on so many levels. It makes no economic sense apart from anything else to treat valuable talent like this – women or men.

But I don’t believe that you have to settle for a job that sucks the life out of you. In fact, you MUST NOT settle for this!

Sure, I know that we all have to make choices and that those choices incur costs as well as benefits.

But your choice to become a mother should not lead you to putting up with a job (or a boss or a workplace culture) that sucks the joy out of your life and makes you doubt your own talent.

On average, we spend about a third of our waking hours working. Do you really want to spend a third of those years feeling miserable? And what about the impact on your children? The correlation between feeling happy at work and happy at home is proven (more about that in my next post!)

You have one life and your job is to live it. You’re smart, you’ve got a lot to offer and you don’t have to put up with being put upon. Yes YOU! :)

Don’t worry, all is not lost! Are you ready to get started?

Here are 3 baby steps to start the journey out of the job that is sucking the life out of you:

  1.  List all your skills, experience, achievements in your work life. And what are your special qualities?Do you find that difficult? You might do – that’s common when you’re in a job that drains you. Your confidence gets knocked and it’s difficult to remember how good you really are. In this case, ask a friend, a former colleague, someone who loves you and who DOES remember how smart you really are.
  2. Get mad. Anger can be a very positive emotion when you harness it positively. Time to stop being a victim and start feeling angry that you are doing so much for so little. Get your fangs out girl!
  3. Tell yourself this: You are NOT stuck in this job/company/team forever. You are NOT stuck here for the rest of your working life. 6 months max. That’s it – decide that, no matter what, you are getting OUT OF DODGE within 6 months.

Why? Once you realise that you are not trapped, that this is temporary, your whole mindset will change. A positive mindset will help you to access your resilience. And you’ll become more ‘attractive’. And this means you’ll start spotting opportunities you just couldn’t see before.

Need Some Turbo Charged Coaching From a Mad Bad Dangerous Coach?

Here’s the thing – when I get this MAD on my client’s behalf – and this kind of thing makes me VERY mad – that’s when I do my best work as a Coach.

If you are like Sally, I can help you get out of your rut. Much faster than you would on your own.

Are YOU ready to get mad, bad and dangerous? Oh alright then –  mad, courageous and confident!

I can help you to find yourself again.

If you want my help to get you out of this rut, call me on +44 (0)1829 752656.

We’ll schedule a complimentary one hour Chemistry Call to see if we can work together. If we decide to work together, then roll up your sleeves, because we’re going to get stuck in!

YABOO SUCKS! HUZZAH AND HOORAH! Let’s get busy with it!

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Audrey June 27, 2014 at 13:46

Wow, omg …this is exactly how I feel. I was a l&d consultant for large company before relocating due to my husbands work. I now work more hours for less pay, am under valued by management & what was meant to be short term position is now 3yrs on! I want a better life for myself & my family but my mum always said I want doesn’t get! Help needed for a lost soul in Kent.

Ex-Sally June 28, 2014 at 08:23

Hi Amanda,

Excellent article/story. I was a Sally and actually your January Fab call made me realize how miserable I was. My energy level was in the minuses and I am so glad I resigned! Better to be happy, full of energy for my kids than being earning money and having a miserable life!

So do let me know if you want “True life Sally” to attend any of your conferences to share my story. I think many women have lost perspective and are consistently in fear of just wanting a job but that sometimes it doesn’t meet their basic needs.

Good luck and if I meet a Sally, I will send her to you straightaway.


amanda June 30, 2014 at 15:01

Thank you True Life Ex-Sally! I agree..Health and Happiness comes first, every time. Once you’ve got those 2, you are in a MUCH stronger place to work on the money, the career, the business..But it does take courage to make the decision to put H and H first! And YOU, “Sally”, are a courageous woman!

amanda June 30, 2014 at 15:04

Audrey – follow the 3 steps first of all. Work on your making yourself feel good – this will raise your confidence levels and give you the courage to look elsewhere. Put a time limit on it – 6 months more maximum. Then you’re out of there. Talent retention is becoming a very real issue for organisations and it’s an issue that’s not going away. Take comfort from that.. some dinosaurs don’t recognise it as yet.. they will. But in the meantime, resolve to get the hell out of dodge! Enough is enough! And ignore your mum… parents usually mean well but sometimes they can create unhelpful beliefs. Time to create your own, more helpful belief!

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