One of my pet peeves is people who are always complaining about their job. They are many!
They are easy to spot. They are the ones who are always telling us about how unfairly they are being treated by their higher-ups. They are perpetually making threats to leave. Yet, they somehow never get around to doing it. For this reason, they are often, paradoxically, the ones who stay at the company the longest.
The biggest gripe is about pay. Many employees bemoan the minuscule, if any, salary increments they get from their employers. That’s normal. What’s not normal is making the lamentations part of your everyday life. The truth is, in an economy like ours, even getting inflations adjustment raises is alien at worst and irregular at best.
Of course, there are several reasons you might not be getting the pay you think you deserve. Maybe you just didn’t meet your targets, or the company is not in the financial position to give raises, or company policy has frozen raises for whatever reason, or you, unfortunately, work in a place without a soul, or, and sadly this is the most rampant reason, in my opinion, there is an asymmetry in perceptions of value between you and your company. You think you bring a Rolls Royce worth of value to the company, but the company thinks you only bring in a Toyota Probox worth of value. Hence in their view, they might actually be overpaying you.
If the latter is the case, it doesn’t mean that you are greedy or that the company is ungrateful, though either could well be the case.
What’s obvious is that employment is a relationship between an employee and the employer. Like any other relationship, it is possible that you are just not going to see things the same way all the time. Sometimes it is good to admit that the relationship has outlived its usefulness, divorce amicably and move on to a new, hopefully, rosier relationship.
Don’t grumble about it, don’t whine, and don’t moan endlessly to anybody that cares to listen. Don’t act as if you are in captivity as opposed to a place you voluntarily show up to every morning. That energy, I promise you, is much more productively directed at polishing up your resumé, seeing career coaches, reaching out to new employers, or learning a new skill that will serve your future pursuits.
Complaining every day to colleagues and friends not only entrenches negativity, it’s also hypocritical if you continue working there for years, maybe decades. I know folks who complain about their work every day without fail, but never do anything that would change their situation. If you must complain, complain to your manager, or people that could actually make a difference in the situation.
Of course, moving jobs at will is not a practical possibility for most people – unless you are Larry Madowo.
But if you are staying in such an unhappy place as you make it to be because it is too hard to find alternative jobs, then that should be a wake-up call. It means you have to up your game skills-wise, to market yourself better or to deepen your network. Otherwise, spare innocent bystanders from the constant grumbling.