You’re frustrated yet again over all the bureaucracy in your workplace. Before you throw up your hands and record it in your mind as yet another piece of evidence that the world is unfair, take a moment to step back. What part of the situation in particular is negatively affecting you? What can you do about that piece specifically?
I recently had a client who was being driven crazy by a painfully slow promotion process. She had been fighting to move up the ranks for years, and gathered ample evidence for review time. The review was delayed for three months because of head office budget issues, and then the promotion finally recommended by her direct supervisor was taking months yet again to be officially processed by HR. She did everything necessary and possible to help along the process but it was still dragging and began to cause her anxiety.
When prompted to take a step back and break it down, she realized that the part that affected her the most was participating in international senior-level working groups where she was the only one not at a Vice-President level. Even though she was certainly the national expert, she felt that others may be questioning why her office didn’t send a more senior representative, and she admitted that she didn’t offer her opinion as strongly as she would have with “peers”. So she took action: This client decided to ask her supervisor whether she could adopt the title immediately while HR worked out compensation, benefits and all the nitty-gritty on their end to make it official. The suggestion was received well – she was an instant VP! – and it gave her a great sense of relief.
In large organizations, systems create order and can also create unhappy employees forced to live among limiting rules. Instead of questioning the system, sometimes you can get better, faster results if you question yourself.