On Recovering From Bad Work Experiences – JobMob

On Recovering From Bad Work Experiences

You probably remember some terrible moments in your career that you'd love to delete from your memory. How did you cope?

Difficult to Leave Behind

Here are some of the things that I've dealt with, in no specific order:

  • Sitting in a tense meeting listening to one executive berate another one only to discover minutes later that they were at fault
  • Being yelled at by a receptionist for daring to follow up after sending over a CV
  • Told 7 months in advance that I was going to be laid off
  • Enduring a contract negotiation meeting with an outside company while my colleague completely reneged on everything we had agreed upon beforehand
  • Having a member of my project team publicly email the CEO and many other colleagues to insult and complain about another project member, when in fact the first person was the source of many problems and delays.

Stressful, frustrating moments that I'll not soon forget even as a bystander.

How do you deal with this kind of trauma?

To answer that, I'm going to hand off to Isabella Mori of Change Therapy. Isabella is a fellow JobMobber and blogger that you may recognize from her terrific entry of 3 key resume questions in the JobMob guest blogging contest in the summer of 2007.

Isabella offered to participate in this first blog conversation at JobMob. The idea is that I kick off a topic while Isabella then replies on her blog and perhaps sends it back here or to other bloggers.

The conversation is open to anyone. Leave a comment below or if you have a blog, join in with your response in a blog post linking back to this article. If your trackback doesn't appear afterwards in the comments below, please contact me so that I'll know to take your article into account.

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About the Author Jacob Share

Job Search Expert, Professional Blogger, Creative Thinker, Community Builder with a sense of humor. I like to help people.

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8 comments
Jacob Share
isabella mori says

great topic, jacob, and thanks for starting this! as a counsellor, i’ve seen many people who were quite traumatized by bad work experiences. fortunately, many people get over them relatively easily but sometimes these experiences just stay with you. it’s really important for people to know that there are ways of dealing with that.

i’ll bounce the ball back to you tomorrow. for today, i already have our first buddhist carnival scheduled – i guess that one might already have some ideas in it.

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Jacob Share
change therapy » Blog Archive » blog conversation: dealing with bad work experiences says

[…] from the job mob and i will be having in the next little while. jacob started it off in his post recovering from bad work experiences by mentioning a few very unpleasant work situations, for […]

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change therapy » Blog Archive » blog conversation: dealing with bad work experiences, part 2 says

[…] feed. thanks for visiting!yesterday we started a discussion of bad job experiences – part of a blog conversation i’m having with jacob share from the job […]

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The Most Important Thing You Can Do to Avoid an Abusive Workplace says

[…] week began a conversation with Isabella Mori of Change Therapy about bad work experiences. Isabella replied with her own examples and shared the first steps to get out of an abusive […]

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recovering from bad work experiences: after the job offer says

[…] of jacob share’s and my conversation on leaving bad work experiences behind. we started this in november and discovered the six stages of recovery from bad work […]

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Joe Smith says

Blacked Balled,
I had a mediation with a supervisor who was making up false accusations. She totally looked silly during the meeting because theme of the meeting was why can’t you tell me your complaint before going the the office. She assured me that I would be gone before she due to her 8 year advantage. She was right i was set up after receiving workmans comp and let go. I had broke my finger and was gun shy about getting into any more restraints. Later went to another company the co-workers at the other company had got the information of the incident of the previous company and thus the harrassment begun I put up with for a year in a half before resigning. Now I have to Hr. companies back to back with negativities concering why did you leave. All of my other work experiences are good how do i set up a cover letter resumes to explain these incidents.

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Jacob Share
Jacob Share says

Joe- sorry for the delay.

As I once told a coaching client, sadly enough, having a bad boss often has consequences even after you’ve moved on.

The cover letter isn’t the time to explain why you left previous jobs, that’s what interviews are for (but only if the interviewer asks, otherwise don’t bring it up unless it makes you look good somehow).

The cover letter is where you make the connection between a new job’s requirements (as defined in a want ad/job listing) and your skills/achievements. The point of doing that is to entice the recruiter to invite you to an interview by showing them that you’re a good match for the job opening.

Once you get to an interview- be careful, because it never looks good to badmouth former employers. However, if you were ‘set up’, it’s more important that you come across well. So come clean. Tell the stories as honestly as you can. Explain that while it wasn’t your fault, perhaps you could have handled it better, and explain how. Employers like to understand how their employees deal in stressful situations.

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Jacob Share
Kate says

Reading this post was good therapy.

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