The best way to be stagnant at work, in your career, or in life is to be a complainer. I’ve learned this the hard way. Trust me when I say, no one likes a complainer. As a complainer-in-recovery, I can tell you that if you want to be consistently marginalized, overlooked, dismissed or excluded, be a complainer.
Yesterday I was browsing in my local Barnes and Noble. Two aisles over, a manager was complaining to a co-worker about a third co-worker whom she felt was milking an injury, slacking off work, and forcing others into covering her shifts. There is a place for theses kinds of conversations, preferably the manager would speak first to the offending employee and then to the regional manager about the issue, and all in confidence. But that’s not what happened. This manager, whom I know, found herself in full-throated complaint mode on the Teenage Fiction aisle. Honestly, it made me want to leave the store. I didn’t need to hear it. So I left knowing that this manager would likely never be a regional manager, and why she probably burned through employees.
Here are a three reasons why your career may be static because of complaining:
1. Complaining puts your preferences over organizational goals. When you complain, what you’re essentially saying is that your way is the one that should carry the day. If the compliant truly regards missed opportunities and the betterment of the organization, then there are likely modalities within the community to address those needs. Complaining about what you don’t like isn’t about the organization, it’s about you. Sooner or later, your superiors will notice your misplaced priorities and they will find someone else to do your job.
2. Complaining stokes unnecessary negativity. Both in work and life, disruption and setbacks create their own negative energy. No one wants to work with people who create and nourish unneeded negative feelings. Over time the negativity engendered by constant complaining grants the complainer a poor reputation. You become the “negative” person and in meetings and other setting you can speak freely, but everyone has long stopped listening. Not being listened to, your ideas are dismissed. When you happen to be correct in your assessment, you’ll complain, “They never listen to me.” And you’ll be right.
3. Complainers go to the end of the line. When organizations begin looking for new hires or to promote from within, the last person they want to hire is a known complainer. In all likelihood, regardless of your skill level, someone else has the same skill set. Why hire you and the complaining that comes with you, when someone more cheery is available? I wouldn’t. If you’re a constant complainer, plan on finding your career on hold. You’re just not good enough at your job to overcome the ill-effects that comes with your complaining.
There you have it. Begin now to re-work your complaining nature and you’ll see much of your life and work turn around.