Have you received a pay cut? During these turbulent times, you might feel lucky to have a job, even if you are also a bit uncertain about what the future holds. Furloughs and layoffs are rampant. It’s the middle of summer, the pandemic is in full swing and many organizations remain closed and are figuring out how to stay open or reopen.
The good news is you have retained your job but that doesn’t mean the organization isn’t struggling. The pandemic has been challenging for businesses and individuals alike. For many, this means a pay cut while also being asked to do more.
This scenario is all too common and can feel like a lot to carry. Not because you don’t want to do your part and you’re not grateful for your job, but because you feel conflicted. The demands of doing more for less creates an inner tension and can foster feelings of resentment. This is understandable. Here are some strategies to navigate these feelings.
First, it’s important to acknowledge that it doesn’t feel good to be asked to do more for less. Tension and stress result from competing feelings of gratitude that you have a job but not feeling valued for the work you do. There is concern about burnout because the emotional load is significant, both personally and professionally. Now, you are being asked to work more and work harder. It is important to acknowledge these feelings.
Next, remember that this too shall pass. This period of time, the pandemic, is temporary. While it will not last forever, we don’t know how long “temporary” is and that can be hard to reconcile and adds to the stress of the situation. It is important to not lose sight of the bigger picture. Ultimately, you must decide what works for you – how long can you work harder for less money, how long can your budget and value system feel compromised, and what are your true options or alternatives? You have the ability to choose, to decide how long you will tolerate the situation and what you are going to do about it.
Lastly, it’s important to shift your mindset from a focus on comprise to contribution. More now than ever, it is important to find value in what you are doing and truly think about the role you play. How can you help? This means shifting from an egocentric focus to one that prioritizes others. Not begrudging what you lost or don’t have but focusing instead on what you can offer.
I recognize that is no small feat. Times are tough, many are stressed and stretched. Navigating this will implore you to keep your eyes on the bigger picture, not to relinquish the things you can control and step outside yourself during a time that is temporary.
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