“I Hate My Job” Interventions | The Oprah Winfrey Show | Oprah Winfrey Network

MUSIC OPRAH WINFREY: What if you and your husband could wake up every day excited to go to work, feeling like you were doing exactly what you were meant to do? He is one of the world’s most in-demand career experts -This is gonna be exciting! -Don’t waste another second of your life in a job you hate. Next. WINFREY: So listen to this staggering statistic. I just heard and I couldn’t believe my ears. Eighty-four percent of workers in the United States of America are unhappy with their jobs. Eighty-four percent. That is a lot. Four out of five people are unhappy at work. That’s according to a recent survey done by careerbuilder.com. Now, we’ve heard from thousands and thousands of you who say that you also feel the same. Meet Ayesha, Rachel, Beth, and Vanessa. AYESHA’S SON: Mom, it’s 7:33. AYESHA: The morning routine drains me completely. CHILD, AYESHA’S SON: Time to go. AYESHA: Okay, guys, bye. Because I work from home, I don’t know when my workday starts and when it ends. It’s kind of an all-day thing. I alternate between work and my personal life all day until 2:00 in the morning. It’s both things all the time. I have a lot of trouble focusing on the job. I can’t focus on writing documents for more than an hour at a time. When you enjoy doing dishes more than you enjoy work, you have to wonder. The fact that I’m unmotivated weighs down on me. I feel tortured all the time. Twenty-four hours a day, I’m tortured. RACHEL: All right. Why are you guys late today? I’m tired. I’ve been here since 7:30 and I have another six hours’ worth of work. I have a meeting scheduled and as soon as I am finished with that, I’ll be attending volleyball practice. Pretty much every day of my life, I feel overwhelmed. The job really never ends. It continues on throughout the evening, throughout the weekend. I tend to question whether or not I want to be a teacher. BETH: I work with my husband at an engineering firm. It’s hard working with your husband. What’s the status? Is this still on hold? My number-one responsibility is the accounting and I loathe, I hate, I really feel like I suck with money. I’m scared all the time. I know that if I screw up, not only do my husband and I lose our financial well-being, but, you know, I’ve got eight other families in this office. And so when, you know, something gets behind here, it’s my failing and it’s personal, you know? It’s not business, it’s personal. VANESSA: I say yes to every project that comes my way. I can’t say no. I’m not confrontational. My husband is a resident. I just feel like I’ve constantly put my life on hold for his career. The pressure is horrible. I’m the breadwinner. I get everything together and this is how I feel. Are you — can you pick her up or – VANESSA’S HUSBAND: No. I’m sorry. I just can’t do it today. VANESSA: I want to feel good about going to work, but I continue to load my plate and say yes to everything when in reality, I don’t have the time to do those things. Hurry, hurry, hurry. I’m swamped with all this stuff that I really don’t want to do anyway. I’d rather be spending time with my daughter than dropping her off at a daycare. Bye-bye. You know, back when I first started this career, I loved it. I loved the excitement of it. I just think that — I think the passion for me is gone. I am overwhelmed, underappreciated, and overworked. WINFREY: That’s how a lot of you feel, I know. I knew exactly who could help Ayesha, Rachel, Beth, and Vanessa. Marcus Buckingham. Marcus is a best-selling author with a radical approach to work life that is leading millions of people to new levels of success and yes, happiness in their work. He’s also known for helping Fortune 500 companies like Coca-Cola, The Gap, and Microsoft. So, hey. Hi, Marcus. [APPLAUSE] MARCUS BUCKINGHAM: Hey. WINFREY: Yeah. I was just saying, stunning, that statistic, that 84%. That’s four out of five people hate their jobs. I was thinking of all the ramifications that brings you. You hate your job, then you go home overworked, underappreciated. Mr. BUCKINGHAM: People always talk about, you shouldn’t bring, you know, your personal problems to work. It’s far worse the other way. You take all the bad stuff at work and the people that are most important to you in your life are the ones that hurt. WINFREY: Right. Mr. BUCKINGHAM: And so, for all of us, I think the challenge is, how do you find a way at work to focus on your strengths? How do you find a way to build on the best of you? WINFREY: Yes. I mean, Marcus’s book is about putting your strengths to work. Right. Mr. BUCKINGHAM: And if you ask people in America and you say, “How often do you get a chance to put your strengths to work?” WINFREY: Right. Mr. BUCKINGHAM: When we’re young, we grow up and we think we’ve got strengths. We think we’ve got something special and we hope that we’re going to pop out of school at some point and get to make our mark on the world. And then you end up and you ask people and you say, “Do you have a chance to play at your strengths?” A little over one out of 10 people say “I do.” A little out of one out of 10 people say, “I get to play to my strengths at work in life,” which is a tragedy, actually. WINFREY: Yes. And also how we begin to teach our children. We pass this on to our children. Mr. BUCKINGHAM: Well, yeah. So, you poll American parents and you say, your child comes home with an “A”, an “A”, a “C”, and an “F”, and the question was simply, which grade deserves the most attention from you? And you know where I’m going with this. The answer is 77% of the American parents say the “F”. So we’re raising a whole generation of children who are being characterized by the people who love them the most by who they aren’t. WINFREY: Yes. When I said this to my friend Gayle. you know, who has kids and, you know, now they’re in college and she’s saying, “Well, listen. You have to focus on the ‘F’ because you don’t want them getting ‘F’s’.” Mr. BUCKINGHAM: Well, you can’t afford to ignore the “F”. WINFREY: Yes. Mr. BUCKINGHAM: But that wasn’t the question. You don’t go ignore the “F” just like you can’t afford to ignore a weakness at work. WINFREY: Right. Mr. BUCKINGHAM: The point wasn’t that you ignore it, the point is, where should you spend most time? Where will your child or where will you grow the most? WINFREY: Yeah. So 70% of people say “F”. The answer is, focus on the “A”. Mr. BUCKINGHAM: Yeah. You grow the most in the area where you’re already showing some natural advantage, some natural area of talent, or strength, or passion. That’s where you start and it continues in the workplace. You go to pretty much any performance appraisal and your manager will spend two minutes on what you did well. WINFREY: Right. Mr. BUCKINGHAM: Well done. And then 58 minutes on your “areas for development,” right? [LAUGHTER] WINFREY: Right, right, right. Mr. BUCKINGHAM: Which is just a nice way of saying stuff you’re rotten at. WINFREY: Yeah. Mr. BUCKINGHAM: So if you’re not careful, your whole career is just one long remedial math class, isn’t it? WINFREY: Right, right. Mr. BUCKINGHAM: If you’re going to win at life, if any of you or any of us are going to win at life, we’ve got to flip that switch. WINFREY: Okay. Six months ago, I invited Marcus to Chicago to hold a special workshop for myself and 30 other working women so that we could learn to play to our strengths. WINFREY: Ayesha, Rachel, Beth, and Vanessa joined 26 other women who all say they feel unfulfilled in their careers. Mr. BUCKINGHAM: Most of you in this room are not living a second-rate version of somebody else’s life. Most of you are living a second-rate version of your own. And what we have to help you to figure out how to do is to find your life within your life. WINFREY: Marcus’s key to success is one simple thing, stop spending so much time trying to fix your weaknesses. Instead, focus on what makes you strong, special, and unique. Mr. BUCKINGHAM: Strength is an activity that makes you feel strong. If you want to know what your strength is, you’ve got to pay attention to how you feel. It feels like focus. It feels like concentration. You feel invigorated, energized. Look to how you feel before, during, and after an activity. That’s the greatest clue to a strength. WINFREY: One week before the workshop, Marcus sent us all a special memo pad and asked us to write down the activities that strengthened us on green cards and those that weakened us on red cards. Mr. BUCKINGHAM: Here is one that somebody wrote. “I felt strong when I got the 2008 budget completed, routed, and signed on time.” Is that a strength? Okay. Here’s another one. Is this a strength? “I felt strong when I got praise from my boss for negotiating a news article deal.” That’s not what we’re looking for in the green cards. A strength is what you do, not what’s being done to you. Oprah, this is one of yours, “Doing a show on divorce for children.” WINFREY: Mm-hmm. Mr. BUCKINGHAM: Why did that one make it to the scribble-down – WINFREY: Because I am inherently a teacher and I feel best when I’m doing shows that allow people to learn something about their lives. Mr. BUCKINGHAM: That happened on that show? WINFREY: A lot of “a-ha” moments. Mr. BUCKINGHAM: Now, let’s do it for weaknesses. Here’s an example of one. “I felt weak when I had to confront an employer and I have an actual physical weakness. My voice is shaking and my hands are trembling.” Is that one? Yeah. That’s you going, “You know what, that doesn’t invigorate me at all.” Oprah? WINFREY: Well, I wanted to share with you that I feel weakest in life when I have to confront someone who has disappointed me. The first time I had to fire somebody, this was years ago, the first time I had to fire somebody, it took me two hours and at the end of it, they said, “You mean, I’m fired?” [LAUGHTER] WINFREY: I wasn’t very good at it, you know? Very true. I’m a little better. It only takes an hour now. [LAUGHTER] Mr. BUCKINGHAM: Good for you. WINFREY: Marcus asked each of us in our workshop to complete a short quiz to determine how much they were using their strengths. So what did you learn? Mr. BUCKINGHAM: Well, we asked the 30 people, “What percentage of the day do you spend playing to your strengths?” And nobody. That wouldn’t be an “okay” sign. That’s a zero. Zero percent of the people in the room said that they were playing to their strengths most of the time. When we asked them, “Do you think you’re the best judge of your strengths?” nobody said they were the best judge of their strengths. It’s funny. I think from an early age, we’re taught to believe that our strengths are what we’re good at and our weaknesses are what we’re bad at, but as we said in the workshop, that’s not really true. Your strengths are what strengthen you. WINFREY: Yeah. Mr. BUCKINGHAM: If you want to find out what your strengths are — that’s why we had that green card – WINFREY: I love this little pad. Yeah. Mr. BUCKINGHAM: You know, it’s about awareness. All this did is it said, pay — for once in your life, pay close attention to a week and if you find yourself looking forward to it, invigorated, scribble it down on the green card. WINFREY: Right. Mr. BUCKINGHAM: If you find yourself like, “Oh, I wish the new guy would do that,” or whatever, you put it on the red card. WINFREY: You know what else it did for me when I kept this little pad for a week, you get to see also what people bring energy to you and when you are dreading, “Oh, god, I’ve got meet with that person.” Mr. BUCKINGHAM: And there are — frankly, every job comes with that guy. WINFREY: You want — yes. That’s right. Mr. BUCKINGHAM: Right. You know, the guy walks down the hall and every day it’s, “What’s wrong now?” WINFREY: Yes. Mr. BUCKINGHAM: Somehow you feel a little smaller and you go, “You deplete me.” WINFREY: You deplete me. [LAUGHTER] [CHEERS AND APPLAUSE] Mr. BUCKINGHAM: You know, [unintelligible], is it? WINFREY: Yes. Yes. Mr. BUCKINGHAM: And so that was the point of that, was to say you are the best teacher about you and your strengths. We’ll be right back. We’ll be right back. [APPLAUSE] WINFREY: Coming up: Marcus says it’s a sure way to sabotage your success. VANESSA: I don’t want to do this any more. WINFREY: Important advice for all you people-pleasers. That’s next. [MUSIC] [MUSIC] VANESSA: My name is Vanessa. I’m a pharmaceutical sales rep. and the reason I’m here is, I can’t say no. I say yes to every project that comes along my path. I am a mom and I have a husband that’s a resident. So I feel like a single parent. So I want to empower myself to be able to say no to things. And take better control of my career. WINFREY: That was Vanessa, one of 30 working women who participated in our career intervention workshop with Marcus Buckingham. A few days later, Marcus sat down with Vanessa for an emotional one-on-one. Mr. BUCKINGHAM: Obviously, you like saying yes to people. Who do you say no to in life? VANESSA: It’s my daughter. I don’t know why I say no. It’s just, I think that if I can provide her with financial stability, that’s better than reading her a book at night. And now that I’m talking about it just makes me so sad. Mr. BUCKINGHAM: Have you and your husband talked about this? VANESSA: We have. In a year and a half he said, you know, it will be your turn, but I don’t think that I have it in me for another year and a half of the same thing and – Mr. BUCKINGHAM: What will happen? When you say you don’t have it in you, what do you think will happen? VANESSA: I don’t know. I’m going to run away. I don’t want to do this any more. I don’t have the energy. I don’t do anything for myself now and I feel like every day, a piece of me is lost. I just can’t be a good wife and a mom if I don’t have me and I’m wasting time at this job when I could be home with my daughter. Mr. BUCKINGHAM: It’s a trap that you’ve fallen into deep. You keep volunteering for more things to get more recognition and appreciation and it doesn’t come. And so you volunteer more and it still doesn’t come. And so you do more and more and it becomes worse and worse. And it’s a nightmare. It’s a nightmare. What you’re giving up is control. You’ve given up fuel, energy, passion, purpose. You’ve given it all up to somebody and the circumstances outside of you. WINFREY: Wow. VANESSA: Yeah. [APPLAUSE] WINFREY: And I see other women around this room nodding and, you know, tearing up, because they’ve been there too. You gave yourself away, right? Mr. BUCKINGHAM: Yes. But Vanessa has something that I think many of us have. She’s got a desire to please. She’s a wooer. She’s a winner. She wins people over. She can get you to like her like that and it’s not — I think she came to feel it almost as a disease to please, that it was a strength, but she’d come to see it as a weakness. In fact, that happens with a lot, you know, with a great deal of us. We see our empathy and we think, “Oh, I cry too much,” or we see our assertiveness and we think we’re too aggressive. So my advice to her at the time was twofold. One, basically, she was working with a manager who thought that her selling style should be more like his, more hard-driving, data-driven. And yet, she’s a wooer. She’s a winner. So we said, you know, when he’s following you around for the two or three days that he does, just fake it, because she’s an actress. [LAUGHTER] Mr. BUCKINGHAM: She is. Call up her clients and say, “You’re going to see a hard-driving, data-driven different kind of Vanessa on those two days a month,” and fake it. And it worked. It just sort of enabled him to see her in a different light. Also, I said, and I think we should all know this, if you’ve got strengths like, to win people over, the most important audience you should be using them on are the most important people in your lives. WINFREY: Right. Mr. BUCKINGHAM: And the first person she should have been winning over is Mia, her daughter. She wasn’t carving out time from 5:00 to 8:00 we said, right? BUCKINGHAM: We said 5:00 to 8:00 no cell phones, no BlackBerries, no clients. It’s bath time and it’s reading time and be present. I mean, you’ve talked a lot about this, I know, but – VANESSA: Mm-hmm. WINFREY: Hello, I have. [LAUGHTER] Mr. BUCKINGHAM: Yes, but – WINFREY: Every Monday night at 8:00 online, yes. Mr. BUCKINGHAM: And she wasn’t. She wasn’t winning over her daughter. WINFREY: That’s all your children really want, is for you to be present, to be fully there, to engage, to see them and be with them. That’s what they want. VANESSA: You know, I wasn’t like — I didn’t like my job and I was spending all my time and energy on it and the most important person in my life was being sacrificed, my daughter. WINFREY: Right, Yeah. Mr. BUCKINGHAM: And now I think — I mean, now you’ve made — well, you can maybe describe a little bit about what’s happened in the last three or four months. VANESSA: My life is completely different at this point. I’m spending more and more time with my daughter. We’re taking swimming lessons. I turn the computer off at 5:00. I’ve also managed to focus on my strengths, embrace them, and kind of put them to work for me like Marcus says. I’ve put together an entire training dialogue and I’m marketing it to my company and saying no finally feels good. To say no and empower — it empowers me to just say, “No. You know, these are the things that make me happy and I’m going to do those things first.” Because once you’re personally happy, everything else is kind of easy after that. WINFREY: Yeah. Mr. BUCKINGHAM: Yeah. This wasn’t about you doing less. VANESSA: Right. Mr. BUCKINGHAM: You don’t focus on your strengths so you can hand the rotten jobs off to somebody else. WINFREY: Yeah. Mr. BUCKINGHAM: This is about you contributing more to your company, you performing better for your company, you figuring out a better choice for your career, and of course then, with all of that comes a better you and therefore, you’ve got so much more to give to your family. WINFREY: Well, you know, I too used to have the disease, and it was a disease. I mean, it also is a strength, hearing you say that is correct, to be able to woo people and have people like you and so forth. You know, I was the most popular in high school. [LAUGHTER] WINFREY: So, yeah. That’s a strength, but I also had the, you know, trying to please everybody, trying to please everybody, “Do you like me? Do you like me?” And I think that — what I hear Marcus saying is when you learn — and what I learned for myself — when you learn to say yes to yourself and yes to yourself first — a lot of us thought that that was selfish, but yes to yourself, what do I really want, it makes it easier to say no to other people. Doesn’t it? Mr. BUCKINGHAM: Yes. You’re coming from a place of strength to be able to – WINFREY: And coming from the truth. WINFREY: Because you’re not saying yes to things you don’t want to do and then going, “Oh, god, I can’t believe I said yes to that. I can’t believe they asked me again.” [LAUGHTER] BUCKINGHAM: Yes. WINFREY: Yes, because you’re coming from the truth and it makes — and that, the truth strengthens you. Mr. BUCKINGHAM: Yes. WINFREY: Go put your strengths to work. Hello. We’ll be right back. Thank you. [APPLAUSE] WINFREY: Go put your strengths to work. WINFREY: Coming up, she says she will lose her husband if she quits the job she hates. Mr. BUCKINGHAM: You need to stop doing this. WINFREY: Marcus’s sobering reality check for her next. BETH: I’m Beth. My husband and I own an engineering firm. I have no training in business. I have no passion for business. I suck at finances. It really was my weakness. And my husband took my weakest area and made it my number one responsibility. Mr. BUCKINGHAM: Genius. BETH: Which, at the time – [LAUGHTER] BETH: I’m scared to death of it. Finances are my biggest fear. Doesn’t make a lot of sense. WINFREY: Yeah. So if you’re one of those people who’s doing something you think you suck at, this is for you, right? [LAUGHTER] WINFREY: That was Beth, who felt if she quit the job she hated, she would destroy both her marriage and her family’s business. Here’s what happened in her first coaching session with Marcus. Mr. BUCKINGHAM: I’m going to read something to you that you wrote. BETH: Oh, gosh. Mr. BUCKINGHAM: You write, “I dread a conversation with my husband, and I find myself picking a mental line that will be the final straw that makes me quit, knowing I won’t quit.” Okay, how did we get to this state? BETH: It’s really scary to me to be the financially responsible, to be in charge of the goods. Mr. BUCKINGHAM: Why is it scary? BETH: I don’t have a good history with finances, so when I’m looking at being responsible for everyone’s livelihood, it’s painful. I try to handle the finances and take care of it, and figure out what to do and what’s best without dumping it on him, without worrying him, which with my history it’s like — that’s a lot of stress. Mr. BUCKINGHAM: Does he know how you feel? BETH: He does, but he doesn’t understand. He needs a partner and he needs somebody that can handle this side and he doesn’t like turning it over to just anyone. Mr. BUCKINGHAM: Beth, you need to stop doing this. The mistake that you’ve made is trying to take on as much as you can so that you take care of everybody around you. And it’s going to break you and you’re going to have another failed marriage on your hands. BETH: Well, that’s my biggest fear, is that the business and the marriage are so tightly tied. How do I get out of one and preserve the other? Mr. BUCKINGHAM: You can, and it has to start with you. The big thing that you need to do is you need to sit down and talk to Fred and change your job. You need to be able to go and say to him, “This is what I need for us to be strong as a business and strong as a family.” BETH: Yeah. Mr. BUCKINGHAM: Okay. BETH: Scared to death, but I’ll have it. Mr. BUCKINGHAM: You should be more scared of what will happen if you don’t have it. WINFREY: Wow, that’s powerful. [APPLAUSE] WINFREY: Be more scared of what will happen if you don’t. What was that conversation like for you? BETH: It was very hard, because it became real. WINFREY: Yeah. But I thought what Marcus said there for everybody who is watching it all begins with you as it always does. Mr. BUCKINGHAM: Yes. WINFREY: While you’re waiting on something to happen, you’re waiting on some miracle that’s going to show itself and suddenly you don’t have to do it anymore, it’s always waiting on you. The universe is always waiting on you. Mr. BUCKINGHAM: Yes. And the beautiful thing about Beth is she’s so darn talented. She’s got so many strengths. Now, her husband, like many of us, you go, “Because you’re good at that, you should also be good at all of this.” WINFREY: That’s right. Mr. BUCKINGHAM: And so you design – WINFREY: A lot of managers get the position they get, because they were good at doing what they did, and then they’re given a managerial position and they suck at it. Mr. BUCKINGHAM: Yes, yeah. [APPLAUSE] Mr. BUCKINGHAM: That’s true. WINFREY: So Beth had the important conversation with her husband. Woo. But that happened too late, right? And ended up in the hospital. BETH: Yes. WINFREY: What happened? BETH: I had so much stress, I was having nerve pain, and going to physical therapy and missing work. I was having migraine headaches and missing work. I was, you know, dealing with my children and missing work, and missing work and missing work, and I ended up in the hospital. And so while I was in the hospital was when my husband’s like, “Well, okay, we need to know what’s going on,” and he went through the office and really realized that, one, I suck at paperwork and I really should not be doing that job, and that he reorganized everything and took it over from that day forth. So I am not in charge of the finances in that company any longer. WINFREY: Wow. Mr. BUCKINGHAM: But it’s had physical, really depleting effects on you. I mean, and since you’ve made that decision and since you’ve talked to Fred, you haven’t had the nerve pain – BETH: I haven’t had a single migraine headache. It’s amazing. WINFREY: But you know what’s interesting to me about all this, because they’re lessons for everybody, we’re not just being voyeurs in these women’s lives, and I think the universe speaks to all of us all the time. Your life is always speaking to you. And that moment when Marcus says you should be afraid of what would happen if you didn’t do it, I mean, you get Marcus Buckingham, he writes the book on this stuff, sitting there in your face telling you — it’s in your face. The same thing for all of you who are in this room right now and hating your jobs, and all of you who are watching us right now and hating your jobs, this moment is happening in your life so that you can step up to it… WINFREY: …and do what is necessary. And you didn’t. You didn’t pay attention then. BUCKINGHAM: Yeah. BETH: I put it off and put it off. WINFREY: And ended up in the hospital. Mr. BUCKINGHAM: And I thank goodness, by the way that you were picked out of all the people that wrote in. If you hadn’t been on this show and hadn’t had these conversations, I don’t know where you’d be now. BETH: I don’t either. Mr. BUCKINGHAM: Thank goodness you’re here. WINFREY: So everybody who gets to hear it, it’s a lesson for us all. Thanks for letting us live through you, Beth. We’ll be right back. [APPLAUSE] WINFREY: Thank you. WINFREY: Coming up, is your job sucking the life out of you? RACHEL: Sorry, I’m so sorry. WINFREY: How to create more success and happiness, next. [MUSIC] [MUSIC] RACHEL: My name is Rachel, and I’m an elementary school teacher. I’m here today, because I’m frustrated with the amount of time that I put into my job and I want to learn how to balance that with my personal life. Mr. BUCKINGHAM: Why did you start on this path? RACHEL: Since I was little, I’ve always wanted to teach. And now I’m to the point in my career where I’m not enjoying being in a classroom, and I want to feel that again. I vaguely remember my first couple years of teaching, and I want to get back to that point. WINFREY: Like many women, Rachel was admittedly overcommitted at work and it was affecting every aspect of her life. She loves her students, she loves teaching, but was overwhelmed. Here’s her session with Marcus. Mr. BUCKINGHAM: Can you start by telling me a little bit about why you got into teaching? RACHEL: I can somewhat remember the feeling of being so excited that I can tell people that I was a teacher, and I want to feel that again. Mr. BUCKINGHAM: What do you think Pete thinks of all this? RACHEL: I think he’s very understanding, and he knows that my career is something that I love, and — thank you. Sorry, I’m so sorry. Mr. BUCKINGHAM: Don’t be silly. RACHEL: I think he gets frustrated, too, that I don’t give 100% to him, and I give 100% to my career. Mr. BUCKINGHAM: Does he know how sad you are? RACHEL: I think so. I got him a dog, because I felt so bad. Mr. BUCKINGHAM: You volunteered for so many things, and it looks to me as though you are looking to do more in order to feel more. I mean, the tears come from disappointing people that you love, but they come for you, too. You’re crying for you. You’re losing you as much as you’re losing the time with them. What is one thing at home that you can volunteer to do for you? RACHEL: I would love the opportunity to walk my dogs every day. Mr. BUCKINGHAM: Okay, walk the dogs together. You’ve filled up your life here with so much noise that I think you’ve forgotten — you can’t really see the voice inside you that was always calling you into the classroom in the first place, and I think that’s what we’re going to try and get back. WINFREY: So what’s changed for you after that conversation? RACHEL: I’ve been able to just capitalize on my strengths at work, which basically allows more time for myself. I’m doing things that I enjoy and, you know, I talked to Marcus on several occasions where I was living my life where I was doing things, because I felt nobody else would do them. WINFREY: Yeah. RACHEL: I was worried about the students and the different extracurricular activities that, you know, we were all involved in and I was just always nervous that they were going to be let down somehow. WINFREY: Yeah, I think that what you’re saying is so important, you know, for those of you who aren’t going to get to talk to Marcus. I know the reason why you wrote “Go Put Your Strengths to Work” is exactly the reason that she just said, because when you do that, you allow, you don’t spend so much time, so much energy on your weaknesses. Mr. BUCKINGHAM: To say that you distantly remembered why you were in the classroom is — you think about all those teachers who got in there thinking, “I want to teach”, and then eight years in you were going, “I hope summer vacation never ends, because I don’t want to go back in the classroom again.” WINFREY: There are millions of teachers who feel this way. Mr. BUCKINGHAM: Oh, what a tragedy that is. WINFREY: Yeah. Mr. BUCKINGHAM: So in order to find yourself, “Why was I back in the classroom again,” you had to discover the emotional feelings you felt when you felt strong in the classroom. And you did that, and you gave me example after example of wonderful moments in the classroom that she rediscovered. But they were there all along. You found your life within your life. You didn’t find someone else’s life, you found your life again. RACHEL: Right. I felt great afterwards. I felt as though, like I said before with Marcus, of allowing more time for myself. You know, I’m getting married in two months, and it’s a lot of planning right there, and I was able to put aside, you know, the different things that I was involving myself with and taking the time to spend on things that I enjoyed. WINFREY: Oh, so y’all aren’t married? RACHEL: Two months. WINFREY: Okay. You gave him the pug already and–? RACHEL: Yeah, two — [LAUGHTER] RACHEL: I did. WINFREY: Could’ve saved that for — [LAUGHTER] WINFREY: We’ll be right back, we’ll be right back. [APPLAUSE] WINFREY: Coming up, Marcus says it was one of the most challenging coaching sessions of his career. Find out why, next. [MUSIC] [MUSIC] Mr. BUCKINGHAM: Who wants to share a weakness statement? Ayesha. AYESHA: Marcus, this was the hardest card for me to write, because I completely trashed my career in the five minutes that I wrote down this statement. [LAUGHTER] Mr. BUCKINGHAM: That’s a bitter pill to swallow, and it was bold and brave of you to write what you wrote, and look at it clear as day. WINFREY: Marcus says that his coaching session with Ayesha was one of the most challenging of your career? [LAUGHTER] Mr. BUCKINGHAM: Well, every single one of her red cards — she got to the end of her red cards, and she went, “This is my job.” So she had written down all the things she loathed in her week, were basically her job description. [LAUGHTER] Mr. BUCKINGHAM: Which is a problem. WINFREY: Yes. [LAUGHTER] WINFREY: Because the red cards are weaknesses and the green cards are strengths, for those of you who are watching. Mr. BUCKINGHAM: So she ended up going, “Gosh, my whole job is more red cards.” And I couldn’t, frankly, I couldn’t pry it out of her as to what — if we believe that everyone’s got a calling, if we believe that everyone’s got strengths, and we know now that your calling is not – WINFREY: We believe that, don’t we? Mr. BUCKINGHAM: Yes, we do. WINFREY: Okay. Mr. BUCKINGHAM: And if we then see your red cards and we know that your job is not calling that calling, then my job is to go, “What is it then? What is it that strengthens you? Where are the green cards?” And I couldn’t get it out of her. Couldn’t get it out of her, couldn’t get it out of her. And then finally we had a couple of sessions afterwards on the phone, but it came out that really what she is amazing at, what you’re wonderful at, Ayesha, is finding a story in a person’s life, writing about it, displaying it so that we can learn and benefit from that. And she had buried that dream since you were, I don’t know, 14, 15? It was so deep in there, that she made a trade that we all make, which is, “Well, I won’t do that. I’ll take a real job for a while and then I’ll come back to it later.” What you are asking yourself to do, Ayesha, is something impossible, put your real personality on hold… WINFREY: Yeah. Mr. BUCKINGHAM: …and then wake it back up again ten years later. But because you’re so depleted after ten years, your perseverance, your feeling of fulfillment and success is gone, when you try and wake yourself back up, you’re not there anymore. You’re gone. You are almost unrecognizable to yourself. And I think finally – WINFREY: That’s how people get lost. That’s how people lose themselves. Mr. BUCKINGHAM: Yes. WINFREY: And, you know, you were saying you’re taking our class on Monday nights with Eckhart Tolle. Mr. BUCKINGHAM: Yes. Yes. WINFREY: And one of the things he said in the very first class is that the way to find your way in life is to ask the universe or God or consciousness, “How can I be used? What do you want from me?” instead of you trying to tell it what you want. Mr. BUCKINGHAM: Well, yes. And I think what Ayesha had felt a lot of is a lot of “shoulds.” WINFREY: Yeah. Mr. BUCKINGHAM: “I should be this, I should be that.” And Eckhart talks about it in terms of roles that we play. WINFREY: Yes. Mr. BUCKINGHAM: And in the midst of all that, the uniqueness that is Ayesha had gotten lost. WINFREY: Yes, but aren’t we all called to — isn’t that our responsibility, is to find out what the calling is? WINFREY: Yes. WINFREY: See, people take on jobs to, you know, take care of their family, you know, take care of themselves, but isn’t your real job in life to figure out why you’re really here, why you’re called? Mr. BUCKINGHAM: Yes. We’re all blessed with uniqueness. WINFREY: Yes. Mr. BUCKINGHAM: And the least interesting thing about us is our race and our sex and our age and our creed and our nationality. WINFREY: Yes. Mr. BUCKINGHAM: All the really intriguing uniqueness about your four are beneath the surface. WINFREY: Correct. And that is true for everybody. WINFREY: Yes. Yeah. Mr. BUCKINGHAM: Everybody. BUCKINGHAM: And second, the best teacher about that uniqueness is you. WINFREY: You. Mr. BUCKINGHAM: Is you. So, why this was so hard, I think, you’d buried you so deep behind shoulds and shoulds and mountains of shoulds, that you couldn’t hear that little voice, that wise voice inside you. WINFREY: People bury it beneath the shoulds and the have to’s. Mr. BUCKINGHAM: Yeah. WINFREY: Well, “I have to do this, because I have to do this. And I have to do this, because I have to do this.” Mr. BUCKINGHAM: It’s a domino, isn’t it? WINFREY: Yeah. Yeah, right. We’ll be right back. [APPLAUSE] [MUSIC] [MUSIC] WINFREY: So, how do we use Ayesha as an example for the millions of people who are watching us right now? How does each person who is a part of that 84%, four out of five people who hate their job, who walks in every day and says, “You deplete me,” to their situation? [LAUGHTER] Mr. BUCKINGHAM: Yes, yes. WINFREY: How do they begin to find their way back? Mr. BUCKINGHAM: Well, and I think I can turn it over to you to tell us a wee bit about what you’ve done, because she’s done something wonderful. She’s gradually — you’re gradually building a bridge. You’re not throwing your job away, because your family is relying on you. Your husband is relying. You can’t just throw it all away and start off with some new ideal life. AYESHA: Yeah. Mr. BUCKINGHAM: You’re doing something else. You’re building a bridge. WINFREY: What are you doing? What are you doing? AYESHA: Well, that notebook was instrumental in leading me in the direction I wanted to go because – WINFREY: And it’s a very simple book. It’s just with “The Things I Loathed” and the “Things That Made Me Stronger.” What is it? Yeah, I loved it. “I loathed it and I loved it.” Yeah. Mr. BUCKINGHAM: That’s all there is. AYESHA: I took the strength, and at the end of that week I had a job description of what I should be doing. I loved researching, I loved interviewing, I loved writing, and so I had a general direction after I was done with that. WINFREY: Loved researching, loved interviewing, loved writing. Okay. Mr. BUCKINGHAM: Tell us a wee bit about what you’ve done since discovering that. AYESHA: Well, there are two things I’ve done. One is that I’ve started the blog. Mr. BUCKINGHAM: Right. AYESHA: The second thing that I’ve done is, you had encouraged me to contact somebody in the journalism field, and I did find an old family friend of mine who is in journalism, and in connecting with her I had this great opportunity to go to South Carolina and work for a company called ICU.com, and they allowed me to get experience in all aspects of web production, which is what I want to do. WINFREY: Great. That’s great. Mr. BUCKINGHAM: Awesome. WINFREY: We’ll be right back. [APPLAUSE] WINFREY: Next, after taking our workshop with Marcus, nearly half of the women say their lives have changed completely. The remarkable results, next. WINFREY: If you’re going to your job every day and hating what you’re doing, it’s such a waste of your time and your life. Mr. BUCKINGHAM: Yeah, you’ve been blessed with so much uniqueness, and you go to work every day and people want you to contribute. They want you to perform. I mean, the job is about performance. We have to take what’s in here and express it. It’s not about contribution, it’s about performance. It’s about doing more and making it last. But if you’re going to make a lasting contribution, then the activities you’re filling your job with have got to, themselves – WINFREY: Feed you. Mr. BUCKINGHAM: Feed you. Otherwise, you’d burn up. WINFREY: Nearly half of the women who attended a workshop with Marcus Buckingham say it completely changed their lives. Here is a few. CHRIS: Since the workshop, I left my job as a speech pathologist and I’ve started my own cosmetics business. I can’t believe how good I feel, how strong I feel. ERIN: That workshop really changed my life. I’ve learned now to run my business and not let it run me. This is a picture of my family, and Marcus’s team had me cut myself out of the picture. And that, I think, was the biggest wake-up call of all. Looking at that picture, it made me realize what I was missing in my girls’ lives. TAMMY: Immediately after the workshop, I began interviewing for a new job. I was able to interview with a whole new confidence I’d never had before. I had three job offers, finally decided on one of them, and could not be happier. VICKI: I honestly thought that I need to find a new job, and now I have absolutely no desire to leave my current employer. I have done a complete 180 with my attitude at work and now just focus on the tasks that are my true strengths. NICHOLE: I was a mortgage originator, and I am now a interior designer. Talking to Marcus helped me realize what my strengths were, and I actually jumped on it, and I’m so glad I did. My life is so different. I’m so happier now. WINFREY: Wow. BUCKINGHAM: There is strength inside you, and it’s your responsibility to get down to the detail of it, God is in the detail, and then let’s figure out a way to contribute and perform from your own understanding of what your strengths are. Because no one will know you better than you do, no one at work, no one at home. You are the best teacher about what you have to contribute. And if you get that from this workshop, then I think you’re going to make the kind of contribution that you always knew you should’ve made. WINFREY: Yeah, and you won’t be a part of that 84%… Mr. BUCKINGHAM: Absolutely. WINFREY: …who hate their jobs. A special thanks to you. Thank you so much for… Mr. BUCKINGHAM: Not at all. [APPLAUSE] WINFREY: …being a part of this, and your elite group of coaches who helped all of these women transform their lives. Marcus Buckingham’s latest book is called “Go Put Your Strengths to Work,” and his companion film series is called — I love this film, too — “Trombone Player Wanted.” Bye, everybody. Thank you. [APPLAUSE] [MUSIC]

4 Replies to ““I Hate My Job” Interventions | The Oprah Winfrey Show | Oprah Winfrey Network

  1. some of these husbands need to step up to the plate as providers so the mothers can stay home with their children

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