Breaking Free From Unrealistic Expectations
It's time to stop falling into the expectations trap once and for all.
Last week, I was reminded once again of how the unreasonable expectations we believe in can have damaging consequences for us.
Slalom, the company I work at, laid off roughly 7% of its workforce; around 800 individuals lost their jobs.
Talented people paid a heavy price due to a mix of bad business decisions plus a slowdown in business from the pandemic, from which it never recovered.
As I think back to previous layoffs I have been a part of, and unfortunately, there have been quite a few, I see a pattern repeating where, after a few years of working, I get comfortable and think the good times will last forever. The company's great culture feels like a cloak of invincibility where nothing wrong can happen and that the good times will go on forever.
I know my expectations of the company were high, but now that I think about it, I realize just how unrealistic my expectations were.
My expectations were just my hopes for what the future may hold and what I wanted it to be, which caused much pain and suffering, but I think it's human nature to become comfortable and let down our guard, isn’t it?
I want to believe a company has our best interest and will do its best for us, but the truth is those expectations are not an agreement between the company and us, no matter how much I wish to believe it. Yes, the company needs to take care of its employees and do good business, but at the end of the day, there is no agreement that it will not let go of people.
Carrying unstated and unrealistic expectations and projecting them onto the company brings struggles and suffering in our own lives with damaging consequences.
But this is preventable.
Here are a few things to help you get out of the expectations trap at work:
Never assume. Look at the facts. We are in a business relationship with a company, and we can both part ways at any time.
Check your expectations. A company may have a great culture, but that doesn’t mean the company has our best interest at hand. Check the expectations you carry and start to dismantle them.
Be prepared. Don’t fall into your comfort zone and take it easy; always be ready for big changes to happen. Have your CV and portfolio polished and ready to go.
Build your network. Be ready to lean into your network at a moment’s notice, so build up your network before you need it.
When we project our expectations onto a company, the consequences can be very uncomfortable for everyone involved, so make sure to check any unrealistic expectations and let go of them before they take hold so you can live life on your terms and develop your resiliency so you can thrive, and not just survive in a world full of infinite possibilities.
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Do you have any tips on how to manage unrealistic expectations?
Share them in the comments! I would love to know.