Helpless, Defeated, Panic-Stricken In Your Current Job?

Have you ever gotten sick to your stomach as you drove into work? A sickening feeling that actually started the night before? Do you sit in your car in the parking lot and wait until the last possible moment to head to your desk? Do you watch, with exaggerated anticipation, as the clock inches closer to quitting time?


There is hardly anything worse than showing up at a job day in and day out that you absolutely and completely abhor. Maybe your boss is a tyrant. Maybe the guy who sits in the next office talks too loud. Maybe there’s a co-worker whose mere existence on this planet is an irritation to you. Maybe the customers you’re forced to deal with are becoming over-the-top jerks.

Rarely in these situations is it just one thing. Typically, it’s a combination of several things, and you’re sure one day your head will just explode. Kind of like the guy who rolls of bed and hits his elbow on the night stand. Soon after, while grabbing his robe from the hook on the door, he pulls the door open into his groin. When he recovers from this, he promptly stubs his big toe (the one with the ingrown toenail) on the end table he’s been walking around for years.

Limping into the kitchen, he slips on something his dog left in the middle of the floor, and the only thing he can grab on his way down is the cord attached to the coffee maker which has just finished brewing a whole pot of the morning elixir. In most situations, the cord would have simply pulled from the socket, but in this case it brought the machine with its hot bubbling brew directly down where his head landed just milliseconds before.

As he jumps up from the scalding mess, he catches the back of his head on a drawer that has been left open just enough to do the trick. Now hunched over in the middle of the kitchen holding the back of his head with both hands, he trembles like a slave being chastised by an angry master, afraid to move. Afraid not to move.

The sharp pain in his elbow, the blunt soreness in his groin, the throbbing of his big toe, the smell of his dog’s “gift,” the sting of the coffee burns, and the blinding pain at the back of his head, all conspiring to keep him frozen and unable to think straight enough to know what to do next. If only one of these incidents had occurred, he would have simply shrugged it off and moved on. But now he feels helpless, defeated and utterly panic-stricken in his pain.

If your current position is similarly painful, it may be time for a change. And while that pain may not be as physical as our poor unfortunate fellow above, it can be every bit as devastating.

In these somewhat difficult times, many of us feel compelled to remain in positions that are wreaking havoc on our psyche. And while the job market may be a little weak right now, there are still plenty of opportunities to be had as well as a strong careers industry ready and willing to pull your job search off the floor. From brilliantly crafted resumes, to pros who will help you through the interview process, these career strategists will work hard to get you out of your current situation.

Of course, if you like having to slam your hand in your car door every morning just to get your attitude right to get through the day, there’s always that option.

By Robert P. Poindexter, Career Writer

8 Responses to “Helpless, Defeated, Panic-Stricken In Your Current Job?”

  1. You just made me laugh out loud! Good points! Carry on… your word pictures are incredible!

  2. Gayle Howard says:

    Love it! I’ve recently become a convert to stress/relaxation and guided visualisation techniques and I’m just boring people senseless with how well they work. But seriously, for people who are in this constant state of anxiety, just taking some time to turn the phone off, remove yourself from distractions and either follow a stress relaxation audio, or think and visualise yourself making the decision to leave, envisage yourself successfully applying for jobs, and seeing yourself leaving behind the job that causes such anxiety can have a hugely positive affect on a person’s mindset. Fun article!

    • robert says:

      Thank you, Gayle. You make some great points here. That is why Jac and I escape to our sailboat. No phones, no internet. Just wind and waves, best stress reliever on the planet for us.

  3. It’s hard to imagine any day worse than the one you described! I do know that many people view their jobs as akin to the situation outlined here. It is never too early to start preparing for a change! Thanks for this rich visualization/reminder!

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