Tag Archives: comparison

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job frustration

Job Frustration and the Comparisons We Choose

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Feeling frustrated? Wondering where the six figure jobs are, how to get one, and why it hasn’t happened for you? Whether it is salary, perks, or a better office, job frustration is really about comparisons.

Compared to What?

If you were in the workforce prior to 1985 there is a good chance you started your career without much concern about Gigabytes. Much has changed.

Were you in the workforce prior to 1995? If yes, cellular phones were somewhat rare, texting phone-to-phone didn’t exist. Much has changed.

We can find data points and comparisons for 1975, and 2005 too. We are always living in a, “compared to what,” environment.

Perhaps comparison is the root cause of frustration.

Greener Grass

Many know about the, “grass is always greener,” or “keeping up with the Joneses.” We once wondered about comparisons and societal standings with the hit sitcom, The Jeffersons. Today it may be reality television with the Kardashians.

We can compare our lives, style of living, and even our career with reality television in a variety of flavors. If that doesn’t rattle our emotions we can tune in to an even broader perspective through Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Does this lead to job frustration? It certainly can, and often does. We hear of six figure jobs, we see job advertisements with big promises, and we even check published public records just to see how the other side is living.

Frustration can lead to innovation.

A better can opener, coffee maker, and a convection oven. Are these innovative or mostly marketing hype? Many would likely suggest some of both.

If your job and career is important to you, great. What about doing a good job, finishing within budget, and delivering quality work? Is that important, if yes, great.

Does it make you happy?

Job Frustration

Comparisons often don’t make us very happy. Many times, there is some myth, the untold story, or a wild exaggeration. These comparisons make us frustrated.

Job frustration may be about the comparisons we choose. If it isn’t innovative, helping, or making you happy perhaps you need a different comparison.

Consider that there should be a difference between your personal data points and the ones that society suggests.


Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+

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comparing performance

Comparing Performance, Is That The Best Way?

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People who shop for a new car often compare feature by feature with a competitive brand. The same is often true for buying a television, a washing machine, or the new techie gadget. Do you believe comparing performance is important for your career or is it mostly counterproductive?

Amateur or Professional

Professional business coaching is an interesting skill. So many amateur coaches want to dive right in and give the textbook representation for what to do next. The reality is that it isn’t that simple. Each person is different, at a different place, with different needs, and as such, they need different coaching.

I love it when I talk with people trying to start a practice. They’ve often invested in training, but their training seldom teaches them that one size does not fit all. If there is an attempt to teach it, the students apparently fail to learn.

It happens with the fitness coach. Pick up that kettle bell and swing it until you puke.

And the change coach. You must let go of your fears. It is fear that is holding you back.

The truth of it often is that this is the recommendation that they use for themselves or something that has worked with a different client or is found on page 35 in the textbook. It is helpful and appropriate to some, but not all.

Data Comparison

The problem may be in the comparison. Data can be a great resource, but when the data is not used appropriately, it is not good data.

Many people find themselves comparing their performance to an expectation. That expectation may be based on observable data, past performance, benchmark data, or in some cases the expectations of others.

It may be that we are at a place where finding ways to be disappointed has never been easier. Some will compare their vacations, their home, or their eye makeup on social media. Others may observe job titles, inflated salaries, and someone’s MLM selling skills.

Their data is entirely based on their network of people, and frankly, it is easy to become disappointed. What many never consider is that the very data they compare to is exaggerated. It isn’t necessarily real. Of course the data may be real, but its origins and authenticity are questionable.

Those with research skills may quickly suggest that it is not valid or reliable.

Comparing Performance

Perhaps for your own individual performance the best comparison is against your own data. What (supposedly) worked for someone else may not be best for you. Try comparing performance against where you are at right now. Establish your own baseline and create goals appropriate for you.

It is easy to find someone else who has a better car, a better job, or is in better physical shape. What is the point of that? That isn’t your data, and you don’t even know if it is real.

Sometimes the best part about their data, is that it provides motivation. Motivation is good, just be sure to compare your performance to your own realistic goal.


Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+

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Compared to…

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Comparison conversations often lack the comparison. My way is better, his business is better, she has a better job, and they have a better house, car, boat, and life. There’s more, this tastes better, these shoes are more comfortable, and her hair looks better. Compared to what?


Some comparisons occur because of the difference of what we have, want, or need. Other comparisons come with the price of judgment, bias, and envy. Still other comparisons are believed to measure health, wealth, or happiness. Compared to what?

Discovering your success may be a comparison, but it should always be compared to your goal.


Photo Credit: Steven Depolo

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