Do you think you’re missed at your old job? If not, you should think again. Knowing how much you mattered may provide a much needed boost in self confidence.
65% of targets of workplace bullying will lose their job. And whether you transferred to escape, were fired unjustly, or took a stand and walked away from the abuse, those of us left reeling in the aftermath often feel defeated. Our confidence suffers as we struggle to separate our prior beliefs about ourselves from our devastating outcome. We often find ourselves wondering,
“Did my contributions mean anything? Did my self-sacrifice, hard work, and personal convictions even have a purpose? Did ANY of it really matter?”…
“Did I matter?”
But what if I could show you that what you did and who you were mattered greatly? That your work wasn’t in vain. And, in addition, there were consequences for the company losing YOU in the way they did.
Oh, they’re gonna miss you when you’re gone….and you’re about to learn just how much. Let’s start with why it’s so important to know you mattered in your workplace.
The Value of Being Missed
“The will to survive evolves, in a higher creature like us, into the will to matter.” – Rebecca Goldstein
When we are missed, we feel loved. When our absence creates a void, we know our presence was important. The sense that we’re missed in the workplace means our contributions made a difference and we had a positive impact. In other words, we mattered…And mattering is essential for our mental and physical health.
Sociologists predict that people who believe they don’t matter to others are more likely to be depressed. And depression often plagues the lives of workplace bullying targets. In fact, 49% of us will face clinical depression making it difficult to get back up, dust ourselves off and find a company worthy of us. Realizing just how much you mattered can turn that internal voice of unworthiness into one of hope, purpose, and possibilities once again.
So, how do we know we’re missed? Well, one way to know is that companies are spending millions of dollars to hire someone just like you.
You’re the One Everyone Wants
Ever wonder who gets bullied at work the most? Turns out, the best employees…employees just like YOU.
Companies that fail to protect their employees from abuse lose the very talent they work so hard to obtain. To show you just how true this is, I want to share an article in Monster.com where recruiters and career experts list the qualities they look for in candidates. Following each desired quality, I have included the exact characteristics targets are often known for. Be sure to make a note of each quality you confidently identified with prior to the abuse.
Ambition (achievements): Workplace bullying targets are often the most veteran, skilled, and competent employees.
Humility (focuses on teamwork): Workplace bullying targets are cooperative collaborators, are well-liked, and tend to have greater emotional intelligence.
Hustle (as depicted by effort, ethics, attitude): Targets have a high moral standard, are ethical and honest, and often have better social skills.
Positivity (great attitude, smile, energy, and optimism in interactions): Targets display warmth in the workplace and towards others, are conscientious, and tend to believe in a well-meaning, kind world.
Reliability: Targets are most often known as the go-to person. They feel ownership in their job and care deeply about the customer, company, and the products and services they deliver.
Transparency (open and forthcoming): Workplace bullying targets are known to be open and accountable, straight forward, and independent thinkers.
Your years of service, who you were as a person, the positive way in which you saw and embraced the world, the care you brought to your workplace…all of it mattered. And not only did your workplace lose all of this when they let you go, but they are going to have a tough time replacing someone like you.
Which brings me to another misconception that often hurts our self-esteem. Did you feel disposable when they let you go?
Let me assure you, you weren’t.
You’re Not Easily or Cheaply Replaced
The way in which we were exited from the workplace can appear, at first, to have no consequences and that can be extremely painful for our ego. But the truth is, there are repercussions that last weeks, months, and even years after your departure.
You see, no matter how hidden the bullies think their behavior may be, the presence of abuse in the workplace is always seen, heard and felt by others. Those left in the wake of a dedicated employee’s departure are now faced with the reality that their workplace is unsafe. Employees begin to disengage and companies can expect a major decline in morale, a decrease in service quality, a deterioration of integrity, an increase in absenteeism, and negative PR (and that’s just the short list!).
Another consequence to an abusive work environment is turnover. And turnover costs a company big time. While your position remains open, not only are they are losing the productivity you provided while they recruit, hire, and train, but there is no guarantee they will find someone with your commitment, experience, and knowledge. Companies with high turnover rates find it difficult to replace you with top talent.
So, let’s talk numbers.
Experts estimate that the replacement cost of an employee is approximately 1 1/2 times their salary. For example, a salary of $50,000 will cost $75,000 to replace. With the likelihood of turnover following your departure, just 7 employees following you out the door can cost the company over half a million dollars (and that’s a conservative estimate).
Get Ready to Rock It
As I reflect on my road to recovery, there are many powerful moments that come to mind. There were the ways in which I found peace, the steps I took to let go of the pain, and the beauty I found in gratefulness. But the truth is, for me, the moments with the greatest impact were the ones that helped me believe in myself again.
If you can begin to understand your need to matter. If you can see that you’re valuable. That your beautiful qualities are sought after and not hindrances. If you reject the notion that someone like you could ever be easily replaced –
That’s where you’ll find the confidence to get back out there, find a workplace that deserves you, and ROCK it once again.
Wherever you are in your career or recovery, I wish you success, peace, and most of all, good health.