How to Improve Your Job (And Your Life)

Learn the only advice you’ll ever need to get through difficult situations at work and at home.

Lisa B. Marshall
4-minute read
Episode #138

One day a long time ago, when I was a young manager at a training company my then-boss Jane called me into her office to tell me I was too passionate. I don't remember much of anything else that day, but I do distinctly remember thinking, "Time to put on your big girl pants, Lisa." Meaning, even though I strongly disagreed with her analysis and advice, I either needed to significantly change my behavior or leave.

This sort of thing happens to all of us, perhaps more frequently than we'd like. Our managers, customers, employees, and even our profession at times demands things of us that we think are unreasonable or unfair. 


You Can Only Control Your Own Behavior

So what's the Quick and Dirty solution? Put on your big kid pants! Stop complaining and just do whatever you need to do to succeed in the environment you chose—or choose to leave that environment.

I know it’s not that simple. This can be really tough advice to follow. However, the bottom line is that you can't control your boss, your coworkers, your employees, your vendors or partners, or anyone else for that matter. The only thing you can control is your own behavior.

Here are 4 instances where putting on your big kid pants will help improve your life:

#1 When Your Boss is a Jerk

All of us have been in the situation when you want to roll your eyes and say to your boss, "You're a clueless jerk!" Instead, grit your teeth and think, "big kid pants, big kid pants, big kid pants…” Then, take a moment (or two or three or whatever you need) to sincerely think about the feedback you’ve received, no matter how it was delivered. You owe it to your boss and to yourself to see if there is even a grain of truth to the criticism. Then think about possible changes that you could make to adjust your behavior. You goal is to figure out what's most important to your boss and do that. And if you decide you can't or won't adapt, then you need to go.

#2 When Your Partners Aren’t Partnering

When you feel like your business partners are taking advantage of you, think about how you can strengthen the relationship.


About the Author

Lisa B. Marshall

Lisa B. Marshall Lisa holds masters with duel degrees in interpersonal/intercultural communication and organizational communication. She’s the author of Smart Talk: The Public Speaker's Guide to Success in Every Situation, as well as Ace Your Interview, Powerful Presenter, and Expert Presenter. Her work has been featured in CBS Money Watch, Ragan.com, Woman's Day, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, and many others. Her institutional clients include Johns Hopkins Medicine, Harvard University, NY Academy of Science, University of Pennsylvania, Genentech, and Roche.