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Feeling Disempowered At Work

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For many of us, working is a struggle. We try hard to raise our families, to obtain our degrees, to pursue our dreams and earn a good living. Then we get to our places of work and are promptly undervalued, or worse, completely overlooked, or what's even more frustrating, disempowered and stripped of our dignity, integrity and autonomy.
We don't get raises and we don't get positive feedback. We don't get kudos and we don't get a feeling of community. We DO get criticized and we do get blamed for all manner of issues or problems which may or may not be related to something we've done. We get to absorb the negative energy and arrogance and stress of our workplace.

Not only that, but in this economic climate, we are expected to be so grateful simply to have a job that we feel horribly immature should the slightest edge of disgruntlement creep into our tone.
It's a sort of entrapment.
We love our families and we need our paychecks. We, in some instances, feel that we are dedicated professionals with long sight; visions of where we may actually want to be in ten years and sparked by intellectual pursuits of such a path.
Yet we are undermined and emotionally drained by feeling as if we are being continually slapped against the side of a ship in the midst of a terrible storm out, out in the deep somewhere, scrambling for the deck, holding on for dear life, and soaked to the bone.
What can we do to stay motivated and caring in the face of this type of adversity? How can we continue to empower ourselves so that we can show up, be our best and take positive criticism for what it's worth and leave the rest behind?
It's important to remember that while we would all hope our work and our lives were acknowledged, valued and respected, it's so often the case that they're not. As strong people, we must give ourselves the courage to go on with our work, with what we consider to be important; to stay true to our values and ourselves even in the face of disempowerment at work and anywhere else we may encounter it.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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