Career Calling

March 8, 2014

The Upside of Anger

In the April issue of Psychology Today, Joann Ellison Rodgers reports on new psychological research on anger.  Traditionally anger has been seen as a negative emotion that hurts both mental and physical health.  Rodgers cites several experts who have found another side of anger.  They argue that anger can lead people to make changes. People who are upset are more like to try to change something.

This article made me think about many of the clients I’ve encountered over the last ten years.  Of those who were currently employed, most had some grievance against their company or boss.  Since the Crash of 2008, many clients have made me share their anger by telling stories of increased workloads that are reward by salary freezes or cuts.  One of my recent clients is a production manager who also has a sales function.  Last year he put in extra hours to help the company where he has worked for more than 10 years.  While maintaining all of his production duties, he also doubled his sales numbers.  He expected to receive a bonus at his annual review in December.  Instead, the owner told him “times are tough” and cut his pay by 10%.  That made him angry enough to look for a new job.

His story makes me angry as well, which is why I’m telling it.  Too many people are working too hard and not being properly rewarded.  That’s why many workers in the U.S. are very, very angry.  Hopefully, they will come together and change things to make their lives better.

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