Contributed by Noreen Sumpter, Personal Life Coach 


Q: I hate my job.

My co-workers and boss always dump their work on me. I want to leave but the economy is bad. How can I be happier at work? – William K


A: Set boundaries with your colleagues.


When you get hired to do a job or work for a corporation, they’ve hired you because you are the right person for the job.  You fit their needs and you have their desired skill set.  In turn, you’re excited about being the one chosen.  You fought the good fight and won.  Whoo hoo.

You’re excited about your job description.  You fit their budget; you’re fine with the prescribed salary and if you’re not they’ve hooked you with some sort of promise of a  bonus or perk.  The day that you joined the company of your dreams, you received a large binder with all you need to know about the company.  If you’re anything like me, you’ll skim through it and you’re golden.  The binder is filled with the do’s and don’ts and the musts and must nots, it’s clear that these are the company’s boundaries and rules for being a member of company.  In essence they are rules of their game.  

Skip ahead a few months: The novelty of being the new person has worn off now. You fit snuggly into your position. You have been on the job a few weeks or months, you’re smart enough and you pretty much have a general lay of the land by now.  What are your boundaries or the boundaries that you see that you have to create for yourself?

As an employee do you have clear, precise boundaries that you play by?  If so, are they something that can be laid out clearly to your bosses and co-workers, or are they boundaries that only you know about and everyone else has to read your mind to understand?  Do you have boundaries for your performance on the job? 

It is important that you understand what it is you will and will not tolerate so you can discover what works for you and what does not work.  This will enable you to organize yourself in a way that makes your life on the job comfortable.  This is an opportunity to help you to see where you compromise and how it can affect you mentally, physically, and emotionally.   Is it important for you to have timelines for your work?  Is it important that you take lunch and breaks for effective productivity throughout the day?  How important is it for your co-workers to respect your space and the work that you do?  Can you and do you welcome positive criticism or do you see criticism as a put down?  How important is it for you to take vacation or well-being days within the confines of your allowable time off?  Are you comfortable stating these needs in a confident way?

As a coach, I often tell people that anyone can ask you for anything, and if you have healthy boundaries your answers can be from a healthy place, not a personal place.  If your boundaries are unhealthy, you will take everything personally and be on the defensive side of the fence. 

Practicing truth with yourself gives you clarity and peace of mind will help you know what  your  boundaries and rules are.   It is important that your boundaries are clear in who you are being on the job.  It helps you to be clear about your responsibilities, your attitudes and how you get along with others.   It is important that you be clear in your communication and the promises that you make to yourself and to others. 


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Noreen Sumpter, Personal Life Coach: works with High Achievers who feel trapped in their private life. They lack personal confidence and self-esteem. By helping them clear mental clutter and dissolve limiting beliefs, they can take deliberate steps, own their voice, speak their truth and have the freedom to live life their way. “Live Life Your Way”

“Live Life Your Way”

Call 718-834-9450 or e-mail

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