Archive for December, 2013

How to Get Your Boss Fired

Dec 31 2013 Published by under Uncategorized

Gallup’s most recent release of its ongoing research study “State of the American Workplace” finds that most workers point to their boss as the source of workplace dissatisfaction. This is hardly surprising given the pop-culture status of the bad boss. From television to movies, the bad boss is well represented. From Office Space to “The Office”, the bad boss is so bad he’s good. He’s legendary. In reality, however, a bad boss can be demoralizing. A bad boss can turn the job you love into the job you hate. So what do you do? Do you quit your job, or do you eliminate the problem at its source?

Julia Richardson By Julia Richardson

Getting your boss fired is not easy feat. In fact, the odds are against you. There is a real possibility that you will end up fired instead.  With this in mind, proceed with caution and consider the following:

Document Everything
Psychology Today detailed the top reasons why people hate their boss and the associated bad boss flaws. What is it that your bad boss is doing? Is it illegal? Is he demeaning? Is he simply incompetent? Whatever category it falls into, log it. Note it. Be vocal. Write it down so that you have specific details. If possible, corroborate what happened with others. Your documentation serves as proof of your boss’s shortcomings and failures.

The-office-michael-scott

Strength in Numbers
Once you’ve documented your own experiences, you want to find others that share your frustration to document their own experiences. Talk to your coworkers. Encourage them to document their own incidents. Document group experiences and back one another up. When trumping management hierarchy, there’s strength in numbers. If you try to take on the boss alone, you may be seen as a renegade with a grudge.

A Bad Boss is Bad for Business
When bosses are bad, morale goes down. When morale goes down, so does performance. This means that a bad boss is bad for business. Your bad boss is hurting the company, and the issue needs to be addressed with relevant parties. Talk to HR if you feel comfortable doing so, or consider talking to your boss’s boss.

Communication is Key
Present your documentation and evidence from a place of concern. Be direct, but not accusatory. Explain how your boss’s behavior affects the workplace environment. Make your case in detail, be concise and offer up your evidence and documentation. Make sure your coworkers do the same. Offer up proof that your boss is a liability, not an asset.

Be Prepared for the Worst
If all your efforts fail to pay off and you just can’t shake your bad boss, consider your options. You can choose to stay at your current job, or you can choose to quit.  You may also consider transferring to another department with a different boss. The choice is yours. In the meantime, there’s always the bad boss survival manual courtesy of Forbes to tide you over.  Don’t let a bad boss stand in between you and workplace happiness, but if you decide to go into battle, be prepared for the worst.

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How to Deal with a Difficult Boss

Dec 23 2013 Published by under Uncategorized

Deal with your boss by accommodating his weakness

In the perfect world, everyone of us would have fantastic managers who help us grow, value our input and make us feel important around the workplace. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case…. whether your boss is lazy and incompetent or demanding and insensitive, many of us has had to deal with a boss who was either a bully, condescending or just downright difficult at one point or another in their career. It’s what makes movies like Office Space, Horrible Bosses and other similar movies popular as most of us can relate to the story line.

While it can be incredibly frustrating working for someone who doesn’t have a productive management style, especially if they don’t show you the respect and appreciation you deserve, there are ways to handle the situation so that you both can co-exist.

First and foremost, the best overall piece of advice is to make sure that you keep working hard, as it’ll be difficult for management to fire you if you’re doing your job well. It also helps to do a good job so that if you do have to file a complaint against your boss, you have a stellar reputation, otherwise if you’re known for slacking off, the tables may get turned on you.

 

With that said, below are a few tricks to dealing with a difficult boss by using their shortcomings or behavioral quirks to your advantage.

Here are six successful techniques for how to deal with a difficult boss:

1.      Maintain a Positive Attitude

Deal with a difficult boss with a positive attutude

The first and most important technique for dealing with a difficult boss is to remain positive regardless of the situation. There are bosses that want to see fear or tears in your eyes. Don’t give them the satisfaction of falling apart when they are being overly critical or insensitive. Stay calm, hold a smile, and always respond politely and positively. You can vent to yourself in the car on the way home. If you show a bully boss that their bullying doesn’t rattle you, they may stop doing it.

2.      Accommodate Your Boss’ Weaknesses

Deal with a difficult boss by using their weakness' against them

Even people in senior level management positions have weaknesses. Instead of complaining that your boss is never organized, help him or her to become more organized. Create a simple, organizational system and help maintain it. This will make both of your jobs easier and could even improve your boss’ mood.

3.      Work on Your Boss’ Terms

Dealing with a bullying boss

Your boss many be difficult, but he or she is still the boss. They have the ability to make your job miserable or even fire you if you don’t show them the respect they expect (regardless if you think they deserve it). Always work around their schedule and follow their instructions. You can make suggestions on how something could be done differently, but it is not a good idea to push the issue, especially if you have a difficult boss.

4.      Document All Communication

Document all communication when dealing with a horrible boss

If your boss is forgetful or indecisive, it is a good idea to document all conversations. Hopefully your boss likes to communicate via email or text, which will document everything for you. If your boss likes to cover your daily or weekly responsibilities in a lengthy face-to-face meeting, make sure to take detailed notes. Ask your boss if it is okay to read back the notes (especially any duties he or she has asked of you) at the end of the meeting to confirm that you fully understand what your boss needs from you.

5.      Be Sympathetic

Even if your boss is horrible, you may want to show sympathy

It may be hard to be sympathetic to your boss, especially if they behave like a tyrant, but they do have a lot of responsibilities resting on their shoulders. Their curt or aggressive tactics may be due to the pressure they are feeling from their own bosses or from company share-holders. At the end of the day, just about everyone has someone that they need to answer to. It might not make it right that your boss is taking their personal frustrations out on you, but we’ve all been there, and by acknowledging that fact, it may help you to deal with a difficult boss.

6.      Don’t Take it Personal

A key for how to deal with a difficult boss is not to take it personally, especially if your boss is ridiculously demanding and then gets frustrated with you because you couldn’t pull off the impossible. As long as you are always doing the best that you can to fulfill your boss’ request that’s all he or she can really ask of you. If your best is still not good enough to satisfy your boss, but he or she still continues to employ you, don’t let it get to you. Deep down your boss knows he or she has unrealistic expectations, otherwise you would have already been replaced by someone who could pull off their impossible requests.

Learn how to deal with a difficult boss is never easy, but you can make it more manageable by maintaining a positive attitude, accommodating for your boss’ weaknesses, working on your boss’ terms, documenting all communication, by being sympathetic, and by not taking it too personal. If it is still unbearable, the only other option may be to find a new job. Just keep in mind that there is no guarantee your new boss will be any better.

Learn if you should quit your job by using our patent-pending decision maker which will help you determine if it’s better for you to stay where you are or to look for a new job.

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Fired for Facebook

Dec 19 2013 Published by under Uncategorized

Facebook firings are becoming more common as employers deploy monitoring services meant to keep tabs on their reputation. You can find a long list of civil rights lawyers and right-minded bloggers who believe we should be allowed the protection of free speech when it comes to whistle blowing. The National Labor Relations Board actually encourages individuals to band together to address issues at work. However, there is a difference between calling out an illegal action taking place in the workplace and airing your dirty laundry. Employees always have the right to state their opinion, but libel or slander about individuals will not only get you fired, but could also land you in the courtroom.

There are many examples where people got fired for Facebook, including a Colleton County, SC paramedic who shared a video (see below) on his Facebook page depicting slow fire department response times.

There are even articles telling how to engineer your firing.

Now that you know to be careful, you have to ask yourself if you’re doing enough to be careful. Here are ten ways you may not be:

  1. Liking an inappropriate post
  2. Friending the wrong person
  3. De-friending the wrong person
  4. Not friending your boss
  5. Posting during working hours (they can see that!)
  6. Posting pictures of what you did on your sick day
  7. Being tagged in another incriminatory photo
  8. Posting about work (don’t do it at all!)
  9. Taking Facebook tests that show your stupidity
  10. Posting too much

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Don’t quit your job and talk about it!

Dec 17 2013 Published by under Uncategorized

Consider your worst break-up ever and you’ll come close to the way it might be when you quit your job. Nothing is more difficult (or dangerous) than cutting off a jealous boss from your valuable resources, difficult for you and dangerous to your reputation. Boss’s have the ability to spread rumors and lies about how you worked on the job. Sour grapes goes with the territory of trading up for something better. You may not be sorry, but your boss could be.

To mitigate any problems you might face in the immediate days after you quit your job, it’s a good idea to shut down your Facebook page and to avoid Twitter. Not only will your bragging about quitting not go over well with your friends or parents, it can actually create legal problems for you. Talking about companies on your social media accounts can get you into real trouble. Just ask Reed Hastings who talked about Netflix and got the ire of the U.S. government. We’ve long known that what you post on Facebook can get you fired, but what you say can have long-lasting ramifications for future job prospects.

RageQuitter

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How to get a coworker fired

Dec 13 2013 Published by under Uncategorized

Have you ever had a coworker so annoying, ill mannered, or otherwise awful that you considered quitting your job to escape? If so, you aren’t alone. Workers cite their relationships with coworkers as one of the top 10 reasons why they quit – just below “relationship with boss” and “boredom.”

Unfortunately, the annoying coworker is a fixture in almost any job setting. You can run but you can’t hide. Unless you work alone, the new will simply replace the old. And so, from Internet memes to dedicated Reddit threads, we vent our frustration and think about quitting – anything for a reprieve. But what if you didn’t have to quit? What if you could somehow get your coworker to quit instead?

Career Realism lists 5 strategies to help you deal with horrible coworkers. If you’ve voiced your concerns to your boss and/or encouraged your coworker to pursue an alternate career path without results, consider your own options.

Julia Richardson

By Julia Richardson

Admittedly, getting an annoying coworker to quit is no easy feat, but it’s not impossible. If you want your annoying coworker to quit, begin with one of the following.

1. Talk to your boss

Make an appointment or set-aside time to have a one-on-one talk with your supervisor. If your annoying coworker is not just annoying, but also causing harm to you, other coworkers or the company, let your boss know. In this situation, you are not a “snitch,” you are merely communicating your concerns.  Now is not a time for a detailed list of grievances. Your goal is to bring your coworker’s behavior to your boss’s attention.

Keep in mind that your boss may or may not be aware of your coworker’s behavior, or the extent of the behavior.  From the outside, it may even seem that you are friends with your coworker. By talking to your boss, however, you put distance between yourself and your coworker. It also gives your boss the opportunity to do the dirty work. Depending on the offense, your boss may opt to document and fire your coworker.  He may, however, opt for a more indirect solution. According to Business News Daily, you should consider other sneaky ways that bosses use to get employees to quit.

annoyingcoworker

2. Talk to your coworker
Just as there are several types of annoying people in life, there are many types of annoying coworkers. In a Huffington Post article, Richie Frieman lists 9 types of annoying coworkers. Forbes goes a bit further, foregoing the term “annoying” and replacing it with “toxic,” which is just as accurate a descriptor. Wherever your coworker falls in the spectrum, it’s important to remember that you cannot make him quit. What you can do, however, is encourage it.

Talk to your coworker. If he’s the classic narcissist or the entitled know it all, feed his ego. Without being negative or talking badly about your current job, encourage him to seek work elsewhere, whether it is with another company or within your current company in another position (as far away from you as possible).  You may find he’s not lazy, just dissatisfied with his current position and his annoying behavior is just a symptom of that dissatisfaction. Encouraging him to seek greener pastures can be mutually beneficial. He may find a better job that makes him happy and/or allows him to annoy other people, while you are free to focus on your work without distraction.

Regardless of whether you choose to talk to your boss or your annoying coworker, it is important that you remember to keep your composure. Fox Business lists 12 of the quickest ways to get fired. You don’t want to quit, so the last thing you want is to get fired. Remember, your goal is to get your coworker to quit. Instead of being negative, stay positive. Be honest. Remain ethical. Don’t lie. Don’t cheat. Don’t gossip. Don’t get so frustrated with your coworker that you become an emotional drain on the company or others. Most importantly, be aware of your limitations. You can’t make your boss fire someone and you can’t make someone quit. Ultimately, that is out of your control. What you can do, however, is control you.

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How to quit your job via text message

Dec 10 2013 Published by under Uncategorized

Of all the ways to quit, quitting via text message hardly qualifies as ideal, creative, or meaningful. In fact, it’s pretty much the opposite. Take for example, this guy. He sings his departure complete with harmonious backup vocals. It may be unconventional, but his approach to quitting obviously took thought. Quitting via text message, on the other hand, requires minimal effort- simply pick up your phone and you’re done two words later (or more if you’re feeling festive).

While quitting via song may be appropriate, is it ever okay to quit your job via text message? The knee-jerk reaction from most is an emphatic NO. Dig a little deeper and you’ll find that answer varies depending on age, but even that is shifting as our social norms evolve. Even so, when it comes to quitting via text message, consider the following.

Increased use of Technology
Recent research shows that 91% of Americans 18 and older own a cell phone and 81% of those cell phone users send and receive text messages. Clearly, texting is a popular means of communication for young and old alike. The younger you are, the more you embrace texting and the less you question its appropriateness in workplace communication.  While the increased use of technology is redefining the rules, these changes haven’t fully translated to the workplace. It may be wise to consider your boss’s age as well as to what extent technology is embraced in your profession before quitting your job via text.

Julia Richardson

By Julia Richardson

Workplace Etiquette
So why does the prospect of quitting via text bring so much backlash? Workplace etiquette. Oh, the rules. Workplace etiquette says that you quit in person, complete with a letter of resignation. Even “modern lists” citing workplace etiquette are wary of technology. There is a certain order to things and there are rules.  And when it comes to texting “I quit” to your boss, workplace etiquette is clear: Don’t do it.

Less Guilt Involved
In Britain, a survey found that 38% of workers admit to “calling in sick” via text. Why? Because there’s less guilt involved. Suspicious? Perhaps, but no more or less suspicious than feigning a cough or sore throat. The same survey found that 52% admitted they would prefer to fire someone or end a business relationship via email or text for the same reason: Guilt.  If you’re unhappy and desperately need to quit, or if you’ve already lined up another job, quitting your job via text is definitely an attractive option.

Burned Bridges
People don’t just quit their job via text; they get fired too. I had no idea this was a “thing” until I read a Wall Street Journal article about it, complete with examples. “How horrible!” I thought. And yes, it’s horrible, but then again, so is losing your job in general. But to be fired via text is less personal. It also leaves little chance for rebuttal. Your boss may feel the same way. It’s much like a relationship, the option is yours, but choosing to quit via text could lead to unresolved negative feelings. In other words, if you quit via text, you probably shouldn’t ask for a reference. And if you need a reference, you probably shouldn’t quit via text message.

With these considerations in mind, should you quit your job via text message? Would you? Most likely the answer is still no, at least for now. Unless, of course, you want to go out with a bang. After all, creativity isn’t contingent upon your singing ability. Several people recount the creative (and sometimes passive-aggressive) ways that they quit in an Aol. Jobs article. When compared to filling your boss’s computer with viruses or keying his car, quitting via text looks like a much better alternative. Given the choice, your boss may prefer a simple text.

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How to Quit Over the Phone

Dec 05 2013 Published by under Uncategorized

Quitting your job over the phone isn’t ideal. In a perfect world, you can sit down face-to-face with your boss or supervisor to talk about the news. In this perfect world, we are polite and well mannered, even if our boss or job isn’t deserving of such special treatment. We probably even use fancy words for “quit,” like “resign.” And nerves? We’re not nervous at all. No worries, right?

In reality, quitting can be a terrifying experience – or maybe that’s just me. I’ve quit jobs in person, over the phone, and even via email. All instances were torturous. I personally prefer the phone because it’s more personal than email, but less frightening than sitting uncomfortably in an office with your facial expressions and body language on display.

So, how exactly do you quit your job over the phone?

First, you need to have your boss’s phone number. It may seem obvious, but this is essentially the first hurdle you need to clear if you want to quit your job over the phone. Once upon a time, I worked for a big box store where I didn’t know my boss’s phone number. Because I didn’t have his number, bidding adieu over the phone wasn’t really an option, so I quit in person.

Julia Richardson

By Julia Richardson

Next, you want to make sure you don’t call at times generally regarded as inconvenient. Don’t call too late. Don’t call too early. Don’t call around meal times. Don’t call on weekends. If you don’t know your boss’s personal number and will be calling his office phone, don’t call at the end of the workday. In fact, if you’re calling his office phone, send him an email and let him know you need to talk to him and ask him what time works best.

Now that the logistics are settled, it’s time to think about what you want to say. You’re doing this over the phone, so feel free to write it out. Personally, I like to write down bullet points as opposed to complete sentences to read. If you’re nervous, practice a little bit beforehand. When I quit over the phone, I like to begin with why I’m calling (to quit). I typically follow with my reason for quitting and wrap up the conversation with something positive, either about the company or the job experience. That last bit can be challenging depending on the job, but it helps wrap up the conversation.

Once you’ve settled on where to call, when to call, and what to say, it’s time to make the call. Good luck!

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What to do after you decide to quit

Dec 03 2013 Published by under Uncategorized

So you’ve made up your mind. You have to quit your job. You need to quit. Maybe it’s your boss, the endless commute, the office environment, or the monotony. Or maybe it’s all of the above. Whatever your reasons, the decision has been made. Now what?

Know that you’re not alone. We’ve all been unhappy with a job at some point. In fact, recent data from Gallup finds that only 13 percent of workers worldwide actually like their jobs.

Unfortunately, quitting isn’t so simple. With work comes money, and we need that money to pay for our houses and cars and food.  We may hate our jobs, but we do love the things it affords us. This makes the decision to quit your job tricky, but not impossible. With careful planning, you can save enough money to quit your current job and find a more fulfilling career.

The first thing you need to do is to think about the career you want. You’re obviously unhappy in your current job, so what is it that you want to do? Maybe you’ve found that you have a passion for photography. Maybe you decide to go back to school or pursue an advanced degree. Do you envision yourself as self-employed or is your unhappiness at your current job merely personnel related? Think about where you are and where you want to be.

Julia Richardson

By Julia Richardson

After you’ve determined your plans for the future, calculate how much money you will need. You should aim to save enough to cover six month’s worth of expenses. This figure will vary widely from person to person and by location. It will also vary widely depending on your future plans. If you plan on becoming a freelance photographer, you will need equipment and transportation, along with the associated maintenance and fuel expenses. If you simply want another job, expect at least six months on the market, a figure that may also vary based on location and profession. Whatever your plans, don’t lowball your figure. Be realistic.

Now that you’ve got a number, consider how much you can save each paycheck. This is a good time to look at your current budget. Write down all expenses. You may see areas that can be trimmed. Be conscious of your spending. All too often we spend without thinking, but this is a habit that can easily be broken with a little self-awareness.

Once you’ve evaluated your budget and begin to think about how you are going to set aside the cash. If you don’t have a savings account, get one. You want to keep your “quit” money separate from your spending money. Otherwise, it’s much harder to keep it saved. Out of sight, out of mind. Do you have direct deposit? Consider allocating a set amount to be sent to your savings account each paycheck. This way you’re not as tempted to keep a little extra for now. You’ll thank yourself later.

Ultimately, you want to make sure you can live comfortably and save accordingly. With a little planning you can take money out of the equation. Whatever your reasons for quitting, life is too short to be miserable. Plan, save, and quit. And, if you find that you no longer hate your job when quitting time comes, take a look at your savings account and smile.

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