Office Party Dos and Dont’s

Dec 07 2015 Published by under Uncategorized

Tis the season for office parties, and many of us will be attending one in some facet in the coming weeks. Some may involve food. Some may involve alcohol. All provide a way to get to know one another in an informal setting and let loose. It is about celebrating the year behind you and looking forward to what is to come. And you should have fun. You should let loose. You should not, however, forget about etiquette and professionalism.

Here are a few tips to make sure you leave the party with your reputation in tact.

Don’t Have Too Many Drinks

The goal is to have fun. The goal is not, however, to drink your coworkers under the table. You are not at a party with your friends; you are there with your colleagues. You want them to respect you afterward. Alcohol is dangerous at office parties, and in general, because it can impair judgment. What seems like a really good idea at the time may prove disastrous the next day.

Don’t Act Like You’re in a Bar

There may be fun to be had and it may be a party, but the office party is not—we repeat—not a single’s bar. Sure, you’ll see a new side to your coworkers, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t offer the same in office respect. Save the pick up lines and resist the temptation to act on any romantic feelings.

Do Watch Your Language

Again, just because you can relax, doesn’t mean you should get too relaxed. Foul language and off-colored remarks may just land you in the hot seat on Monday morning. At worst, it could get you fired.

Do Keep Your Guard Up

Part of successfully achieving all of the above is by relaxing, but not relaxing too much. You should relax, of course, but always keep your guard up and understand how your behavior reflects on yourself and your company.

 

 

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How to Handle Mistakes at Work

Nov 30 2015 Published by under Uncategorized

We are all human. And humans make mistakes. Even so, mistakes at work can seem monumental. You may be embarrassed. You may have caused a headache for human resources, or even legal problems. A mistake is not as bad as you may think, as long as it is addressed and handled in the appropriate way. Here is how.

Admit the Mistake

Once you are aware of the mistake, you should tell your boss about it as soon as possible. Of course, if the mistake is miniscule and can be corrected quickly before it causes a problem. This does not mean that you should hide your mistakes, but applies only to those small errors with little impact. Hiding other mistakes will make you appear dishonest if uncovered by someone else in the office, whereas being upfront and honest about your mistakes makes you appear professional—just as you are. And integrity is a trait admired by employers.

Offer Solutions

For those larger mistakes, think about what can be done to correct the mistake and have this plan in mind before you confess to your boss. This shows that you have thought about the problem and are taking the initiative to correct your mistake. With this in mind, your possible solutions should include one primary, along with a few alternatives if necessary. Your plan should be clearly thought through and include costs involved in implementation.

Accept Blame

Part of accepting the blame means to resist the temptation to blame anyone or anything else for your mistake. In the event that the mistake was done as part of a collaborative effort with coworkers, you still shouldn’t point fingers.

Yes, you should admit and accept blame. Yes, you should offer ways to fix the problem. What you shouldn’t do, however, is beat yourself up over your mistake. This doesn’t help correct the mistake in a meaningful way and can make you seem unstable.

Ultimately, use your mistakes as an opportunity to grow in your job and in your career. Let those around you know that you are not afraid to handle the good and the bad.

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Valid Reasons to Call in Sick

Nov 23 2015 Published by under Uncategorized

Thinking of calling in sick to work? Most of us have done it before. Sometimes, it is because we are actually physically ill. Sometimes we need a mental health day. Yet most of us have a certain amount of guilt when we do, regardless of our reasons.

Sometimes, we are afraid that the work will not get done without us. Sometimes, we know we need to finish a particular project and simply cannot afford to miss the work that has to be done. But, if you are sick you are sick, and studies show that an employee that is sick is not productive. This means that going to work when you are sick is not helpful to anyone, nor is it a good use of resources. And, it also means that you could potentially spread your sickness to your coworkers who will then be faced with their own calling in sick dilemma.

If you still are not sure whether or not your sickness warrants a day in bed, this list of common sickness and symptoms are all valid reasons to pick up the phone and stay in bed.

Upset Stomach

If you’ve ever had a stomach virus you know that it can be rather violent. You may have diarrhea or you may be vomiting. While it could be a bout of food poisoning, it may also be a dreaded stomach virus. And a stomach virus is VERY contagious.

The Flu

If you were completely fine only to wake up with a fever, aches and chills, it’s highly likely that you have the flu. There is no “cure” when it comes to the flu, since it is a viral illness. In order to recover, you will need to rest. Also, just like a stomach virus, the flu is highly contagious. Why subject your coworkers to your misery unnecessarily?

Fever

When you run a fever, it means that your body is hard at work fighting an infection. While it may not be a viral infection, a fever guarantees that you feel horrible and will be pretty useless even if you did venture into the office. It’s far better to give your body rest and the strength to fight.

Sore Throat

While a sore throat may seem innocent enough, it could be a warning sign of something much worse, such as strep throat. We aren’t talking about your every day hoarseness, the kind of sore throat in question results in swollen glands and is usually accompanied by lethargy and fever. In the event of strep throat, an antibiotic will do the trick, but you’ll need to take the day off and visit the doctor for the treatment and the all clear.

While these three things are not a complete list of valid reasons, they are legitimate reasons to call in sick guilt free.

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Starting Your Work Week Off Right

Sep 14 2015 Published by under Uncategorized

Weekends offer the perfect release from the pressure during the week that comes from work and gives us the chance to spend time doing things we love with those we love. As the weekend starts coming to a close there are some things you can do in order to ensure that you start each work week off on the right foot.

Getting to work 30 minutes early

You should use this extra thirty minutes to start planning out how you want the week to go. You should do the following:

  • Look over last week’s calendar and the current week as well as next weeks.
  • Go over your project list
  • Examine your “to-do” lists
  • Evaluate your yearly business and personal goals
  • Review your paper inbox
  • Make a note of your inbox and the key folders but avoid answering emails just yet

You should also include in this are the three really important task or projects that are needing completion and also decide what could be delegated to another person for completion.

Create and protect time blocks

These created time blocks are time marked on your calendar that are dedicated to your top three aforementioned goals for the week. It is best to schedule these blocks at 60 to 90 minutes to give yourself plenty of time to focus on those goals. This time should be spent behind closed doors or even away from your office if need be.

By starting off each work week with a focus on goals, having a plan of action that is clear and giving yourself the right amount of time to focus on your scheduled work will help you to feel better, stop dreading Monday quite as much and you will start to notice a positive impact on both productivity and the results achieved during the week.

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How to Say No at Work

Jun 01 2015 Published by under Uncategorized

Saying ‘No’ comes easily for some, but for others can be quite difficult. After all, strong work ethic means we should be the person that says ‘yes’ at work, right?

Wrong. Or rather, not exactly.

Sure, you don’t want to be that person screaming NO at everyone, but you also don’t want to be the person agreeing to take on the world. Try as you may, you are only one person, and if you try to do too much you’ll end up burned out. Here’s what you need to know about how to say no at work.

 

The Art of Saying No

The art of saying “No” is difficult to master but the key to its success is in being graceful and respectful when doing so. Here are things to keep in mind when you’re tasked with saying “no”.

  • Be Polite: A great way to do this is to express gratitude that you were thought of to tackle the task at hand. “Sorry” is also a nice, polite word to include, but don’t dwell on the rejection. Smile, give thanks, apologize (when/if necessary) and move along.
  • Be Sincere: When saying no you need to come across as sincere. Don’t joke or appear aloof. Even if you are friends with your boss or co-worker, this is not the time for off-the-cuff remarks.
  • Be Clear: While being nice and polite when saying no is important, it is equally important that you make your “no” clear so there’s not any confusion or disappointment—either immediately or down the road.

After declining, suggest someone else for the job. This helps quell any awkward silence and redirects your decline into a positive solution.

 

Know When to Say No

Sometimes, knowing when to say no can be tricky. You shouldn’t avoid additional work like the plague. Tackling extra projects and expanding your skill set is something you should do—but you need to be aware of your limits and be willing and able to evaluate your work load realistically.

When unsure think about the following:

  • Who: Think of who is asking you to do something. Your boss or manager is priority, while others are not.
  • What: What is the task? Is it something you can do and/or are familiar with. Will it teach you anything? Will you learn from it? Will it help with your career development? What other things do you have on your plate, so to speak?
  • When: When does it need to be completed and when will you have to get it done?
  • Where: Where does it fit in with your other work projects? Will it put a strain on you?

As you can see, saying no or yes is complicated. There are a lot of independent variables that only you can account for. Ultimately, the ability to say no in the right way at the right time is an invaluable skill that will help you garner more respect in the workplace.

It may never be an easy task, but it is always a necessary one.

 

 

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