Are You Being Taken for Granted on the Job?
bringing yourself to work / April 17, 2017

Are You Being Taken for Granted on the Job? In previous posts, you actually had it good when your boss valued you too much to let you go. You get the same outcome but none of the kudos if it is taken for granted you will do your job well. Some jobs are easier to take for granted. Examples might be the background organization of a big meeting or convention, production of a regular report, or delivery of a well-established program. Here, obviously, fighting fires is considered failure. Other jobs seem to consist largely of putting out fires. People in them are more likely to be hailed as company heroes but frankly, even a job like that can fall into this category if the incumbent tries hard enough. How do you know if you’re being taken for granted? It’s mostly a feeling but here are some cues: A proposal impacts your area but nobody consults on whether it will cause you glitches. Your work problems are considered trivial (e.g. the sound system isn’t up to the size of the room). Your evaluations emphasize “does a good job; delivers what is required” and not “exciting new project successfully delivered” or “huge…

Talking to Your Boss about Being Trapped in a Job
bringing yourself to work / April 10, 2017

Talking to Your Boss about Being Trapped in a Job We’ve discussed when being too good at your job can impede your career. This can occur when your boss has a dog-in-the-manger view of good staff; he wants to keep them even if they don’t want to be kept. Whether to talk to your boss It’s an option. With some real benefits. If he truly didn’t realize you were unhappy, you two could discuss a path which suits you both. However, and this is a big however, your boss may know what he’s doing and will respond defensively when it is raised. Look at your boss in other situations. When things go wrong, does he look for a scapegoat? In meetings, does he let others talk or lay down the law? Do you know to watch your ps and qs with him to avoid offending? Things like this should make you think twice. Let your gut be your guide. The conversation You’ve decided that, for all his bluster, your boss is a good enough guy you think he’ll listen. I’ll run through a possible conversation, with commentary on the side. Pick a good time—end of day can be YOU: Ben,…

Avoiding the Dangers of Being Too Good at Your Job
bringing yourself to work / April 3, 2017

Avoiding the Dangers of Being Too Good at Your Job The answer is not, of course, to start being bad at your job. That really is cutting your nose off to spite your face. And I am assuming you are keeping your eye on the job ads. While you are doing that, there are other options to try to address the issue. Talk to your boss? This is where the assessment of jerkiness comes in. If you can see that your boss is demanding but fair; if he doesn`t suffer fools gladly but gives praise when merited; if he yells in anger but also in excitement—this might be a boss you can talk to. However, if he is kind of mean-spirited or petty or if he is a follow-the-rules-no-matter-what type, you might not want to. It`s a judgment call. If you`re doubtful, I would tend not to. Because I want to cover the other two points, I will do a separate post on how to have the discussion with your boss on this if you think it might be productive. Train others You probably get a lot of recognition from how skilled you are at your job. You may have…

Is Your Boss Impeding Your Career?
bringing yourself to work / March 27, 2017

Is Your Boss Impeding Your Career? Good bosses do not impede employees’ careers. Good bosses give you opportunities to prepare you for the next big step. Good bosses coach and encourage. However, good bosses are like good people; they are not found everywhere. How do you know if your boss is being a jerk in this instance? Your boss ISN’T necessarily trying to impede your career if he: Is very demanding Often forgets to say thank you Won’t approve the time off for your dream vacation Even yells and screams Just because you dislike him for a particular reason doesn’t necessarily mean that he is out to stab you in the back. Look for a pattern Has your boss made it impossible for you to move onto some more interesting project more than once/get skill-building training, etc.? Just once may be exactly what he says—that you are too valuable at this particular point to let you go. But if it happens more than once, you may be experiencing this phenomenon. When you might legitimately expect pushback However, the timing may also be critical. For example, say you’ve been on the job for six months and have pulled off a brilliant…

The Dangers of Being Too Good at Your Job
bringing yourself to work / March 20, 2017

The Dangers of Being Too Good at Your Job Some people have the charming but erroneous belief that all they need to do to get ahead is be good at their jobs. I have discussed this in other posts, but I want to focus on a particular subset—when it can actually be bad for your career to be good. When being good is bad A couple of things have to kick in for this to happen but they are not that uncommon. Your boss sees you as instrumental to his success First, of course, you have to be good at your job. And often be the only one in your area who can do whatever you do as well as you do it (did that sentence make sense? I think it did—anyhow, you are very, very good). Because of this, you’re instrumental in your boss reaching his goals, so he needs your work even if he never admits it. But he knows. He may even praise you in team meetings and other internal venues. Your boss is a jerk But there is a necessary second condition—your boss is kind of a jerk. Because your boss knows he needs you, he…