Avoid the Dangers of Being Too Expert at Your Job

Avoid the Dangers of Being Too Expert 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 problem of being too expert to be promoted. 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 to be expert You probably get a lot of recognition from how…

Is Your Boss Impeding Your Career?

Is Your Boss Impeding Your Career? Good bosses do not impede employees’ careers. Good bosses give you opportunities to increase your competence and get ready 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…

The Dangers of Being Too Competent at Your Job

The Dangers of Being Too Competent at Your Job Some people have the charming but erroneous belief that all they need to do to get ahead is show how competent they are  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…

When All Else Fails, Dealing With a Threatened Boss

When All Else Fails, Dealing With a Threatened Boss In the previous post, I suggested ways to lower your boss’ threat level. In this, you need to recognize work really is different from home. At work, there is a hierarchy of more power and less. You have less. Your boss has more. Therefore, what he wants will often take precedence over your wishes. I’m not saying it’s fair; it just is. What if the ideas don’t work? Be sure you consistently use the ideas in the previous post before you decide they’re not working. However, sometimes it doesn’t solve the problem. Why can’t your boss get over herself and quit being a jerk? Uh-huh—a question for the ages. I can’t know what drives or haunts your particular boss, but a boss can be threatened which have nothing to do with you. She might be: Worried she’s reached her level of incompetence Afraid she will be replaced by some young whippersnapper Carrying around the burden of past failures Try to imagine how you would feel if these were your concerns. It’s probably a scary and kind of helpless place. You might even feel sorry for her. However, even if you do…

How Not to Annoy Your Boss

How Not to Annoy Your Boss In the previous post, we identified how you might inadvertently convert a personal attribute into a threat to your boss. I’ll take each attribute and suggest how you might lower the threat level if you think it exists. You are: So you: Smarter Correct your boss frequently (or infrequently), especially in front of others In front of others, in a meeting—not good venues. If the correction must come, it should be in private. Now, I’m not talking “No, the bathrooms are on the left.” There are corrections of minor facts which should not raise the threat level. But if you are correcting on logic, strategy, policy, tactic or opinion, these are ones which might drop you into trouble. Rather than correct your boss in the meeting, do it in private. But even in private, NOT “You were wrong/misguided/mistaken…” INSTEAD “I was a little confused in the meeting. My understanding was that [insert your correct information], but in the meeting, it seemed that it was more [insert error]. Did I miss something?” Also, think whether the issue is important enough to raise at all. If it will prevent your unit from attaining its goals, perhaps….