Confronting a Co-Worker who Stole Your Idea If a co-worker stole your idea, should you confront him? After all, you can’t let people get ahead by copping others’ ideas. In the last post, YOU floated a new product idea with Emmett, your co-worker. He pooh-poohed it which discouraged you from presenting it to your mutual boss, Len. At the next staff meeting, Len praises Emmett for the same idea and assigns Emmett to work on developing it. You m...

It happens. Doesn’t matter the industry sector, company, or complexity of work. But what do you do if a co-worker steals your idea? Let’s follow this scenario. Emmett, despite his name, seems like an okay guy. He showed you the ropes when you started three months ago. The other guys seem good too, but more often than not, Emmett picks you up for lunch. You think you’re getting the hang of the job and even have an idea you want to pitch to y...

A Risky Way to Leverage Your Boss Fighting with His The previous post outlined a way that you might be able to appease your boss Trevor if his boss, Jennifer, starts assigning you work. As I mentioned, might work, might not. Depends on how good Trevor is at maneuvering to get what he wants. A gutsy but risky way out was suggested by a friend[1]who is very politically astute. You: Hi, Jennifer. Got a moment? Jennifer: Matt! Ah, sure. You: You know...

When Your Boss is in a Fight with His In the previous post, your boss’ boss, Jennifer, was assigning work directly to you, skipping your boss (Trevor). On the one hand, this gives you great profile. On the other, it can get you into hot water with Trevor. Look at it from Trevor’s point of view. Jennifer is signaling she doesn’t consider him value-added. No matter how true, it would be hard not to resent that. In fact, the more true, the mor...

Caught in the Middle when My Boss’ Boss Asks My Opinion In the last post, we covered what can happen if your boss’ boss asks you for work when your boss is out of the office. As we saw, if your boss (Trevor) is in dinosaur training school, he won’t be pleased. But it can get worse. You could be caught in the middle. What if Trevor’s boss (Jennifer) starts sending work directly, without going through Trevor at all? About a week after the l...

Are There In- and Out-Groups at Your Work?
Employee Stream , Power for Employees / September 26, 2016

Are There In- and Out-Groups at Your Work? It’s a silly question to some If you have a boss who clearly favors some subordinates, and especially if you’re not one of the chosen, this seems a silly question as it’s as plain as the nose on your face that an in-group exists at your work. But for those either new to work or to the concept, it can be hard to tell. Is there an in-group at your work? There probably is, in that it’s jus...

Showing You’re Ready to Move Out of the Joe Job
Dark Side for Employees , Employee Stream / September 19, 2016

Showing You’re Ready to Move Out of the Joe Job In the last post, we discussed being in a joe job—that is, being underemployed where you are not able to use the full range of your skills and abilities. However, one of the best ways out is to have a reference from this job which sets you up for the one you really want. The descriptors you want your supervisor to use in a reference are: Enthusiastic Has initiative Bright Hard-working ...

I’m in a Joe Job and Underemployed. Help!
Dark Side for Employees , Employee Stream / September 12, 2016

I’m in a Joe Job and Underemployed. Help! You’re a salesclerk when you should be in the marketing department. Doing background research rather than writing the strategy. Being an assistant rather than a paralegal. Whatever it is, you’re in a job which not only doesn’t tax your skills but is downright boring. You are underemployed. You’d like to contribute at a higher level (with more money, of course). Unfortunately, early...

Bringing Yourself to Work

Bringing Yourself to Work If you are just starting out in your career, this phrase might not mean much to you. Of course you bring yourself to work. What else could you do? However, if you’ve worked for any length of time, it might have meaning. The longer you are employed, the more you come to realize that you can’t necessarily do at work what you might do in your personal life. The pressures of work Work requires a number of a...

Going for Broke

Going for Broke Saying ‘no’ when Larry asked you to join a clandestine project was fraught with land mines, as you saw.  Is the answer to say ‘yes’? The pros and cons If you put together a pros and cons list, it might look like this: Pros of going for broke Cons of going for broke The project could be great career move. You’re violating your employment contract. Lots of people get to the top by breaking the rules. If you`re c...