Demonstrate Promotability 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 demonstrate your promotability.  Doing that can get you 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: Ent...

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 jobs in the...

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 adjustments...

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 go for broke and 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 y...

Keeping Others’ Secret In a previous post, Larry asked you to test a game he and others were developing on the side. In the last post, you contemplated saying ‘no’ and, moreover, telling your boss Malcolm what was happening. Doing so wouldn’t turn out well for anyone. So maybe the best bet is to say ‘no’ but keep it secret from Malcolm. You say no. Things go back to normal? That’s what you’d expect, right? You’ve said no politel...

Power—Work’s Hidden Engine

    Power—Work’s Hidden Engine As I mentioned in a previous post, there are at least five undercurrents in organizations. Power is an important one. Here’s an example of how it’s used at work. Power at work Your company manufactures greeting cards. You are meeting with your boss Galen and your peer managers. Galen is a nice guy but to your mind, too much under the influence of Mike, one of your peers. Galen: Alicia [Galen’s ...

Does your office have undercurrents?
Dark Side for Employees / April 15, 2016

  It can be hard to imagine that your work place has undercurrents, especially since, as I say, they are not well recognized by even the most astute office politicians. Undercurrents quiz To identify if your company does, answer the following questions: Who is influential/who gets listened to? The person with the best argument, however expressed The one whose words fit the latest strategy  Whoever shouts loudest or longest? Who gets p...

What are the Undercurrents of the Dark Side?
Dark Side for Employees / April 15, 2016

  Last time I gave an example of a group meeting where you wanted to vote ‘no.’ But despite this and having promised a colleague Thomas to do so, you voted ‘yes’. Why did you do it? Thomas would say you chickened out. The others in the group might assume you saw the strength of their arguments. At the time, you thought it was about fear of repercussions and that the larger group had a point. Anyhow, your ‘no’ vote wouldn’...

The Dark Side of Work Revealed
Dark Side for Employees / April 15, 2016

The Dark Side of Work Revealed As I mentioned in the Introduction to the Dark Side, work places have undercurrents which are never spoken of but which determine whether you are successful or how far you go. But these undercurrents are difficult to pick up, so to illustrate, here’s a work scenario to show you how they operate. Deciding holiday schedules The deal Your manager wants to discuss holiday scheduling. Thomas comes to your cub...