Taking One for the Team? Taking one for the team—it seems to have originated with baseball (thanks, Wikipedia!)—but is often used in work settings. It usually means agreeing to personally take on an unpalatable task in order to help your team. Let’s look at an example. You work in a large company with a history of developing its people, but upheavals in the industry have meant cutbacks of all kinds. You’ve been in your job for two years a...

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,...

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. It results in a feeling of being trapped. Whether to talk to your boss about feeling trapped It’s an option. With some real benefits. If he truly didn’t realize you were unhappy, you two c...

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. Avoiding talking 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 ...

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 a...

Confronting a Co-Worker who Stole Your Idea

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...

A Co-worker Steals Your Idea

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 ...

A Risky Way to Leverage Your Boss Fighting with His

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...

When Your Boss is in a Fight with His

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 tru...

Caught in the Middle when My Boss’ Boss Asks My Opinion

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 a...