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…

When All Else Fails, Dealing With a Threatened Boss
bringing yourself to work / January 9, 2017

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…