Monthly Archives: April 2012

Dipping Your Pen in the Company Ink

Attraction at work is almost inevitable.  Since we spend somewhere between 1/2 to 2/3 of our waking hours at work on a typical weekday, it is natural for our eyes to zero in on at least 1 person of interest that we work with. At my company there are countless couples who got together because they met at work.

Since a potential romantic situation with a coworker is bound to pop up, it is best to focus on what to do when the situation arises, instead of discussing how to avoid or prevent these situations.

Here is my advice on how to handle when these situations happen:

  • Talk it out… ahead of time– It is important to set some rules ahead of time and stick to them.  If you do not set the expectation that you will not let your newly found infatuation affect your work then feelings will get hurt if work becomes more demanding for one person. Boundaries will be crossed. Also, don’t make your relationship just about discussing things that happen at work. It is easy to fall into this trap, but if you do then your relationship will be based on your work as opposed to other interests or hobbies you and your mate may have. A co-worker of mine was married to another company employee and they made a point not to discuss work with each other unless it was incredibly hilarious or involved one of the people having to move to another geography to keep their job- this seemed to allow them to build a relationship outside of their work.
  • Don’t eat where you sh*t– While it is difficult to control it, do your best not to choose someone who is too close to you at work. If possible, look outside of your immediate team and stay away from bosses/subordinates. Many companies have rules against the latter and when it comes to workplace romance, incest is NOT best. If the relationship doesn’t work out (which it often doesn’t) you don’t want to have to see and/or talk with the other person every single day.
  • Keep things quiet– When it comes to talking out issues at work it is natural to rely on co-workers. Co-workers understand what your job is like and the pressures you are under. But when it comes to workplace relationships, it is important not to confide in co-workers. If anything private about your relationship (its problems or otherwise) were to leak it could really hurt your reputation throughout the company.  When dipping your pen in the company ink make sure to get support from your friends outside of work.
  • Separate work from play– Although tempting, don’t mess around with your special someone at work.  If you let this slip, there is an exponentially higher likelihood that your work performance will suffer. If you start adding impromptu “flirting” or “fooling around” sessions to your schedule during the workday you may start missing meetings and deadline, no matter how organized you are. Many companies also have code of conduct rules that you must be conscious of related to workplace relationships… the rules may even affect your job.

One final consideration to note is how to deal with a relationship after it’s over. Ideally this topic was discussed because the couple heeded the first piece of advice I got (talking out how they would handle a break-up). Yet if not, the best course of action is to move on. Stay above gossip and bad-talk about your ex and focus on your job, it’s as simple as that.

Here is another article I found interesting on the topic that offers some additional in-depth advice.

BE AWESOME! 

-MR. BIZ

 

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Millennials Interviewing Millennials, Top Interviewing Tips

Here is a guest post I recently wrote on Job Mob, a great global website that offers advice for job seekers and those who are already in careers.

This guest post offers perspective on how to interview a millennial.

http://jobmob.co.il/blog/millennials-job-interviews/

 

BE AWESOME! 

-MR. BIZ

 

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Choose the Boss, Not the Job

Without bastardising the quote too much, it has been said that people choose a position because of the job but then leave the position because of the boss.

A job description and even day-to-day work of the position may be amazing, but it is your boss who monitors and motivates you to fulfilling your objectives. If you boss’ style does not mesh well with yours then there is an exponentially higher likelihood that you will become frustrated with your day-to-day work.

If the statement at the top is true (which it is), then the question beckons, why it is more important to find a good job with a great boss over a perfect job with a horrible manager?

Here’s why…

Your boss is often the most important person in your career (except for you). Not only that, but your boss generally holds the purse strings, i.e. they determine your end of year performance ratings and the type of raise you will get. Even more than the dollars and cents side of things, generally your boss has to support you in any promotion you may be put up for and often is called upon by higher-ups to give feedback on how effective you are at your job.

Think about it in relation to the pay you get for a job. It is easy to run a sprint within your career (short periods of time at a company) where your salary and compensation drive you to do well and will give you a sense of self-worth (i.e. You are willing to put up with a bunch of crap because you are getting paid well). This feeling is fleeting, though.  Most people need a sense that they are contributing; ultimately money does not continually motivate workers for years and years. The same can be said of a boss. With a bad boss, all the other factors like pay, value of experience and impact your overall job satisfaction less than your boss does.

If having a good boss is so important, then how can you tell of whether a potential boss is good or bad? (so that we are including who your boss would be as an element to “choosing the right place to work”) First, you want to look for signs during your job interview process. Asking the hiring manager about his/her goals and management style during the interview process is a good start. Here you will find out what your potential boss is really like (the good and the bad) or you will find out they are completely delusional and not conscious of their management style at all. Realize how much of a micro-manager you can handle and make your decision on a job accordingly.  Next you want to check with references to understand what kind of experience others have had with your boss. These references will see what you can’t since they have a depth of experience while you only may have a couple of interactions with your potential boss.

All in all, the core message I am offering is that you should do everything you can to prevent yourself from taking on a job with a bad boss. Make sure to evaluate your boss in the job screening process (interviewing is a two-way street where you should be evaluating the job and not just being evaluated yourself). Finally, if you get stuck in a situation where your boss is less than ideal, focus on managing your boss by doing what you can to make them look good, then start searching for a new job that has a better boss (taking into consideration how you learned the hard way with your current job).

Beyond your boss, check out 15 other reasons that it may be time to find a new position.

BE AWESOME! 

-MR. BIZ

 

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Cinema Meets Business (Part 3)

Our waltz down movie lane continues with more great tips from some movies that we all know well (and maybe from some we don’t).

  • Citizen Kane: “It’s no trick to make a lot of money, if what you want to do is make a lot of money.” — Berstein (Everett Sloane), Kane’s (Welles) business manager explains.  This quote from Orson Welles’ masterpiece reminds me of another movie quote from Jenna Elfman’s character in the movie Keeping the Faith with Ben Stiller and Edward Norton.  Her character, who is an accomplished businesswoman references how she spend all of her time and energy accomplishing what she thought she wanted only to find out that once she got it she still wasn’t happen. Translation- Money is fleeting.  Don’t just focus on making money. I have found that when I focus on helping others then the accolades and money will follow (but it shouldn’t be a focal point for everything you do).
  • Rudy: “No one, and I mean no one, comes into our house and pushes us around.” — Notre Dame coach Dan Devine (Chelcie Ross) says in a speech to the team before their final game of the season. Commitment and pride are important ingredients within the recipe for a successful organization. The key is to band together and not compete against each other.  One of the key ways that Lou Gerstner led IBM from near bankruptcy to being the titan it is today was through eliminating competition among business units.  Realize that the focus should be about the team and not about making yourself look better than others at work. Let them do that and when they fall on their faces you will come across as genuine and a team player.
  • Trading Places: “You make no friends in the pits and you take no prisoners. One minute you’re up half a million in soybeans and the next, boom, your kids don’t go to college and they’ve repossessed your Bentley. Are you with me?” — Louis Winthorpe III (Dan Aykroyd) states to Billy Ray Valentine (Eddie Murphy) before the opening bell in New York. Your career will have ups and downs. The key is to find a way to ride the ups without arrogance and emerge from the downs with key lessons and a smarter mindset. In other words, build resiliency.  Find the way to pick yourself up after a bad mistake and realize that you can comeback and succeed again.
  • Glengarry Glen Ross: “Only one thing counts in this world: Get them to sign on the line which is dotted.” — Blake (Baldwin) commands in front of a group of downtrodden salesmen. This is quite an intense scene.  For those who haven’t seen it, take a look.

Besides the classic lines: “ABC, always be closing” there is a good lesson in the quote above.  In business, intentions are great, but you will be measured by your results.  In a sales environment it is great to have a bunch of “leads” and a large funnel, but ultimately you will get paid and judged according to the sales you make, the times you get someone to sign on the “line that is dotted.” The same goes for almost any other functional role in a company.  While intentions are good (and so is action) it is all about the impact you make.  Ensure that you are maximizing your impact and focusing on the right things to drive results. This will translate to more attention from the higher-ups.

  • Scarface: “Don’t underestimate the other guy’s greed.” — Frank Lopez (Tony’s Mentor) says to Tony (Al Pacino). Greed can be a strong driving force and can motivate someone to achieve great things; however; greed is not a lasting strategy. Greed fosters enemies and animosity. Being greedy means being alone.  It is better instead to find another driving force that is more aligned with team goals instead of individual delusions of grandeur. Most people who are successful are so because of the help and support from other people.  Foster support, not greed.

 

BE AWESOME! 

-MR. BIZ

 

Follow my blog by clicking the link at the bottom right of your screen.  I’d really appreciate it!

If you found this article useful, then please retweet and share on Facebook by clicking Like.

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