Tag Archives: job

4 Signs You’re Not Leadership Material

23 Mar

leadership material

I don’t know who came up with this extremely popular notion of promoting employees into leadership positions based on tenure, but to whoever’s responsible..stupid idea, bro.

The truth of the matter is this…

NOT EVERYONE’S LEADERSHIP MATERIAL…

And that’s okay!

Just because you’re a genius in your field…

Just because you’ve been at your job for twenty-some odd years…

It doesn’t mean you have to have direct reports. 

It takes really particular skills to be a manager.

Heck- it takes a whole lot of patience too.

And for that reason, throughout my career I’ve been absolutely dumfounded when I’ve seen some not-so-leadership-material employees placed in managerial positions.

Let me say it again.

IT’S NOT FOR EVERYONE!

And like I said…that’s okay.

You can still be a genius.

You can still be kick-ass at your job.

But if you’re not leadership material, please, for God’s sake…don’t make other people suffer. 

Now some of you may be wondering whether or not you’re leadership material.

(But really…those of you who aren’t…you probably already know that.)

Just in case though…to clarify this for everyone…here are 4 Signs that You’re Not Leadership Material.

1. You Have Zero Social Skills/You Hate People

People say hi to you and you stare at them, but you don’t say hi back. You don’t hold doors open for people 5 centimeters behind you. You know…basic courtesy kind of stuff.

If you’re the kind of person who avoids social situations at all costs and really doesn’t want to be troubled with interpersonal relationships, then that’s fine…but you have no business managing others. This is pretty self-explanitory.

2. You Don’t Like It When People Ask You Questions

Questions annoy you. When people ask you dumb questions that you think they ought to know the answers to, you think they’re stupid…you think that they are mentally challenged. Every time that someone asks you a question, you feel that they’re taking time away from you doing your own work. Open door policy? Forget that! Locked door policy is what you’d implement…peace and quiet is what you need.

Good managers want their employees to feel comfortable coming to them whenever they have questions. And the reality is, good employees do ask a lot of questions. Managers need to accept that part of their job is helping out their direct reports, and they shouldn’t make them feel bad about seeking that support.

3. You Couldn’t Care Less if Your Team is Motivated/Inspired

You’re sure as hell no cheerleader. You don’t think it’s your job to motivate those around you. You’re here to get a job done and everyone should be on the same page as you.

FALSE. Managers need to be cheerleaders. If it’s not written in the job description, someone’s lying to you. If you want your team to work well and to perform to the best of its ability, you’ll need to take out those metaphorical pom-poms at times and inspire your people. Because let’s face it, there are times at any job when morale is low. And when morale is low, not a whole lot of work gets done. Teams that get out of that slump are the teams who have great leaders, and believe me, they’re super grateful for that. Look into it…they call it transformational leadership. 

4. You Want to Punch Positive People in the Face

You hate it when people smile. You hate it when you come to work Monday morning and people are actually happy. What the heck is wrong with them? They ought to be a bit less peppy.

If you’re a negative Nancy, you have no business managing others. You need to be a positive influence, and people need to actually enjoy being around you. Do you have to do backflips everyday and sing songs? No. But you should strive to be a positive role model for others and part of that means helping others see the bright side of things regardless of how bad any work situation is.

***Now it’s your turn…what else makes someone not leadership material?

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5 Reasons Why This Twenty-Something LOVES Her New Job

6 Feb

Work Hard Have Fun No Drama I’ve been at my new job for 8 months now, and really… I can’t even begin to tell you how crazy-fast time has gone by. One minute I’m interviewing and BAM!!! Here I am almost a year into it. Taking this new job was a huge leap for me. For starters, I knew nothing about the industry. While most people being interviewed had years of experience doing the job at other companies… I. Had. Zero. But man was I willing to learn! People warned me. People told me the job would be terrible. People asked me if it was really something that I wanted to do. And although I didn’t know much, I knew that it was an exciting opportunity and that I needed a new challenge. 8 months later, I thank God every day that I made that jump. So to help explain exactly why I’m so happy, here are 5 reasons why THIS 20-something LOVES her new job…

  1. I’m Surrounded By People Who Are Willing to Teach Me

Like I said, I was a newbie. I accepted a job as a Contract Administrator in a large Supply Chain department and I didn’t even know what a backorder was. This could have been a total failure. But it wasn’t. And you know why? Because the people around me are really freaking awesome. Because from the minute I stepped foot in this department, my co-workers took me under their wings and they taught me everything they know. Because they were secure enough in their own abilities and talents that they didn’t feel threatened by the thought of sharing what they’ve learned over the years. And I’m eternally grateful for that.

  1. We’re Treated Like Adults

Imagine a workplace where you can go to the bathroom without your boss staring at his computer counting the number of minutes that you’re away from your desk. Imagine a workplace where you can go to work and if you need to leave to a doctor’s appointment or to pick up your sick kid, you can do that and no one gives you a hard time about it. We can do that here. After a really hectic morning we can go have a nice lunch off campus, come back to work, and we’re not looked down upon for taking a break. It’s kind of awesome. We’re treated like adults. And you might be thinking well yea, we should be treated like adults since that’s what we ARE, but you’d be surprised how absolutely rare this kind of work environment is. We’re treated like professionals and even though we may not be at our desks glued to our chairs every moment of every day, everyone knows that we’ll get the job done. We always do.

  1. Our Work/Play Balance is all Sorts of Fantastic

You can go to work, work super hard, and have fun doing it. It’s true, I promise! And although I’ve questioned this notion in the past, I swear on my life I’ve never had so much fun at work. And you might think okay… she’s a contract administrator…sounds kinda super lame and boring. But dude, we laugh and we joke and we have so much fun. And the best part about it is that even though we laugh and we have a good time, we’re still taken seriously because we produce excellent work. I don’t think you have to be miserable and serious all the time to be considered a professional. I think that you can work and play and play while you work. Because really, if you don’t, it’s so easy to go crazy.

  1. My Bosses Are Approachable, Nice Human Beings

It’s not something that I take for granted. My bosses are really one of a kind. They’re legit humans. Like… super- down- to -earth –real- people- who- have- feelings- and- know- that- I –have- feelings –and- so- they’re- nice- and- not- mean-and- they- don’t- scream- at- me- and- belittle- me- and- make- me- feel- like- I’m- stupid. In a nutshell. Do they do their jobs? Yes! Really well, in fact. Do they tell me when I’ve made a mistake and help me fix it? Yep. Do they provide guidance? All the time. But do they have huge egos? No. Do they walk around thinking they’re better than anyone? No. Do they scream and yell and embarrass their employees? Never. And that’s why I love working for them. They have an open door policy and we can talk to them about anything whenever we need to and we’re not scared of them, because they’re super cool. I mean, on what planet should we have to be scared of our bosses? How does that make us perform better? If you figure that out, let me know. But in the meantime, I’ll stick to working for bosses who really know how to lead.

  1. They Took A Chance on Me

I’m like 500% positive that there are people who would have never hired me for this position. There are managers who would have taken one look at my resume and would have thrown it in the trash simply because I didn’t have experience in this field. But my leadership took a chance on me. They decided that I had potential and that I could be taught, and so they were willing to invest in me. They were willing to give me a shot and by giving me that shot, I feel the need to prove to them every day that they made the right decision. I respect them so much for that, and I feel so lucky every day to be a part of this kick-ass team. Other stuff you might like:

How to Make Yourself Memorable in a Sea of Corporate Robots

7 May

Back in October, one of my friends was getting married.

So naturally, we did what most people do these days and we went on an epic bachelorette cruise.

These days, I’m totally an old person and I don’t do anything crazy like that.

But that weekend, I made an exception.

Because my friend, who’s now married, is kind of amazing.

So we got a group of crazy rowdy women together and we partied.

We drank and we ate and we all wore wigs on captain’s night.

And for the record…I LOVED my purple bob wig.

So did this get everyone’s attention?

You bet it did.

We were definitely… memorable.

 So this got me thinking about how hard we all try to be noticed.

I mean, especially in our careers, we’re taught that we need to be remembered. We’re taught that we need to make an impact.

We’re encouraged to attend networking events..

We’re encouraged to mingle…

We’re encouraged to build relationships…

And what for??

To be noticed. To be memorable. So that if opportunities become available, others will think of us and then BAM…we have jobs.

Sounds simple enough, right?

But how do we do that? How do we make ourselves memorable?

Um…sure, you can show up to a work event wearing a purple bob wig…

(Good luck with that)

OR, you can try one of the following…

  1. Be positive

Sad fact of life…there aren’t a whole lot of positive people in this world. Most people spend their days complaining and whining and they’re like giant balls of negativity. And you know what??? NO ONE LIKES TO BE AROUND THESE PEOPLE. Because really, it’s exhausting. So try to be that ray of sunshine (super corny, but I don’t care). Be positive. Be that person that people want to be around because you’re just so damn happy. Because that happiness rubs off on other people. And believe me, people can use all the happiness they can get. I promise, you’ll be remembered for it.

  1. Be genuine

I hate fake people. I hate fake people. I hate fake people. I hate fake people. Got it? Awesome. If you haven’t noticed already, you’ll find that sooooo many people put up a front all the time. They don’t know how to be themselves. ESPECIALLY at work. ESPECIALLY at networking events. It’s almost like half the world got a copy of some handbook on how to act in the workplace and I was absent the day they gave them out. Excerpt from that handbook: “Use big words…don’t laugh…don’t make jokes…act like a robot.” But who the heck likes that?? Don’t think for a second that you have to be a corporate robot in order to succeed in your career. If you’re honest and you’re yourself, people will notice….Because it’s rare, and it’s super refreshing.

  1. Be helpful

I have a terrible memory. Like, really bad. But there are certain people who I never forget, and most of them are people who’ve helped me in the past. Mentors who’ve steered me in the right direction… school advisors who’ve given me great advice…my friend who stayed up with me till 3am so I could vent about my break up. Those are the people you often remember. Honestly, you should help people not because you want to be remembered, but because you’re a nice person and it’s the right thing to do. But being remembered is a happy side effect.

  1. Become an expert

You want to get noticed? Become the go-to person in any field. Even if it means you’re like the expert photocopier. You know how to print copies in color. You know how to print copies front and back. You know how to print copies upside down left to right, and you even know how to staple them. People remember the experts. So pick something you’re really good at, and learn absolutely everything you can about it.

Anyone else have any advice?! How do you make yourself memorable?

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5 Things You Can Do to Fall in Love with Your Job Again

19 Feb

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Some days I feel like breaking up with my job. Big time. It’s not you…it’s me…

Actually it IS you, and I need to get out of here. It’s just not working anymore.

We all have those days. Days when we seriously consider jumping out the window in the coffee break room.

You’re not giong to love your job every day. If you do, consider yourself super lucky.

So the trick is to learn how to fall back in love with it, and today’s guest blogger Naomi Shaw shares with us just how to do that. Enjoy!

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When you’ve started a new job, you feel like the world is at your fingertips. You’re at the very beginning of an exciting new journey, so things are great. But once you’ve done the same job for many long months or years, the passion and joy can begin to fade. It happens.

In many cases, jobs just get boring because of the routine, and it isn’t uncommon for people to feel burned out. But to avoid this, you probably just need to find ways to make your job fun again. Yes…fun.

So use these five tips to help you fall in love with your job again, because you liked it when you first started, and you can like it again.

1. Learn something new that you can use in your job. There are a variety of ways to do this, from going back to school to seeking an advanced degree to simply buying a few books that can help you in your career.

Whatever you do, pursuing interesting facts about your chosen profession can help make your work more interesting and rewarding when it’s starting to feel like you’re just going about the same routine day after day.

 2. Look for a mentor to help you learn more about your career. When a job gets tiresome and a bit boring, it might be a good time to learn more about your profession and what it has to offer.

Meeting with a mentor can help you discover new opportunities to pursue in your current job.It’s also helpful to learn from somebody who’s likely been where you are right now. Bored, over it, and looking for their next step.

3. Question your expectations and set goals. If you once loved your job and it’s just not giving you the satisfaction it used to, there could be a good reason for that. Perhaps you thought you’d have more responsibility by now, or that your role with a company would have changed over time.

Knowing what you expect from your job, and knowing whether or not it’s something you can feasibly work toward can boost your focus. It can give you back some control, making work less of a chore and more of a chosen path again.

4. Knock difficult tasks out of the way first. Perhaps that sounds like an awful way to start the day, but if you spend every second at the office waiting until the end of the day to make that painful call or finish paperwork, you’re going to dread each and every second of every day!

Take care of tasks you don’t like in the morning. You’ll go home after doing things you enjoy more, which can make it a lot easier to look forward to the next day at work.

5.Stay positive. It might sound like silly advice, but simply putting on a smile in the morning and reminding yourself that you used to love your job is sometimes all it takes to fight the boredom and repetition.

Keeping a positive mindset can also help you perform better at work, increasing your chances for advancement and more fulfilling positions.

For many people, work can feel like something they do every day just to pay the bills. But it can be much more rewarding that. Getting your passion back takes some work, but it’s worth it. Because when you’re passionate about your work, you enjoy every day –even the work days – a lot more.

Naomi Shaw is a stay-at-home mom in Southern California. She enjoys blogging about DIY crafts and mommy tips, providing insight, advice and more!  She hopes you enjoy this article.

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Guest Post: Reflections From a (Formerly) Jobless Girl

31 Jul

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I absolutely LOVE today’s guest post by Abby Cooper. She’s an amazing writer, and today she’s offering some insight on success in the workplace. Read it! I promise… it’s really great 🙂

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I always knew I wanted to be a teacher.

Unfortunately, it turns out that knowing does not get you hired. Sometimes it gets you a fake teacher discount at Michael’s when the guy takes pity on you because you’re doing art projects by yourself instead of with children. Apparently doing paint-by-number alone on a Saturdaynight stopped being cool after age ten. It would have been nice if someone sent a memo or something.

I am about to embark on my junior year of life (aka, third year out of college) and I’m only now starting my first real-life grown-up job. For the past two years, I’ve been trying to get my foot in the door. Any door. I would have happily taken a doggie door had one been open. You get the point.

Through all my door-seeking, I’ve learned a lot about what you need to do to get hired. I’ve also learned that not all doors lead to places that are right for you. Here’s what I know:

1. You have to touch the bugs. I was substitute teaching one day when an announcement boomed over the loudspeaker: “the bugs are here!”

Oh, cool. Kill me now.

The bugs were for the first grade’s insect unit, but these were not your run-of-the-mill ladybugs and caterpillars. We’re talking millipedes (aka worms on steroids) and lifesize killer beetles.

I couldn’t help wondering if the real first-grade teachers had known about this and strategically chosen this day to be “sick”…

The other substitute in first grade couldn’t handle the Monster Bugs of Doom and went home. I couldn’t blame her, but I wasn’t going to hand over my chance of ever getting hired at this school just because there was a strong possibility that one of these things could swallow me whole.

I took a deep breath (and by “a” deep breath I obviously mean like 800), took off my glasses (it wasn’t necessary to see all the details of their slimy bodies) and put the creatures in their cages. It was not pleasant. But guess who got called back to teach again the next day? (Hint: me.)

Whether or not your job asks you to pick up bugs that could eat you for breakfast, I think the important thing to remember is to say yes to whatever seemingly strange requests come your way. Within reason. These are the adventures we have to challenge ourselves to have if we want to get somewhere, and they’re awesome opportunities to show just how valuable (and brave) you are.

2. Speak the language. Or fake it.

I once got called to teach Chinese for a week. I don’t know Chinese. I went anyway.

It’s amazing what you can learn in a class you’re supposed to be teaching. For example, shuttlecock is a Chinese sport, not something scandalous that makes you wonder why they want you to teach it to small children. Also, don’t assume every question a child asks in another language means “can I go to the bathroom?” Sometimes it means “can I throw this shuttlecock at your head?” and you will regret saying yes.

It’s okay to agree to do things you don’t know how to do, like teach Chinese. And it’s okay to admit that you don’t know how to do those things (but you are super willing to learn, in case any potential employers want to know.) Don’t be scared of the unknown. The unknown could pay your bills and also teach you a new sport that will make you very popular at parties.

3. Play the game until it gets creepy.

Ever since I first started working, I’ve noticed that a lot of bosses seem to really, really like the power that comes with being the boss. I don’t particularly care for these people, but I can deal with them. I nod. I smile. I imagine them moving to Australia. Etc.

Every boss has some kind of game going on. And in addition to your actual job, it’s your job to figure it out and play. Until it gets creepy. This is different than “until it stops being fun.” I think we need to accept that first-ish jobs, generally, are not fun.

Creepy happens when your boss yells at you for wearing blue, despite the fact that your office doesn’t have a dress code.

Creepy also happens when your boss makes Meryl Streep’s character in The Devil Wears Prada look like a pretty nice lady.

This is when you say bye-bye-boss. This is also when you change your phone number and quite possibly your address.

I’ve left more than one of these kinds of situations in my day. But I’m not a quitter – I’m a person who’s decided that her sanity is more valuable than a job. And while sadly sanity does not pay my rent, I have learned what I will and will not accept at work, and I’ve learned how to get feet through doors in the process. And these are some really valuable things to know. I am looking forward to finally going through a door at a school this coming August. Whether it brings bugs or shuttlecocks or a really bizarre combination of the two, the past few years of adventure and experience have made me ready for just about anything.

Abby Cooper is a twenty-something living and working in Chicago. Follow her adventures on Twitter  @_AnxiousA_

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