Tag Archives: postgrad

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…


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.


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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Can You Blame Her?

25 May


This girl is awesome. She’s definitely going places.

Even though this video is a little old already, it’s one of my favorites.

Her priorities are in order:

  1. Find work that’s meaningful
  2. Find a husband

As it should be.

You see, even at the age of five some people understand the importance of doing work that they love.

Be independent. Do things for yourself.

Find work that you love, even if other people think you’re crazy.

Then, everything else will fall into place.

How to Get Along With Older Coworkers

17 Apr

Okay, I’ve said it before…being the youngest person in the office SUCKS.

It’s been tough, working in an environment where most people are even older than my parents.

For any of you that can relate, you know how easy it is to sit around complaining about how terrible it is, sulking in your forever alone-ness. That’s what I did for a while. But then it came to a point where I was like you know what? I have to deal with these people for 40 hours a week so let me see how I can get these people to like me.

Here are some things I tried…

1. Make them think they’re geniuses. Even if they’re not.  In general, older workers have a difficult time adapting to new employees, in particular, new YOUNG employees. Us college grads enter the workforce and we’re automatically perceived as those bratty kids that think they know it all. And so, a lot of older workers don’t like us. Some of them are  insecure and feel that we’re going to steal their jobs. Some feel that they have something to prove. Others are just mean. (If you’re one of these people, please do everyone a favor and go take a vacation…just saying). So let them think they’re awesome. Tell them they’re awesome.  Reach out to your older coworkers and make sure that they feel that you value their wisdom. It’ll make them feel important and they’ll be less likely to hate you.

2. Find something you have in common. Working with people twice and three times your age is um…not really fun sometimes. Why? Because it’s hard to find common interests. Let’s see…Grandkids? Negative. House? Negative. Cooking? Negative (but I’m learning). Perhaps I’ll just complain about how much homework my non-existant children have. 

I do have a cat though and yes, he’s a  model…

So I’d talk about my cat with my coworkers. And for a while, that’s about all I had in common with these people. I spent weeks trying to figure out what the heck else I could talk about. Then I found something that I had in common with about 97% of the people in my office!!!! I was so happy I could cry! What was it? What’s this bond that we all share that makes me feel like I have something to talk about with the people I spend all day with?!?!?

I can crochet.

Don’t judge me…I learned how to crochet blankets in high school. We would make them and donate them to kids with Cancer. And yes, it was a very cool thing to do, thank you very much. God, I feel old now. But you see, point is that regardless of how completely different you think you are from everyone else you work with, if you look hard enough, I’m sure you can find at least ONE common interest. But please, don’t pop out a baby just so you have something to talk about with your coworkers.

3. Ask them about their youth. One of the things I’ve discovered while working with people much older than me is that for some reason, they tend to love sharing stories from when they were young. They like telling you that when they were teenagers they dated guys 10 years older than them. They like telling you that they used to sneak out of their houses to party. They like telling you about the time that they drove home completely wasted and stumbled into their bed and are somehow miraculously alive to tell the story. Whether it makes them feel young again, or whether they’re simply trying to relate to you, either way, it’s not a bad thing. So just listen to their stories. Ask them questions. Some of them could be interesting and you might actually end up learning a thing or two about life.

4. When all else fails, bring them food. Everyone likes free food. It’s hard to NOT like the person in the office that brings the free food. For that reason, I tend to bring in breakfast a lot. So do this and people will  love you… Until they see you stuffing 3 donuts in your mouth and then feel the need to make some resentful remark about how you should enjoy your fast metabolism now, while you still can.

Working in a multigenerational workforce can be kind of awkward at times. So make an effort to move past generational differences and stereotypes. Because I think that if we do this, if we let go of the resentment and ill feelings, we’ll find that we can all learn a lot from each other.

I promise, we’re not as awful as you think.

Jobs Are Like Boyfriends (and Girlfriends)…It’s Okay to Get a New One

10 Apr

My friend’s boyfriend is an idiot. I mean, honestly, I have no idea what she sees in him. He treats her terribly, he’s not good for her, and no, his looks don’t compensate for his behavior. So why does she stay with him?

I found this quote by Johnny Depp that seems to answer my question. Turns out that in addition to being one very sexy pirate, the man is a genius…

“I think when you’re young, you’re hoping that this person will be the right one, the one you’re going to be in love with forever. But sometimes you want that so much that you create something that really isn’t there.”

Well…umm…I know I’ve done that before.

And I know that no one’s interested in my romantic failures but this same concept applies to work.

You see, we go to college and immediately have to decide what to study. Yes, while some of us can’t even do our own laundry, we have to pretty much decide what we want to do with our lives. No pressure.

Then we graduate and we’re forced to find jobs so we don’t starve to death.  But in our job search, we think and we hope that the first job we get will be the perfect one. We want it to work out so badly.

We believe that it HAS to work out.

Let’s take me for example. I went to school and got my degree in Health Services Administration. While in school, I landed a job as a secretary at hospital. That made sense. But you know what? Now that I’ve been working for about two years, I realize that there are a lot of other things that I like. There are a lot of other things that I’d rather be doing.

Look job, it’s not you, it’s me. I don’t think we’re as compatible as I once thought.

So I have a choice. I can either create something that really isn’t there and force myself to like it or I can realize that it’s not working and move on, knowing that there has to be something better.

I think a lot of people feel this way. A lot of people land jobs immediately after graduation and think, “this is it.” A few weeks, months, sometimes years later, they realize that they’re not happy.  But instead of doing something about it, they settle.

And what happens? By the age of 25 they get hit in the face with this lovely thing called the quarter life crisis which isn’t nearly as fun as the mid life crisis because at 25 people are broke and can’t afford to buy convertibles.

So listen, it’s okay if you graduate and your first “dream job” turns out to be an epic fail. CONGRATS! You’re one step closer to finding something you DO like. Try to learn as much as you can from every job you have. That’s what this time is for. This is the time to figure out what you like, what you don’t like, what you’re good at, what you suck at, etc. So don’t be afraid to acknowledge that what you’re doing isn’t the right fit for you and that you need something different. It doesn’t make YOU a failure.

Because really,

If your job doesn’t challenge you…

If your job doesn’t interest you…

If your job doesn’t make you a better person…

And if your job is causing you to consume excessive amounts of alcohol…

Then it might be time to break up. And I know it’s hard. I know it’s hard thinking that you invested so much time into that degree that’s hanging on your wall. So many freaking papers and exams. So many all-nighters. How can you possibly think of doing anything different?

Understand that sometimes things just don’t work out. It sucks, I know. But you know what? It’s better to accept that you need a new job and find something that you DO love as opposed to spending years and years being a bitter and miserable a-hole.

Too many people stay in relationships that don’t make them happy. Too many people stay in jobs that they hate. Is that really what you want? To spend 15 years at a job that you hate? I definitely don’t.

Because at the end of the day, pretending to love something or someone when you actually don’t is very stressful. And quite honestly, I don’t want to be stressed because stress causes wrinkles and botox is expensive.

Relax, Being Lost is a Good Thing

5 Apr

Of all the annoying questions I’m asked on a daily basis, I think my favorite has to be this one…

“Where do you want to be in five years?”

My response?

“Wherever Ryan Gossling is.”

JK…that’s where I want to be NOW. Not in five years 😀

No but seriously, this question really upsets me.

You see, I’ve always been an obsessive compulsive planner. Three years ago, I would have been able to answer that question down to the kind of toilet paper I’d be using in five years. At 18 I thought I knew exacly what I wanted to do with my life. I thought I knew exacly what kind of job I wanted and I thought I had met the guy I would marry. We were going to have really pretty babies.

Seemed like a pretty good plan to me. Only, it wasn’t.

Throughout college I found that my interests changed…that there were so many things I could do with my life…and well, I became confused. But that’s what happens! We become lost and we freak out because we don’t have it all figured out. All our plans get thrown out the window and we don’t know what to do.

The URL to my blog is LOSTgenygirl.com so people have asked me why I’m lost.

“Kayla, you don’t seem lost, you don’t look lost, so how are you lost?”

The way I see it, most young people today ARE lost.

We graduate from college and enter the “Real World” having no idea what we’re getting ourselves into. We have a million life decisions to make and it sucks. We often have no idea what to do or what direction to go in. So we’re lost.

And I used to think that being lost was a terrible thing. But recently, I’ve come to understand that I love being lost. I don’t know EXACTLY what I want to do. I don’t know EXACTLY where I want to be in 5 years and I love that. Because I’m just starting to figure myself out. In order to really live your life, you’ve got to be a little lost. I promise, it’s not a bad thing.

I got lost on one of the best dates I’ve ever been on. Being from Miami, we went to a boat show.

Freaking beautiful day. You would have thought we were tourists because we got on the wrong bus like seven different times. But the beauty of the day was that we had no plan…no ultimate destination…and so we were open to anything that came our way. That’s what made it so amazing. There was no disappointment, no pressure, we just wandered about aimlessly, fully embracing everything. I was open to new experiences, didn’t let setbacks piss me off, and it turned out to be one of my favorite days. If that’s what being lost is like, I really don’t mind.

Think about this…

So no, I don’t have a five year plan. I don’t have a two year plan. I don’t even know what I’m having for dinner. But I trust that everything will end up okay and I think that’s what makes my life so exciting.

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