Wow! It's been a long time since I've written. I mean a LONG TIME. But I'm still around and love the JobSchmobbers!! I recently watched this presentation that included information that just blew me away---especially about the job market and about the current generation of college grads and soon to be grads and the jobs that they are training for. I had to share it with you guys. Give it a watch and I guarantee you will be blown away (unless of course you've already seen it!)
Side note: it kind of reminds me of something from Blue Man Group!
If you're like me, sometimes time gets away from you and before you know it, it's been MONTHS since you've written anything and a trip to JobSchmob has been long overdue. So sorry I've been MIA lately, but I've never stopped thinking about the JobSchmobbers. Since I'm not really in work mode these days and my mind seems to drift elsewhere more often than not on these summer days, I thought I'd set about writing down some good summer work ditch ideas. And since it's 2008, gas prices are outrageous and the economy blows, I've come up with some cheap weekday ditch plans to get the heck out of the working life and recharge your soul.
I'll leave the typical "beach", "picnic" and "muesum" ones off the menu because hopefully you're getting some of those in there on the weekends.
12 Simple and Satisfying Summertime Work Ditch Plans:
See a matinee movie: Discounted price, air conditioning, and the knowledge that everyone else you work with is back in the office....ahhhhh!
Get a Slurpee, a bag of bread and go feed the ducks somewhere: You know it's not hard to find a pond with ducks, especially if you live in Suburbia.
Go for a bike ride on a route you've never taken before.
Walk the trails at a state park.
Go to the local park around 4ish and watch a little league game.
Got kids? Help them set up a lemonade stand.
Feel like doing some good? Weed an elderly neighbor's garden.
Visit a local nature center.
Buy a harmonica and spend the day learning to play it.
Buy a model airplane kit and spend the day constructing it.
Get a cheesy paint by numbers kit and make a masterpiece.
Set up a hammock and just lay there in the shade: Again knowing your coworkers are sitting in cubicles under fluorescent lighting.
I plan to do numbers 2 and 12 tomorrow! It's Friday and it's going to be 91 degrees outside. I will toast my Slurpee to you guys! Next week, it's going to be the paint by numbers!
Hey here's something interesting: The Germans are miserable at work too! It's not just a crappy American situation after all! (Side note: We Americans always tend to think we're the only ones who can claim title to anything, even being miserable at work, don't we?)
A nice little clip from the article that I liked:
"..one reason managers are bad at making their workers feel better is that they have forgotten what it felt like to be starting out. I think there is a better reason. Management is one of the most intrinsically miserable jobs there is. Managers find it hard to make the lives of their underlings any better because they are too miserable themselves."
I think this is true of most people who rise to the top in any area of life. You're just too far from the bottom to remember what it looked like. This applies to memories of many aspects of life---childhood, working in the mailroom, being a woman trying to move up, putting your time in as a medical resident, the list goes on. It is the rare bird who is able to keep his head on and remember where he came from and not let power and responsibilities distort his view of what he once was.
Again, I say this is why I refuse to move up the ladder. I don't want to lose perspective.
Check out the article I linked to below for a German point of view on misery at work.
I found this article on CNN this morning. It's the top fifteen oddest on-the-job stories for 2007. They're great! They provide good comic relief and a healthy reminder that as, crazy as our boss or coworkers are, there is always somebody crazier!
Here's my favorite:
A Taco Bell employee was arrested for impersonating a law enforcement officer and attempting to arrest his managers and co-worker. He passed himself off as an undercover narcotics investigator, going as far as typing fake criminal histories on the general manager, two shift managers and an employee and telling them they were going to be arrested.
Awesome! Can you imagine? Impersonating a law enforcement officer is bad (and serious) enough, but to generate fake criminal records on top of it? That's disturbingly creative! Or, was it just the fumes from the Chipotle Grilled Stuft Burritos that drove him nuts? Hmmm...we'll never know!
My last post revolved around the pressure to be perfect and its affect on the human body if not handled with care. So I thought it fitting to continue the topic since it is that time of year where the pressure to be perfect is at its boiling point. Here's a reminder to do your best to take it in stride and not succumb to the omnipresent pressure to have the perfect holiday season.
The holiday season (for me, Christmas) oftentimes feels like a pressure cooker filled with the following tasty ingredients: 10 pounds of guilt, 6 cups of obligation, a shot of over-indulgence and just a sprinkling of rage.
The main ingredient is guilt, which you have to buy special from the Unrealistic Expectations store. Chop the guilt until you can't recognize it anymore and put it into a large bowl. Then whisk in the obligation (make sure to whip it good till you're really tired and crabby) and finally, pour in the shot of over-indulgence (must be at least 80 proof). Let it boil for 25 days and then sprinkle with rage (finely grated). It tastes like crap, but you'll learn to live love it.
The pressure is everywhere, a solid part of the American holiday landscape this time of year. And nowadays, it starts as early as August! It arrives in the form of commercials, songs, magazine articles and advertisements, all neatly disguised as messages of holiday cheer.
This year, I've been walking around feeling the holiday guilt since late October. First, I get excited that Christmas is coming and I start to get big plans. Then the catalogs start arriving in my mailbox and the lite radio channel goes all holiday music. Then it happens---the unrealistic expectations start creeping in. I start feeling like whatever I'm doing, whatever I'm planning, whatever I'm buying is not enough. And it's because I'm surrounded by messages that tell me that's true.
According to the magazines I've been reading, I should be baking sweets out the wazoo. I should be decorating my house like a winter wonderland and I should be coming up with creative holiday traditions for my family. I have also been informed that I should have a perfect holiday outfit to wear to my holiday party where I should be hobnobbing with the upper executives and taking the opportunity to advance my career.
According to the catalogs I've been receiving, I should be spending large amounts of money for gadgets that nobody needs at Hammacher Schlemmer. I should buy the perfect holiday sweater for everyone on my list from The Gap. I should be "impressing"people at work by delivering towers of nuts and fruit from Harry and David and I should delight in the season and "deck the halls" with over priced items from Crate and Barrel.
According to my TV, my entire family should have some sort of family call plan and matching cell phones. I should be wearing metallic jeans from Old Navy. I should have rock hard abs and wear angel wings with my bra and panties. I should also know that my husband only loves me if he goes to Jared or puts diamonds on my pillow while I'm sleeping. And of course, I should either be giving or receiving a car with a giant red bow on the top of it.
According to my radio, both Celine Dion and John Lennon want me to know that it is Christmas and accusingly ask me what have I done. The pop stars of Live Aid want me to feel bad that people in Africa don't know it's Christmas and that they don't have any snow (um....snow? It's Africa!). And a ton of other songs paint a picture in my mind of warm family gatherings and rousing sleigh rides. Neither of which will come to fruition this year.
And finally, according to the mail I've been getting, I should be donating to everyone from Jimmy Carter to Planned Parenthood and every cause from endangered wildlife to muscular dystrophy.
ARGHHH!! The messages create a wild cocktail of stress and emotion that manages to make me feel both broke and over privileged at the same time. Not to mention the hangover it leaves me with that causes me wonder why my family isn't like the one in the Hallmark or coffee commercial. I'm usually so full of it all that I manage to block out the donation guilt. It's not that I don't want to help, it's that I can't do everything! I am not a Christmas super hero!
So fellow Jobschmobbers, here's wishing, hoping and praying that we all survive this mesh of holiday consumerism, guilt and unrealistic expectations. Here's hoping we remember to breathe, stick to our budgets and don't get sucked under by what companies tell us we should be doing. Lastly, here's to continuing to think for ourselves and to a strong recovery in January!
So it's been a long while since I last blogged. First let me say, I regret that. Second, let me say, "I regret that!!". (That last one was aloud to myself to remind myself of what's important.)
I have to remind myself of my regret because recently I got a bit lost. You know how it goes, us humans, we think we're solid in something and then a couple months down the road, we stop and go, "Whoa! How the hell did I let this happen?" If we're lucky, it's our own brain that allows us to come to our senses and not a health problem or some other sort of adverse situation.
For me, it was chest pains---due to job stress.
I know. I know! If you've read posts I've written in the past, you know I'm a big proponent of just doing your job and going home to live the important part of your life. And I always tell people that sacrificing your health or other parts of your life for a job is just not worth it. Many times I've met friends for lunch who complain about the toll their jobs are taking on them. I always stood on a soapbox and self-righteously implied that they should be more like me and learn to have a better balance.
So you can imagine my surprise when I found myself in the exact physical state from which I so proudly believe myself immune. I had to really pinch myself, which---let me tell you---is not something I felt like doing in the midst of chest pains. But, dammit, it really was happening. There I was, a few weeks into solidly stressing myself out about work. Night and day I obsessed, wrestled through sleepless nights, woke up in the middle of the night thinking about my current projects, and constantly bored my poor husband with details about my clients or projects. It sucked! I was a wreck and I didn't realize what I was doing to myself.
How does that happen? How does someone like me get sucked into the downward spiral of work related stress? How did I get to be lying on the floor clutching my chest and trying to breathe deeply, scared for my life, telling my husband to be ready to call the paramedics if I didn't get any better? I should have taken the signal when my eye started twitching, as that's always been my body's way of saying "Slow down, dammit!". And I should have REALLY listened when I noticed my chest was tightening and my heart beating faster on a regular basis when doing mundane things like driving and typing on the computer. But I chose to ignore all that and then there I was, a victim of my own stupid self-destruction.
I'll tell you how I got there. I listened to that Little Miss Type A voice in my head that told me to push on and make everything perfect. She told me that it was just a passing phase. She told me it was only going to last for a few weeks. She told me just to eat whatever I needed to keep my spirits up---even if it was Halloween candy for breakfast. She told me I'd have time for yoga later. And she told me the biggest lie of all. She told me that this stress wasn't the same as stressing out for an evil company---this work was for myself and my own business so it was okay to behave like a stressed out idiot. And me? I believed her and completely suppressed the logical voice inside my head that said, "Wait a minute, don't forget to take time for yourself and RELAX!".
After that scare, I took the next day off. That night, I really thought I might die in my sleep or something, but I promised myself if I lived, I would take the next day off. I lived, so I went hiking with my husband and my dog. I pushed my projects out of my mind and I spent the whole day breathing in clean air and watching the leaves turn color. It was the best medicine ever.
Since that day off, I've been better. I'm not 100%, but little by little, I'm saying "No" to people and clearing my schedule of too many projects. I'm doing much better at not obsessing and practicing to breathe again. I'm doing better at setting my hours and shutting off my computer. I'm sure I'll be my old self in no time. It's really important to me that I get that part of me back because I then I can do things like write for JobSchmob! Woo!
Below, I put a link to an article that I should I have read before I got so stressed out. It's about a 37 year-old woman who had a job stress induced heart attack. I'm 33. I consider myself very lucky to have survived my wake up call.
Important Note: I have since learned that chest pains are not something to mess around with. If you have even the slightest inkling that you are having a heart attack you should immediately call for a paramedic.
Does it seem like your commute is getting earlier? Most likely it is. A fact since the suburban sprawl boom of the 1950's, as more Americans move further out, their commutes lengthen. And as more commuters hit the roads, traffic gets heavier and commute times get longer. And to make sure they get in to the office on time---giving themselves extra padding for gridlock and accident delays---more and more Americans attempt to beat the traffic and leave increasingly earlier.
So early, in fact, that commuter departure times are the earliest they've ever been. "What we're seeing now is this tremendous amount of traffic even before 5 a.m. It seems there's a big lifestyle change here," says Alan Pisarski, author of a wide-ranging study on commuting in the USA. 1 And what we're also seeing is that the lifestyle change affects all sorts of industries. Morning news shows, for example, are going on-air earlier now---some by a whole hour---so that the early bird commuters can get their news.
Starbucks now carries breakfast sandwiches and McDonalds company executives encourage managers to push their 5-7 a.m business to cater to the new fleet of early commuters---about 75% of McDonald's 16,700 U.S. restaurants now open by 5 a.m.2 In addition, newspaper publishers fight to get their papers on the doorsteps before workers leave the house.
And at the other end of the commute, it's taking longer for employees to get home at the end of the day. So they leave later to sit in lighter traffic. This mean they're leaving earlier and getting home later. And while the earlier and later leave times might make for a more peaceful drive, overall the longer time spent at work leads to stress, stress, and more stress.
With so much time spent commuting, there's little time left over for families, recreation and stress management. And as someone who's been there, I also know that there's little time left over for meal planning. It's a lot harder to eat healthy when your meals are eaten on the road or taken home via the drive-thru. All in all unhealthy, lifespan shortening routines.
So what about you guys, Mr. and Mrs. JobSchmobber? Are you finding you're a victim of commute creep? Is your work day longer and your home life shorter because of the commute? Are you leaving earlier and/or staying later just to get some peace on the road?
Check out the article linked below and let's weigh in.
Have trouble getting interviews? Perhaps you need to take a second look at your resume.
Check out this article (linked below) from CareerBuilder on the top ten resume mistakes that are annoying the heck out of interviewers. They are:
1. Spelling mistakes and grammatical errors.
2. Opening objectives
3. Personal attributes.
4. Interests and hobbies.
5. Details of every task you've ever performed in every job you've ever had.
6. Excessive bragging.
7. Outdated information.
8. False information.
9. Unexplained gaps in work history.
10. A lack of professionalism.
Number four reminds me of the time my friend interviewed someone for a big name company who had put down "Homecoming King" under an "Interests and Hobbies" section. They gave him a chance and hired him but ultimately they realized that they gave him too much credit when he showed up for the first day of work wearing a pukka shell and hemp necklace. Yeah.
And I have seen and heard way too much of number eight---false information---going on. Come on! How long do you think it will take for people to figure out? Another friend worked with someone who recently got fired because the man's coworker ran into his former coworkers at an industry convention. When the topic of, "Oh do you know so-and-so?" came up, it was met with a barrage of negativity and comments such as, "He told you he was in charge of WHAT?!". Upon investigation, they found out that most of his resume was fudged and then, well, so was he.
And we all remember SouthernProgrammer's story, The Con Artist, about the chick who exaggerated or lied about everything from her programming experience to a fake fluency in Spanish. Ay Caramba. Didn't your mama ever teach you? Lying might get you on the bus, but it ain't gonna let you off on the right stop!
Check out the article for more stories and tips on a little resume house cleaning.
I thought it time to contribute some of my writing to the topic of promoting crappy people in the workplace. So here goes:
According to a study released on Friday, 64.2 percent of respondents indicated that either nothing at all or something positive happened to the bully or crappy manager at their office. If you're anything like me, these findings will no doubt make you say, "Yeah, no duh."
It's nice to have a study to put it down on paper and all, but I think we've all known this from the dawn of time. For some reason, it's always the schmucks that get promoted up and up and up. And as I've always said, you lose a little piece of your soul for each rung of the corporate ladder you climb. And it seems the crappy people, are intent on losing their souls. It's too bad too, because they have so little equity banked in their soul account to begin with.
Or so it seems.
You guys know I'm not big on promotions. I am aware that there are very nice, decent people who want to move up in a company to actually try to do some good. Those people have good intentions. But you know what they say about good intentions.
So, it got me to thinking. What should we conclude from the study findings? Is it that toxic, crappy, jerky people get promoted by a company simply in order to move them from where they are---to reshuffle the deck so-to-speak? Or is it that the good people don't give a crap about being promoted and don't seek out those higher positions? Additionally, does management promote crappy people so that they can keep good company?
Furthermore, since I'm a firm believer in the general goodness of people, that leads me to believe that statistically, there are more good people than bad people in this world. And whattya know? That statistic is directly proportional to how many management positions there are out there. (Also to how many government leadership positions there are, but that's for another day, eh?)
Seriously, humor me on this. I made a little graphic to illustrate my point. I'm sure I'm not the first person to come to this conclusion, but hey, here's my chart. Allow me to feel scientific for a minute.
Makes sense, doesn't it!
I recently had a chat with a friend of mine who complained at how many "just plain bad" people she has been encountering in management. The previous time I had seen her, she mentioned she was going back to school for her MBA. When I asked her what her end goal was, she told me it was to move up the ladder. I told her it's only going to get worse in that case! The thing is, my friend is the nicest person. She's one of those exceptions of the kind of person who wants to move up to do good for her company. But baby, she's gonna get eaten alive!
Maybe I should show her my pyramid chart... Better yet, maybe I should show it to those guys doing the study!
See the link below for the study article.
Talk about it:Why do YOU think bullies, jerks or incompetent people get promoted in the workplace?
Earlier this morning, I drove past a church with one of those signs on the front lawn that usually has some message that urges you to find God "or else". I'm always amazed at how they manage to make them both whimsical and threatening at the same time.
ANYWAY...I mostly just drive by those signs and shake my head, but today I saw one that featured a phrase I'd like to remind myself of on a regular basis. Here it is:
"There are no U-Hauls Behind Hearses"
Very eleoquently put, church sign dude!
You may know that I've written on the topic of not being a slave to your possessions before, but I think it's worth "resurrecting" (ha ha) in the context of being trapped by your job.
You probably have noticed that when you listen to most people complain about their jobs, oftentimes it's followed by a laundry list of reasons why they can't quit. And 9 times out of 10, the reasons are financial. They have giant mortgages, they have to make their car payments, they have credit card debt to pay off.
Sometimes those financial reasons make logical sense---think: health care, reasonable mortgages, food and clothing for a family of 6, etc. But most of the time they don't---think: high priced cars, LCD TV's, overpriced shoes, brand name jeans, iPhones, designer purses and watches, etc.
My all time favorite reason for someone staying in a job was given to me by a friend a few years ago. After listening to her, nearly in tears, complain for half an hour about how overworked, miserable and mistreated she was, I asked her why she doesn't quit such a horrible job. With a straight face, she matter-of-factly explained that her husband just bought a $1400 vacuum cleaner the week before and they now have to pay that off. After that, all her complaints fell on my deaf ears.
It's a vicious circle, you know? You want stuff--->you buy stuff--->you have to pay for stuff--->you have to go to work every day in a place you hate to pay for the stuff--->you get depressed and you want more stuff to fill the void--->.
Rinse and repeat.
How do you break the cycle? You begin to free yourself from "stuff", that's how. As the sign implies, you can't take it with you anyway. Once you start doing that, you start craving less, you start being much more content with less and you start to feel the freedoms that come from having less. This freedom allows you to feel much more in control about your destiny and any job that's making you miserable. You're no longer tied down by the job. It doesn't own you, you own it.
I've included a link at the bottom of this post to a church sign generator to create your own church signs---cool! If you make any, let me know in comments below what you made them say =)
Recently, I read the book "My Job Sucks and I Can't Take it Anymore! Help!" by John L. White. I decided to blog about it because I truly believe the JobSchmobbers could get a lot from reading it. I know I'm talking to friends (all the JobSchmobbers) when I write these blogs and if you were a friend of mine, sitting across from me at the lunch table, I would tell you to read this book.
The book is broken down into five sections:
1. The McJob Years 2. Blue Collar Blues 3. Life as a Cube Dweller 4. What to do When Your Job Disappears 5. Achieving Nirvana (Or How I Learned to Make My Job Not Suck So Much)
The best thing about this book is that it tells it exactly like it is. It doesn't paint any pretty pictures or sugar coat anything. And most importantly, it doesn't passive aggressively attack you and what you know is right in your gut like that god awful Who Moved My Cheese book. Instead, the author smartly says, "This is what it is. Now, here's how to survive". How freakin refreshing!
The book is exceptionally easy to read. The fonts are a decent size, the sections are short and the to-the-point lessons are delivered as short tips along the way. Overall, it's a fast and entertaining read. The sections are filled with stories about the author's working life from teenage, to blue collar to white-collar-cubicle-corporate. When reading the stories, you get the impression that the author is sitting with you in a relaxed environment telling you the stories as if he was telling them to a buddy. There is wit, humor and brutal honesty---I laughed out loud quite a few times. He admits his mistakes and tells you what he learns from them. He's not speaking down to you, he's sharing the "been there, made this mistake" sort of advice.
Moreover, he doesn't tell you how to get promoted (Amen!), he doesn't tell you how to dress if you want to be successful at work (Hallelujah!), and he doesn't tell you how to play the rat race game to move up the ladder (Praise the lord!). He doesn't even consider moving up the ladder as a goal in life. Which, those of you who read my blog will know, I think is an "about damn time" point of view.
I sincerely could have used this book at many points in my career. Especially when I was in my mid-twenties and thought that if I knew the company was doing something stupid I should tell them so every chance I got. And then again, in my late twenties, when I was losing sleep over the IT department purchasing a 2 million dollar product that I knew would never be used. Then again, around 2004, when my job was being moved to a new company. I am not exactly sure sure I would have 100% listened, but I know the information would have served me well and, at the very least, gave me a heaping helping of perspective.
The author sent me this book for free to review and, quite honestly, I felt like it was a homework assignment. I'm not getting a dime from it and I didn't feel like reading it. I thought it was going to be another book that "blah blah blah" told me how to succeed in my career. Quite the opposite! (I love it when I'm wrong, don't you?) I turned the last page realizing that I now had a much better idea of how to survive at work as a peon employee, how to makes things better for myself and most importantly, how to work in such a way that I am there ultimately in my own best interest---not the company's.
My favorite 2 tips from the book:
"Don't ever get into the mindset where you think you're trapped in your job. It becomes a license for the company to abuse you. In addition, subconsciously you may begin to tolerate things you shouldn't."
Side Note: To all my friends who stayed at my last place of employment and who have been incessantly complaining about the way their jobs treat them and then cry they are stuck. Read that tip again! Print it out and paste in on your monitor! YOU ARE NEVER STUCK. At least not permanently. Temporarily, yes possibly, but where there's a will, there's a way. Get a "way" already!
My second favorite tip is on page 80:
"If you're ever concerned about being 'loyal' to the company, think again. Accept and embrace the reality that you are just a resource to them, nothing less, nothing more. They don't owe you anything. The flip side is that you don't owe anything either. If you have trouble accepting that reality, never forget that if they need to get rid of you, you'll be gone the next day."
I'll close this post by mentioning the only thing (there had to be something, right?) that I disagree with in the book. And that is the author's advice not to use sick days because the company frowns upon them. I thought that was out of character for the author and the rest of the book. So if you're like me and think you should use your sick days, then just look past that part because the book really is worth the read.
Recently, The Confessor and I have gotten turned on to Penelope Trunk, a career writer who calls herself "The Brazen Careerist". I love the things she has to say and I am proud that she is out there unafraid to tell it like it is and help change the workplace climate for the better. First of all, she's out there challenging things, and second of all, she was recently interviewed by Guy Kawasaki. This gets tons of points in my book because I LOVE Guy Kawasaki and if you ever have a chance to hear him speak, listen! He has some great perspectives on careers and life.
Anyway, as I was saying, I came across one of her blog articles titled "Getting a promotion is so last century" and loved what I read. Here's an excerpt:
Instead of letting last century’s carrots dictate your workplace rewards, think about what is right for you, right now. What do you really need? You don’t need a promotion. It’s something else. Think about what would really make a difference in your life and then make it happen.
She also refers to job titles as "accoutrements of hierarchy in a nonhierarchical workforce". RIGHT ON PENELOPE!
This is what I've said all along! I've always told people there was no way I wanted to move up in the company. I have no desire whatsoever to move up the corporate ladder. NONE. People have said to me "Well, is that what you say as an excuse because you're not going to get a promotion?". Sure, I might think that too, if I was narrow minded.
The truth is that, I'm a very hard worker who takes pride in her work. I've been approached about promotions before and I've been groomed since childhood that that's what you do: you go to school, get a job and move up the ladder. But I've come to realize that I care much more about my sanity. I care much more about not being taken advantage of by a company and I care much more about my stress level. I'm also hip enough to know that a promotion means jack squat in the grand scheme of things. It means you spend years upon years as a middle manager. It means you have tons of added responsibility with disproportional amounts of salary increases. It means you have to sacrifice more than a fair share of your life to the company. It means you are a animal who perpetually chases it's own tail.
And most of all it doesn't mean that you are safe from outsourcing, offshoring, downsizing or otherwise being pissed on by a company.
Now, to be clear, I'm not suggesting that you don't work hard and I'm not suggesting that hard work does not deserve to be rewarded. But consider other options besides being a zombie and climbing the ladder though meaningless promotions. Instead of a promotion or meager salary increase, Penelope suggests asking for more flex time, a bigger training budget for yourself or a mentor within the company. These mean more for you in the long run and are more valuable that a crappy 4% raise that means nothing after taxes.
And I agree---especially on the flex time part. Be your own crusader. Crusade for your own cause. No one is going to say, "You know John, you've done such a great job, you deserve more flex time". You've got to ask for it. You've got to be the one that carves out your own type of promotion and make it work for you.
Now, if you're reading this and you've ever gotten a promotion, are trying for a promotion or are any step above a peon, please don't take offense or think, "Hey...!". The promotions I am referring to are the ones that don't mean anything---the ones that come with a nominal salary increase. The ones that exist in Corporate America between cubicle dweller and CEO and are just another rung on the ladder. If you were an Administrative Assistant and you got promoted to Graphic Designer because that's what you've always wanted to do---then I say congratulations to that! That's the type of path I applaud, because you're going after what your heart desires and you aren't chasing an elusive carrot.
And if by chance, you're reading this and you hold one of those middle ladder positions, well...um...uh...good for you? The fact that you're on JobSchmob at all gives me hope for you yet!
Being that I've been sat down on several occasions and have been told I need to be less negative and more positive about all the dignity stripping, brain washing and pocket robbing that went on at all my corporate jobs, I've always been on high alert for any corporate manipulation tactics. So when I came across an article titled "Making Yourself More Likable at Work", I was all ready to yell, "Bullhockey, you bastards!" at my monitor and then start typing out my rant to the JobSchmobbers.
But alas, no such thing was found in the article. As I started reading it, I found that it actually has some good insight and decent, level-headed advice.
However, my secret desire to bash it peaked again when I read the sentence: "So, if you want to get ahead at the office, you need to figure out how to make yourself likable. " AH-HA! Get ahead? Make yourself more likable?? See! They ARE trying to manipulate me into playing the office conformity game! I hate articles about getting ahead! But then, dammit, it was followed by this constructive gem: "Usually, it's not a matter of changing your personality, but rather making sure that your true personality shows through."
WTF? They actually advise me to let my true personality show through? Dammit now I'm forced to like an article about becoming more likable at work. See Ma? I'm not as stubborn and idealistic as you thought! Nyah!
So here you go, guys. I have to recommend this article rather than poke fun at it and show the JobSchmobbers once more where we're being manipulated. Oh well. At least it's Friday!
Ever wonder who all those people are you see outside during the day while you're stuck in an office working? If you're lucky enough to have a window in an area that sees foot traffic, you see them passing by. If you're lucky enough to have a window, but it faces a road, you see their cars. And if you're lucky enough to actually get out during the day when it's not lunchtime, you see them in coffee shops, parks, stores and out on the street.
So how come THEY get to be out while you're stuck inside? They obviously aren't all stay at home parents, and they can't possibly all have the day off---so who are they and what do they do? How did they get to be so lucky to be free during the day? Or better yet, how do I get to be them?
I found an article online from someone who wondered the same thing. Unlike me, he decided to do something about his curiosity and he went out an actually interviewed them! Makes for a pretty fascinating read. Check out the article linked below.