When Your Boss Sucks and What To Do About It
One day I came to work, and my boss wasn’t there. I was surprised; she was usually there before anyone else. It was later that day I found out why she wasn’t there. She’d been fired. At first I was shocked; I thought should was a good leader and supervisor. But sometimes you don’t know the full story and this was definitely one of those cases. Apparently, she’d been actively breaking the NDA, and possibly with people who could use the information she’d been dispensing.
Not quite the scenario that comes to mind when you think about how much your boss sucks, huh? Here’s another one: A different boss, at a different place, was just the worst. She had no sense of leadership, propriety, and talked to the co-workers like she was hanging out at the bar. Which is fine, except we were in a pre-school.
There are all sorts of way that people don’t live up to our expectations of leadership. Often it’s because they weren’t trained, or they didn’t have a role model to learn from. I’m lucky that I’ve had both, and between the training and modelling, I’ve learned how to identify poor leadership and what you can do about it.
When the work environment reaches a place where you can’t really do your job anymore because of the relationship you have with your boss, you know it’s time for someone to go. It’s either you or them.
You should want to work in a place where you get along with your co-workers. Here are some signs that your boss sucks:
- Talks shit behind your back, or talks about co-workers behind their backs
- Gives contrary orders or difficult tasks with impossible deadlines
- Expects more from you that what your job title does
- Makes you feel uncomfortable, or unsafe
- Says things about their personal life that makes you wonder if you should tell a legal authority
- Bullies you into doing work outside of office hours, or outside your job description, or something illegal
When we’re young, and just starting out in the world, we’re often so grateful to have a job that when people treat us poorly, we accept it gracefully (or at least without comment) and continue on. We don’t think we deserve the treatment, but we’re conditioned to take the abuse in an effort to build our credibility and work history.
You know that’s not right, right?
Here are some things you can do to protect yourself:
Talk with your supervisor about their behavior – yeah, I know it’s going to be terrifying, but there’s a chance they don’t know what kind of asshole they are. A client of mine recently told me during their last interview the supervisor referred to herself as a bitch several times. The client knew to expect a certain level of behavior, and talking to the supervisor wouldn’t have been helpful in this situation. If the behavior started out of nowhere they could be having a life change and subsequently acting out at work. But if they’re just a terrible person and they don’t know, you can let them know.
Talk to their supervisor about their behavior
If you feel unsafe around your supervisor, and you don’t want to or can’t afford to find a new job, consider talking to the supervisor’s supervisor. You can bring it up as an off record conversation and feel the situation out, or you can file a formal complaint. If you work for a larger organization they might have a policy in place for reporting employees. You’ll want to make sure you follow that policy to the letter, in case there is any blowback.
Apply for a different position within the company
If the company is on the larger side, chances are you’re not there to do menial work anyway. If you’re wondering if you have enough experience to even ask for a promotion, the answer is probably yes. As part of the application, you’ll want to create an internal resume of the work you’ve done, and take the time to highlight your accomplishments for the company. Anytime you’ve saved them money, helped them increase profits, or found a solution for a problem, it needs to be detailed. If your company has an internal hiring/promotion process you’ll need to follow that as closely to policy as possible.
Now I know you’re already thinking, “this person isn’t going to give me a reference!” but you might be surprised. Again, even though people have terrible workplace behavior, when tasked to think about what’s best for the company, they tend to put aside their personal feelings. Which leads me to my next point…
Don’t take it personal –
You are not going to get along with everyone you meet. Not everyone is going to like you. And there is nothing you can do about it. What you can do though, is try your best to meet the person where they’re at. If you are having constant communication problems, try to identify where things are getting missed, and then fill in the blanks.
Quit your job –
Sometimes things cannot be figured out. You cannot escape, and your mental health cannot take the pressure of having a terrible boss. That’s okay. I highly recommend finding another position before you put your two weeks in. There are a couple of reasons for this. 1) You are infinitely more employable when you’re employed. 2) If you can seamlessly switch into a new job, your finances won’t get all messed up through unemployment. 3) Its the professional thing to do, even if you are ready to stick it to the company.
When your boss sucks, your work situation can feel impossible but you have more control over your life and career than you think. If things aren’t the way you need them to be, then change it. You have the power to do that. Be empowered and take your life back.
Thank you for being here today.
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Online Applications: Tips, Tricks, and other advice
Personally, I have only received one job offer from filling out online applications. It was for a local bookstore, and they asked a billion questions, half of them contradicting previously asked questions. During my interview, the manager circled the ones that I had responded with mismatching answers and asked me to explain myself.
Luckily, I got the job.
However, out of the dozens of applications I’ve filled out online, that was the only one I got through the process of. Now being on the other side of the employment line, I can see what I was doing wrong.
When filling out an application online, your first instinct is to tell the employer what you think they want to hear, not necessarily what is an honest answer for yourself. Even knowing that the applications must go through some sort of pre-screen process, it’s hard to envision how your answers are going to affect your overall chance of moving into the pile of potential interviewees.
Here are some things you should keep in mind:
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The questions are designed to test your honesty, loyalty to your company or brand, and integrity. However, they are using a code to decide whether you’re being honest answering your questions, or if you are lying.
Those 55 questions repeating over and over again are designed to slip you up. So just be honest. Don’t be shy or hesitant. On a scale of Strongly Agreeable to Strongly Disagreeable, and everything in between; “In between” isn’t interesting. “In between” doesn’t rock boats, make sales, or catch attention, good or bad.
You’ll get passed over for someone who has more definite opinions.
Hopefully all of the English classes paid off, but for most computer savvy youth, proper capitalization, grammar and sentence structure are replaced for the easier-more-widely-accepted-amongst-their-peers txt speak.
Don’t do that.
Make sure your nouns are properly capitalized; apostrophes, commas, and semicolons are used properly.
Do not use emoticons. Ever. For any reason.
If you have any questions about whether your sentence is properly constructed, read it out loud, and read slowly. Ask yourself if your teacher or parent would cringe upon reading it.
Don’t use a lot of “ I “ statements. The employers already know who you’re talking about, it doesn’t need to be reinforced with “I am good at communicating”, “I sold things for places”, etc.
I’m a big fan of using empty phrases on resumes and applications, but I will say they are the thing I regret the most when making a resume. Why do I do it? It’s great filler, and resumes are ultimately your calling card. However, things like, “dedicated and hard worker,” or “prompt and dependable” don’t really provide an accurate picture of who you are to an employer. Those things should already be inferred, because no one wants to hire a “floppy undependable loser” type. Of course you’re going to say these great things; you’re trying to sell yourself!
If you’re going to use such phrases, then lend an example, or a qualification to it. “Dedicated football team member; achieved 98,000 touchdowns last season.” or “Earned certificate of attendance for Blank High School, 3 semesters in a row” to prove your promptness. Just remember to avoid the dreaded “I” statements.
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Tell Me About Yourself
Some applications may have a blurb section where they ask for you to talk about yourself for a little bit. Under no circumstances are you to mention whether you have any children or are currently pregnant, have a second job, your age, or your religious practices. Under the Equal Opportunities Law, it is illegal to discriminate against you for these things; however if you provide with with this information, it will undoubtedly become a part of their decision whether to hire you or not. How big a role it might play is not for me to say; legally it can’t play any part at all. However if you provide them with this information, it will affect your chances of being hired.
What employers are really wanting out of this section is what you’re going to do for them. They are hiring you to make them money, not to help you out; they’re not interested in keeping you in cute clothes, paying for video games, and putting gas in your car. They want you to sell their items and raise their bottom line. It’s a lot to ask, especially if you’re not really sure where to start.
A good place to start is acknowledging what you’re good at. Do you listen well? Can you talk to strangers about any random thing without hesitation? Do you follow directions well?
Something else to include in your biography: previous success. Like the football team, speech debate championship or other school award, mentioning previous success builds you up for future success. Don’t be like Uncle Rico from Napoleon Dynamite, constantly reliving your High School success when you’re 30, or your elementary school highlights when you’re in High School.
Keep it simple and let your enthusiasm show. Sell yourself, and don’t sell yourself short.
Don’t do it. Don’t stretch the truth. If you have a letterman’s jacket for playing chess, don’t say it’s for intramural sports. If an employer finds out that you’ve lied on an application they reserve the right to fire you, and potentially sue you for false advertising, fraud and loss of wages. That’s really just one box you don’t want to open. That’s all I have to say about that.
So to recap:
- Be honest when filling out the million page questionnaires for online applications, even if it doesn’t seem like the right answer.
- A computer brain is going to average your score before the hiring manager is able to get a look at it.
- Being safe doesn’t get interviews.
- Spell check, double check, and have someone proofread for you. Proper capitalization counts.
- Applications are to prove you can provide the employer a service. You’ve already provided services to people in your school, family and community. Draw your experience from them.
- Use statements you can back up with real life experience.
- Be sure the employer knows how valuable an employee you’ll make.
- Do not lie under any circumstances on your application or resume.
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Dear College Self,
You are going to drop out. A couple of times.
Turns out that while you love school, and learning, you’re kind of a terrible student. It’s okay. It happens. Someone will tell you one day, that it just depends on how bad you want it. Those words will cut you to the bone, but you’ll survive the wound. The thing is, you never wanted a college degree to begin with. So it’s okay that you never graduated. You got out of exactly what you needed; an opportunity to explore and grow and learn.
You are going to have a pile of debt.
Half of the reason you signed up for school, and loans, is so you wouldn’t have to work while you were enrolled. And it worked, didn’t it? The good news is, there are a lot of loan refinancing and repayment options out there that aren’t quite as scary as the internet tells you they are. Now, you just have to put them to work.
Your life is going to be exactly how you planned.
Even though you didn’t graduate, you still managed to serve in the Peace Corps, and affect meaningful change to hundreds of kids who need additional support to reach their goals of financial self sufficiency. You knew once joining the Peace Corps your life would be irrevocably changed, and you were right. But after ten thousand daydreams of how you might be different, you never considered the actual reality. Funny how that happens sometimes.
You’re happy and you reached your lifelong goal.
Ten years in making, but the goal was achieved. Something people rarely tell you about goal setting is how empty the accomplishment feels. You know how it’s better to reach for fulfillment, than goals. And now you know how to make fulfillment the goal.
You know anything is possible. You will accomplished the impossible. In getting there, you will be homeless, jobless, stranded, broke, and heartbroken. But you’re still here, better than ever. The lessons learned are invaluable. Hard earned, but invaluable.
Stay in school as long as you can though; that knowledge is yours to keep forever.
Jessica F. Walker is a Millennial Life Skills Coach, author, and Jill of all Trades.
3 New Year’s Resolutions To Make This Year
Can you believe it’s already 2017? Crazy! But here’s the thing. 2016 has been long. Like really long. And brutal for a lot of us, not matter what side of the political coin you fall on. So I would like to start looking to the future, and start picturing how epic and beautiful 2017 is going to be. New Year’s Resolutions are a fun and great way to set your intention for the year. People tend to Naysay New Years Resolutions, like, why start on Jan. 1? Why can’t I make this goal any other time of my life? And the fact is, YOU CAN! You can set your goals whenever the heck you want. But why not start 2017 fresh? Because honestly, can’t we just use a break?
If you’re into making resolutions every year, then you’re going to love this list. Its mindful, and simple. And if you’re not into making resolutions this year, this short list is just a suggestion. Keep it in the back of your mind. Revisit from time to time. It’s okay.
In 2017 the New Year’s resolutions you should make are:
Don’t sweat the small stuff.
There is a chance that things are going to continue being hard. Tragedy and grief are inescapable. We all experience these things. When traffic gets slow, or you’re running late, don’t stress about it too much.
There are a lot of things we don’t have control over in our lives. How we react to situations is the only control we do have.
If traffic sucks, that’s okay. You’re still going to get home. If you’re running late, apologize and move on. In the grand scheme of things, it’s just not that important.
Start a daily practice of gratitude.
Gratitude, or as I like to call it, Mindful Appreciation is an amazing practice to have. If you haven’t tried it, well you should! It’s like magic. All you have to do is pick out three things you’re grateful for each day.
It could be like, “I’m grateful I woke up, I’m grateful for my dog, I’m grateful for my shoes.” or it could be, “The sun on my face, the love of my spouse, elephants.”
Literally anything that you’re grateful for in that moment. Make a point to acknowledge it. You can do this by writing it down, saying it out loud, or saying it to the person/animal/thing.
When you have a practice of gratitude, the universe just kind of… unfolds before you. Try it out. Seriously, its magical.
Know when you need to ask for help; and actually do it.
A thing we’re all guilty of, but especially women. We’re taught that we have to be all things to all people, and do it without showing any stress or signs of fatigue. But it’s hard work keeping at that pace. No one can forever.
It is so much easier to get things done when you ask for help. Asking for help doesn’t make you weak, or lame. It doesn’t mean you’re broken. Asking for help shows that you recognize where you are at, and where you need to be. It shows that you cannot do it alone.
No woman is an island. Whether the help you ask for is someone carrying groceries, or working with a coach, know that it is okay to seek it. Therapy sometimes get a bad rap, but if you need a neutral 3rd party to talk to, it’s a great resource.
Coaching is a great option if you need a lot of support to get unstuck, change your career, or figure out what your superpowers are. Luckily for you, my preparing to launch a course called Catapult Your Career which will give you all the tools you need to change the course of your career, and life. If you’re feeling stuck because you don’t know what to do, or how to get there, this course will help clarify your path. It’ll give you to resources to leverage your experience and the confidence to ask for the job you want.
I’m so excited to share this with you! If you want to be first on the list for the early bird price, make sure you sign up below! This course will only be available for a limited time, so make sure you sign up now!
There comes a time in everyone’s life when they know they absolutely cannot stay at the job they’re at. Either its the boss, or the low pay, or the commute, or anything else. But staying is no longer an option.
But wait! You can’t quit! What about the employee sponsored 401k, or health insurance? If you quit you don’t get your unemployment insurance- maybe for weeks!
What if you quit, and then finding another is a lot harder than you thought?
Sometimes you have to quit a job, but there are some things you can do to protect yourself so you don’t put yourself in a negative situation.
First of all, let’s examine why you want to quit.
Is it your boss or co-workers? Does the values of the company or corporate culture not align with yours? Or are you just bored with the work?
If you feel like you need to be challenged at your job, but you love your co-workers, consider looking for a new position within the company.
Set a new goal for yourself. Find out which jobs are available, or find a person who has the job you want, and ask them what you need to do to get their job.
They’re not going to feel threatened by your inquiry. They’re going to be flattered that you asked them.
Once you know what kind of skills you need, look for some online courses to help fill the gap. I suggest also, reaching out to your new friend and asking if there is a project they might need some extra assistance on. Be sure to let your supervisor know that you’d like to increase your responsibilities.
If, however, the company is not where you want to be, that’s when you need to start job searching.
Don’t quit before you have another job lined up. Its tacky, and you don’t actually know when the new job will start. It helps to give yourself a deadline to give your two weeks notice by.
Make the date, and keep it very firm in your mind.
Write it down. And plan your entire life around it.
The job will come, if you’re actively searching. The universe will align itself to help you reach your goals. But you have to ask, and you have to put forth the effort.
Now that you have this awesome deadline, you have to plan.
Depending on your current employer, you might have some really amazing benefits. While it’s a growing trend, many companies don’t offer child care assistance, dental insurance, or a set amount of leave (you have to earn it).
So, when researching places to apply in the field of work you’d like, take these things into consideration. Is it worth leaving your current company for less pay, but free daycare? Would you rather have guaranteed parking, or your gym across the street?
You have to decide what is important to you in a workplace. And then make sure you’re willing to accept the compromise you’ll eventually need to make.
What happens if your deadline comes and goes, and there is still no job offer?
Well, if you’re feeling unsafe at your workplace and it isn’t something that can be worked out, then you have to make the best decision for you. But if you still don’t have a new job, consider the reasons.
Do you need to revamp your resume? Are you getting references? Is your background or credit blocking your way? Are you even making it to the interview portion of the job search?
If you’re struggling to find a way out of your job, getting an outside perspective can be extremely helpful. A millennial life skills coach can help you figure out what steps you’re missing and how you can best leverage your experience to get the job you want.
I don’t know if you heard, but me and my friends are hosting a super awesome giveaway of a year’s worth of coaching, courses, and more to make your 2017 the best year ever. If you haven’t entered DO IT NOW! Deadline is 12/26/2016, and there is over $1200 in prizes!
Today, we’re talking to Alissa Carpenter of Not Okay, that’s Okay Coaching. Read more about her and her services below. And make sure you enter the New Year’s Resolution Transformation Life Coaching Giveaway!
Who is your audience; what goals are you helping them accomplish?
I work with Millennials while they are in school and young professionals helping them figure out who they want to be when they grow up (personally and professionally). College doesn’t really teach you how to be a successful employee, establish work/life balance, identify your values or how to set and achieve larger life goals and that’s what I’m here to do.
How did you get started as a coach?
I’ve been coaching and working in higher education for over 12 years. Right after college, I went to graduate school to study higher education because I noticed a gap between what was taught in college and what was actually applicable in the real world. I made it my mission both as a higher education administrator and a coach to help bridge the gap between college life and the “real world” and to identify people’s strengths to overcome tough times academically, professionally and personally.
What is the single best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
It’s OK to be multi-passionate, you just have a to find a place for it.
Tell me more about Unlock Your Superpowers
My course “Unlock Your Superpowers” is a highly engaging, interactive, and self-paced course that focuses on the StrengthsFinder assessment. At the beginning, students take this 30 minute online assessment to identify their top 5 strengths. Throughout the course, we analyze these strengths and the best way to apply them personally, professionally and academically while learning exercises to mitigate weaknesses. We later establish your values, life mission and then create goals to live your dream life with your strengths as the foundation to making it happen. This course can be taken over and over and you’ll get something new every time. It’s personalized approach and exercises help you dig deeper to figure out what’s important to you and make a plan to do more of it.
What do you do when someone is paying for services, but isn’t engaged in the program?
I’ll be honest, you have to give something to get something. I’m here for my clients and course students 110%! At the beginning of every coaching session, presentation, and course I’m very open about what you can expect from me and what I should be expecting from you. You have to be driver in the change you want to make in your life and I’m always here to help you but we need to work together as a team!
When should someone start seeking coaching services?
I truly believe everyone needs a coach; a partner to help them identify, navigate and apply your goals. Here are just a few reasons why someone should seek out a coach:
HELP YOU GET THROUGH A RUT.
Life isn’t always sunshine and roses and knowing your talents and how to use them can really help you get to that next level. No one wants to waste their time doing something over and over again that isn’t getting any better. Honing in on where your time and energy should be spent will take a load off your shoulders.
FIGURING OUT YOU.
It’s all about owning and embracing you 100% of the time. The goal is to figure out what makes you tick, what you like to do, why you are good at it and how you can use that to your advantage in your everyday life.
READY FOR A CHANGE.
Sometimes we’re not doing what we like to do but have a hard time figuring out what we like then once we know what that is we just can’t figure out how to do it. Coaching is the first step to figuring that all out!
WANT TO ACCOMPLISH A GOAL.
It might seem like you’re forever making and setting goals but things keep getting in the way of following through. Coaching will not only work to evaluate the attainability of your goals but also how to maximize your time, energy and talents to get you where you want to be at a faster pace.
NEED SOMEONE TO TALK TO.
Coaching is not a typical counseling session and is all about using tools to help you get through whatever is going on in your life-big or small.
BUILD DEEPER RELATIONSHIPS AND CONNECTIONS WITH PEOPLE.
There are not only ups and downs with individuals, but with relationships. Coaching allows you to talk about building more meaningful and effective partnerships through not only your talents but others’ talents as well.
What sets you apart from the rest?
I’ve been coaching and working in higher education for over 12 years and I truly love what I do. I pride myself on being an active listener, trusted confidant, compassionate problem solver, and inclusive thinker. In addition, I rarely use the word “I” and instead say “We.” I view “your journey” as “our journey” and believe that tough love is the way to go. I will always be in your corner but will push you to finish what you start and hold you accountable for the goals you set for yourself and help you readjust as needed. Here are just a few of my clients and their experiences from working with me:
Thanks for being here today. If you got any value out of this post, I hope you’ll enter the giveaway, and share with your friends!