Bare Bone Biz
I got my first job at 14. I’ve had about 100 jobs since. I got fired a few times. Each experience taught me valuable lessons and skills. At heart, I am still that trouble-making, fence-testing employee. Much of my business advice comes from that perspective. Most of the time I give advice to the boss. However, today, dear employee, I’m talking to you.
Employee Tips! How to get what you want from your job and your boss.
• DO find out what it takes to get fired. Don’t ask your boss. Ask other team members. Then, choose your battles.
• DON’T play a small game. Want to show up late? OK. But that means the conversation will never be on anything but that. Want to wear a grey t-shirt instead of a white one. Then that’s the game. If your employer is committed to his or her standards, you will get fired. If not, you win. It’s a small victory.
• DON’T use a personal challenge as a reason to do poorly at work. A fight with your fiancé? It happens. Shake it off before you go to work. What good does it do to let the negative energy domino drop your career? Go for a run. Scream underwater. Write it out in your journal. Do yoga. Do whatever. Then, bring your best self to work. A good day can spill over into your home life. You are either spiraling up or down based on your thoughts and choices.
• DO take advantage of offered training. Learn what you can keep forever. Offer to train, too. If you are getting paid to train, this is the best benefit you can find.
• DO embrace sales. What you might not like about sales – being pushy, lying, talking a lot – are not part of a good sales process. Find an opportunity to try out a sales position, or at least attend sales training. If you are willing to, you can become successful at sales. That opens up more career opportunities in any field than any other skill.
• DON’T ask for an advance on your paycheck.
• DO put a personal budget together. Live on 70% of what you take home, after taxes. Save for the future, pay down debt and contribute to good causes with the rest.
• DO leave if you hate your job or you have reached the end of your career arc. Give two weeks notice and accept it if you are asked to leave earlier.
• DON’T just leave your keys on the boss’ desk and disappear.
• DO report any illegal activities, discrimination, abuse or harassment to the proper authorities.
• DO cut your boss some slack. Start with the assumption that he or she is doing the best they can. Sometimes, it’s just a rough day.
• DO give your boss props on a job well done or a good decision made.
• DO take the raise and the promotion even if you are not quite sure you are up to the task. Then, get good. Figure it out. We all feel like imposters at some point in our career.
Whether you are the boss or the bossed, DON’T give up on your dreams. DO what you can do in every moment to get what you really really really want. And, as Zig Ziglar says…
“You can have anything you want
if you help enough other people get what they want.”