College Students–Don’t Make this Fatal Mistake

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Uncle David has gotten every job he has ever gone for, so when he gives job-hunting advice, you better listen up. Join us every week for Uncle David’s 100% Successful Job Hunting Tip.  

SHOW DATE: MARCH 12, 2014

College students, start developing relationships with your university’s career services office RIGHT NOW.

The fatal mistake many college students make is getting help their senior years.

BIG MISTAKE.

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If we were career service staff at a university, we’d be more likely to help someone we knew for a few years.

Start going in your sophomore or junior year. It’s called nurturing relationships and it’s going to help you get a job.

Want to get Noticed at Work? Here’s the Easy Way

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SHOW DATE: MARCH 12, 2014

Take care of the little things in the office that nobody ever notices. That extra initiative is going to get you recognized and promoted.

Change the batteries in the smoke detector; change the clocks during daylight savings; do the things no other employee figures is “worthy enough” to get a promotion.

You do this at home and at work, you’re going to get noticed.

Feeling “Right” In Your Work Attire is More Important than Being Fashionable

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We recently read a fascinating article by Anne Hollander, author of Sex and Suits.

She discussed common subjects such as what you’re supposed to wear if you are in fashion or marketing or whatever. This was not the interesting point.

What caught our eye was when she wrote that people are more at ease and comfortable when they are dressed for a specific context.

Depending on the milieu you’re in, the clothing you wear has to be appropriate in the context you’re in. Well, duhhhh you’re thinking, what’s so interesting about that; after all, if you’re a garbage man you wear a sanitation uniform, if you’re a broker you wear a suit.

But within that realm of appropriateness, you need to find the style you feel most comfortable in.

Let’s say you work at an investment bank. You figure, suit and tie. You still have to wear the appropriate dress code, but you don’t have to don an Italian suit like the other bankers. In fact, if you’re not comfortable with the trend, don’t follow it. Wear a Hugo Boss.

Don’t follow the crowd. You will get promoted and get more money if you are at ease and more comfortable at work. Just stay within the universe of what’s appropriate.

 

GETTING CONTROL-HUNGRY? YOUR BUSINESS WILL FAIL

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SHOW DATE: FEBRUARY 26, 2014

Whatever industry you’re in, let your co-workers do their job.

OK, that sounds like pretty humdrum advice, but you wouldn’t believe how many companies stagnate because control-hungry employees won’t let their co-workers do what they specialize in.

Let’s say you’re the computer guy and you did all the tech work necessary to launch a business and attract customers. We can’t tell you how many techies told us their businesses failed because they wouldn’t let their marketing people do their job. They’d hoard responsibilities just to get some control over what they established.

This led only to ruin. This is why you have experts working alongside you: so you can focus on getting done what you do best.

Let go. The more you try to control everything, the more it slips through your fingers. AKA the more you resist, the more it persists.

Just let the experts do their job.

Sex with co-workers is OK, as long as…

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SHOW DATE: FEBRUARY 19, 2014

Sex with Employees?

Having sex with your co-workers; it gets you all tingly just reading it.

You know you do it, you know you wanna do it and you know you’ve done it before.

We say go for it. You go girl. You go boy. Do it and have fun. It doesn’t matter, AS LONG as you’re performing at an Olympic level at your job (and hopefully in bed). It’s a release, it’s necessary and it’s healthy. When you’re working as hard as you are, a cathartic fling will keep you from crashing. There are some points to seriously consider before you get nasty, though, which we’ll list later.

The topic comes up after an influx of media coverage revolving around the hook up stories in Sochi. Gold medalist Jamie Anderson even deleted her Tinder app because it was too distracting.

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And it’s not only sex. You can freely speak your mind, be outrageous, really push the edge of a “work personality” when you’re giving you’re A-game day after day. Few can question your more “out there” actions or your free disposition when you’re working your ass off and doing amazing things.

Bottom line, if you’re the Jamie Anderson at your job, go for it. If you’re making it rain money and everybody’s lives are better because of your work M.O., do it. Maybe some little nothing may turn around and say something—don’t worry. When you’re great at what you do, their words won’t carry far.

Gearing Up Emotionally

The only office flings go wrong, even if you’re both Olympic-level employees, is when one person wants it and the other doesn’t. You have to understand there’s a cap on this game. The person that gets called out is the one who’s freaking out that they’re not getting it anymore.

That means being a mature adult and moving on when it’s over. This is VITAL if you want things to go smoothly afterwards. Keep in mind 15% of office hook ups blossom into long-term relationships. 85% don’t.

Emotionally gear up to move on fast if you’re thinking of hooking up, or don’t do it at all. Keep it on the down low and be satisfied with the good sex you had along the way and then look for your release elsewhere. Myriad office hook ups go sour because one of the employees got too emotionally hung up on the other. People might talk, they might talk, just be prepared.

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Now, if your office has rules about this—yes, actual veritable rules that explicitly state “no employee relations”—you are risking your job, no matter how well you perform.

And try to avoid sleeping with managers and bosses (anyone directly above you, for that matter), or employees you’re managing yourself. It only makes the field more prone to drama.

Sex in the Office?

Now comes the more deliciously nefarious question: you have the keys to the office, you know when the boss is out… do you do it?

For some employees, such as our office manager who lives with three other roommates, bringing someone back home is not always an option. Worst comes to worst, and keeping to the fact that you’re performing at your best on the job, try it. Once. Just be slick about it. To quote Auntie Evan, “if you ain’t slick, don’t use your…”

But we don’t encourage it. Just like you don’t eat where you defecate—or worse, vice versa—you want to keep the office (and its tables) strictly for job-related tasks.

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And yes, if you really want to know, our office manager has indeed done the dirty at our office. Listen to last Wednesday’s Job Talk radio show here, where he describes the experience—and hear some of our callers talk about their hot flings as well.

FYI, we are now on livestream, so you can see what we’re up to during peak hours—unfortunately, this is strictly professional, so no webcam material. Just our office manager’s handsome face.

Why Coming Out At Work is So Important

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The other day on “Job Talk,” Uncle David told a story about coming out during a final job interview in the 90s during the Internet boom. The company was called Deja.com and the job was to basically be the automobile section editor. If memory serves, the site did something like rate and rank products—like Consumer Reports. Needless to say, it was a very testosterone-driven environment. Though it was based in New York City, this was still pre-partner privileges and pre-gay marriage—and boys will be boys, be it in TriBeCa, Tinseltown, or in Texas circa now.

On air, David told me how scared he was when I demanded that he go in and require domestic partner benefits—like health insurance—for me.

While I might have had right on my side, he had fear ripping through his. I never knew it at the time. Why? Because I don’t have my own “coming out at work” story. Why? Have ya met me?! At the risk of stereotyping myself, I am by all standards a little cliché—three snaps up and all.

So everywhere I ever worked, one of two things was true: You either just knew, or you were a moron. On the other hand, unless Uncle David is going on and on about Night of a Thousand Stevies or American Horror Story: Coven (both involving his beloved Welsh Witch Stevie Nicks), he can pretty much pass for straight. (He fooled his ex-girlfriend—for years, that beotch. #IWillCutHer.)

But being able to “pass” didn’t help him, his team at Deja, or later at Individual Investor magazine. I feel horrible that he was scared, but being the elegant, powerful man that he is, he looked across the radio booth at me and said “Thank you. Thank you for pushing me to come out at work, whatever the reason.” He went on to say that in that moment during the interview, everything shifted—for him. Turned out, the boss didn’t care and, in the years that followed, he would often ask David about me… just like any co-worker might ask about a wife.

What a shock! Gays are people too. And everyone needs to be able to share a little bit of the personal during the professional. After all, work and life collide. It’s just that simple. Mixing the personal and the professional makes for better teams, coworkers, and companies. It makes the bottom line better for everyone.  Even me. Uncle David got promotion after promotion, recommendation after recommendation, and went to the next job out and proud. (And he bought me a condo in Brooklyn.)

Here are some reasons why it’s so important to come out at work:

  1. Honesty is the best policy. One lie just leads to three. How long can you keep coming up with reasons not to be fixed up with the boss’s niece when you’re currently dating his nephew? How do you keep that story together? And why are you and Paul constantly hanging out on the weekends? Why did you both show up at the rodeo together—without dates? What a tangled web we weave, etc., Shakespeare quote yadayada. It’s just tiring. Isn’t your job hard enough? Do you really need to moonlight as a different person?
  2. Worry time eats up work time. If you’re worried, you can’t do your job well. As Wayne Dyer said: “…The activity of worrying keeps you immobilized.” (Who’s Wayne Dyer? I don’t know, but thank you Google.) Whoever he is, his words ring true.
  3. When you come out, everybody comes out. About everything. There will be a giant sigh of relief among your coworkers, your project team, the boss. And then everyone can get out of your business and attend to the business of doing business. That means mo’ money fo’ everyone.
  4. The life you save may not be your own. One of your coworkers is struggling with this too. It may even be your boss. Yes, just like NFL football players, bosses are gay people too. And what if your coming out meant your boss had someone he or she could talk to? Now who’s getting promoted? Jews keep it in the family, so do Asians, so do African-Americans—why not LGBTI? #sorrynotsorry

I get it. It’s not New York City everywhere—not even in NYC. And not everyone’s gonna be okay with it. You might be living in Baytown, Texas, where Uncle David grew up—and you might be a middle-school teacher in a very Christian world where being gay is something that can be “cured.” (Homophobia is far from over.) I know you’re afraid you’re going to get fired. And that’s a real concern. But that’s when bravery comes into this picture. There’s a little boy or girl in that class or in your town who needs you to be brave so that they don’t end up as the one in five teens who commit suicide because he’s gay (or has a brother who’s gay). You might have just given rise to the next Michael Sam—especially in Texas.

#everyonealreadyknows

– Auntie Evan

Follow Auntie Evan on Twitter: @AuntieEvanSays

Hear Auntie Evan on the radio: Job Talk Daily Live 

How Smoking Cigarettes Can Impede Your Promotion

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SHOW DATE: FEBRUARY 12, 2014

We know it’s tough to stop smoking. But simply put, if you smoke, you smell like an ashtray.

That means your co-workers have to smell that ashtray. Over time, that smell seeps out of your cubicle and makes its way into surrounding areas like some invisible swamp monster.

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It’s something hard to get if you’re a smoker—mainly because smokers can’t smell themselves, their clothing, everything they touch.

What’s the real impact on you, the smoker? People don’t want to be around you (unless they all smoke and can’t smell anything either). If people are avoiding you, that’s already diminishing your chances of getting a promotion.

We enjoy having a cigarette every once in a while, but some of us can’t stop at one. We recommend getting help and talking to your doctor about Chantix, or wearing a patch. Just get that smell out of the office.

NOBODY EVER HEARS YOU OUT? IT’S BECAUSE YOU DON’T LISTEN

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SHOW DATE: FEBRUARY 5, 2014

If you want to be heard, you have to listen.

As one of the interviewees in fasctcompany.com’s article on what advice eight successful entrepreneurs would give their younger selves, IDEO Chief Creative Officer Paul Bennett said something that really hit home with us:

For most of my twenties I assumed that the world was more interested in me than I was in it, so I spent most of my time talking, usually in a quite uninformed way, about whatever I thought, rushing to be clever, thinking about what I was going to say to someone rather than listening to what they were saying to me.”

We all do this: being so distracted by our own thoughts that you don’t listen to the other person.

You’re plotting out your response and you don’t actually hear what the other person is saying; you’re not being open.

Nobody is going to listen to you and you’re not going to get promoted if you just sit there and have clever answers and retorts for everything. You’ll just come off as defensive, and, worse yet, a megalomaniac.

GETTING ADVICE FROM AN INDUSTRY VET? MAKE IT EASY ON THEM

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SHOW DATE: FEBRUARY 5, 2014

When asking somebody to help you break into a new industry—somebody’s who’s been there for a while—make it easy on them. Don’t make them have to pull teeth.

Auntie Evan got a call recently from a friend in the educational consulting industry asking him to speak to a young man looking to get into the business of tutoring kids and helping them get into college.

Of course, it’s up to the caller to explain his situation and ask the right questions. Instead, the man fumbled and waited for Auntie Evan to do all the work for him.

Auntie Evan had to forcefully get all the information out from this guy. This guy had an amazing opportunity to get Auntie Evan on his side, but he blew it because he wasn’t prepared, didn’t have any questions ready, and didn’t talk about the skills he had, as well as the most important thing—his long term goals.

Don’t make the person helping you have to pull teeth. Be clear and explain who you are and what you want. Don’t waste their time and you’ll have someone in industry by your side.