STOP LAYING THE SMACK DOWN ON YOUR EMPLOYEES

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SHOW DATE: JANUARY 29, 2014

When you’re at work and you’re leading a team through stressful circumstances, you tend to be the supreme and smack down your employees when something goes awry.

Sometimes, this is unnecessary. Sometimes you have to be a leader and you have to inspire and educate rather than be, well, a biatch.

Last week, Auntie Evan and Uncle David got into a full-out war between each other, and their office manager got sucked into the crossfire.

The argument started over their non-profit organization, Essay Busters, which helps inner-city kids in New York get into college.

Roberto innocently posted on his Facebook page an idea he had about choosing a different charity every month and raising money for it.

Auntie Evan read this Facebook post and went ballistic, calling Roberto up at 11pm and ranting about how much of an embarrassment it was for the executive director of one organization to talk about giving money away to others.

To Auntie Evan, it was analogous to when you’re friends with your wife on Facebook and you send out a post asking if anyone would like to have an affair.

But instead of coming down like a ton of bricks, Auntie Evan could have understood that this was a brain glitch, it wasn’t personal. Instead of getting emotional and raging, he could have explained it in a way that was educative and understanding.

Bosses make mistakes too. Even in a position of power, there are consequences of raging on your employees; when employees give a lot to an organization and they don’t feel respected, it makes them want to pull back.

Luckily, Auntie Evan made amends during last week’s Job Talk Live radio show.

HIRE OF WEEK: FLEETWOOD MAC VOCALIST CHRISTINE MCVIE

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SHOW DATE: JANUARY 15, 2014

We are excited that Fleetwood Mac is getting back together. But that’s not why vocalist Christine McVie is our hire of the week.

McVie retired in 1998, and she’s been holding on to her retirement. But she decided to let go of her ego and get back with Fleetwood Mac without worrying if it will make her look like she’s going backwards.

She was passionate, and we should all take a cue. If you have too much pride to take up a certain job—say one you resigned from a while ago—drop the ego and focus on the passion.

ADD HYPERLINKS TO YOUR RESUME

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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: JANUARY 15, 2013

Your resume is the gateway to your future career. So it’s a bit jarring to find out that hiring managers only spend about 10 seconds looking over it.

Fortunately, we have a way to make hiring managers look over your resume for more than 10 seconds.

Engage hiring managers by adding hyperlinks to your resumes. The great thing is, most people view resumes on their computer, meaning they can click links in your resume.

So if you work for, say, SnowCorp, put in a link to SnowCorp’s website on your resume. Also make sure to attach a hyperlink for your LinkedIn profile to your name at the top of your resume.

STOP USING YOUR COMPANY EMAIL ON YOUR RESUME

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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: JANUARY 8, 2013

When you’re looking for a job, you want to make sure you have a personal email address listed on your resume.

There are people who feel that using their company email address on their resume legitimizes them and proves that they have a job. But that’s not the way you prove your legitimacy. There’s references for that.

For one, your company might be filtering its email system for any mentions of “resume.” In most cases, you wouldn’t want your company to be privy of your job hunt.

It’s enough for your future employer to see, “ABC Inc. | XXXX – Present.” Like we said, you can always put a co-worker as a reference to legitimize your time there.

And if your personal email is comprised of something ridiculous like jess2hot4u@gmail.com or something, create a new email address, don’t use your company email.

 

 

 

IT’S NOT TOO LATE TO SEND A HOLIDAY THANK YOU NOTE

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SHOW DATE: JANUARY 8, 2013

It’s not too late to send out thank you notes to boss and co-workers. If somebody gave you a gift at work, or they hosted a party, an email is not enough. Send out a thank you letter—even if it’s two or three weeks late. People who really want to stand out at work lick envelopes, not keyboards.

If you’ve already sent the email, follow it up with a card. Here’s the script:

Thank you so much for the gift/party. Here’s to a great new year!

That’s all you have to write. If you’d like, mention the gift that you received. It’s not that hard. You don’t even need any valedictions—no bests or loves or anything. Just your name.

STOP BEING A TRAGEDY JUNKIE ON THE JOB

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SHOW DATE: JANUARY 8, 2014

There’s been a lot of coverage of 13-year-old Jahi McMath, who was declared brain dead in December. The controversy arose when Jahi’s mother, Nailah Winkfield started a legal battle to keep Jahi’s breathing apparatus in operation even after she was declared legally dead.

Whether the family should keep her alive or not is not a topic for this article. We’re more focused on the extended family gathered around by Jahi and her parents in news reports. It’s been the same group of people for the past few weeks.

It’s admirable that they’re supporting her. But we can’t help but wonder what these family members do for a living that allows them all this time off. We’re also wondering the position their co-workers and supervisors are put it. Everybody’s going, “OK, we feel really bad for you,” but after some time this begins to shift. We all know this because we’ve experienced it before; the sick relative you have visit or the kid athlete you have to support during meets.

Eventually co-workers start asking, “Where is cousin McMath? Why isn’t he here? Why am I doing his job?” Everybody wants to be supportive, but eventually people stop cheering.

If in a few more weeks the extended family is still on TV, there’s not going to be just one angry, insensitive a-hole on the job—there’s going to be a group of resentful co-workers who are secretly hating that they have to pick up the slack.

The bosses of the extended family members hired them for a reason: to fill a gap in the company. When they’re not on the job, other employees must fill that gap.

At some point, support turns into resentment. They’re tired of you being sick all the time, they’re tired of you being at your son’s events every week. For a little while, they wanted to support you. But now they’re not even talking about it.

In the case of Jahi’s parents, we understand the need to be by her side. But there is another type of person out there, and some of you know who you are: the tragedy/family junkie.

Tragedy/family junkies are easy to spot. They’re the people who need to take a day off to grieve over a train derailment, or attend their kid’s track meet every time. These people are really good at making people feel guilty for not supporting them.

What you don’t realize when you fall into this mind frame is you’re accreting gradual resentment; co-workers will start to ask themselves why they can’t see their ill mother or their daughter’s game. The boss wants to avoid this collective attitude at all costs, and that means eventually firing you if things continue the way they’re going.

There are other ways to give back to people. It’s great to be supportive and attend your kid’s meets, but it’s just as great to be a role model by going to work and getting promoted. If you’re the guy who’s constantly leaving early, you’re not displaying yourself as an exemplar, but someone who lacks leadership qualities and work commitment.

When you do fall into a situation where you have to be there for someone, you can still check in on work. Sitting and staring at the individual is a martyr game: it doesn’t get you anywhere.

You can be present at the bedside while being present on the job with FaceTime or Skype or whatever. This goes for the inverse as well. The McMath extended family can be present at work and, at intervals, check in on Jahi.

Stop playing the tragedy/family junkie card on the job. Co-worker resentment will only be followed by a docked pay or, worse yet, the boot.

FIRE OF THE WEEK: FOX NEWS ANCHOR MEGYN KELLY

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SHOW DATE: DECEMBER 18, 2013

Unless you’ve been shriveling under a rock, you know Megan Kelly’s story. The gist is, she said something stupid about Santa being white and that people should deal with it, which, of course, created a firestrorm. She tried to mitigate the situation by saying she was just kidding.

What she should have done—and you can apply this directly to your job—was apologize. By saying she was joking, she was effectively telling her audience: “YOU are the problem because you didn’t understand my joke.”

Lying on the job to get out of trouble just makes you look like an untrustworthy fool.

Friedrich Nietzsche put it quite nicely: “I’m not upset that you lied to me, I’m upset that from now on I can’t believe you.”

 

BEING A MAN IN A GIRL POWER WORLD

SHOW DATE: DECEMBER 18, 2013

Last week, Beyoncé got the world in an uproar by releasing her new album. She did it without any marketing, any fanfare or any promotions on iTunes. The ballsy move has redefined the music world and launched a thousand round table discussions about girl power. Everybody is dissecting girl power.

Somebody on the Melissa Harris-Perry’s show said that it launched a thousand women’s studies papers. We saw the show. All the women were high-fiving each other while the male pundits just sat there.

All these guys are thinking is, “I have to check myself now, make sure I don’t say something so offensive it gets me in trouble.”

We’re all about woman at Job Talk.  Girl power is awesome, but that’s last week’s expression. Women have been victims of prejudice for hundreds of years. We get it. We’re not denying that.

What’s happening in offices is that men are scared to talk freely in front of women. We’re not doing the, “Oh, poor men” bit here. The bottom line is, men feel scared and emasculated. Of course, women should not change the way they operate to keep men from being held back and anxious. Here’s an example of our point:

A month ago, Auntie Evan was sitting in a meeting in a school where his organization helps get underprivileged kids into college. It was Auntie Evan and eight women around the table. Normally, Auntie Evan is highly integrated in this sort of settings. They’re all brainstorming how to make a better college-bound program, and Auntie Evan is jumping in with all these ideas. And then someone says: “Evan, calm down, let other people speak, you’re overdoing it.” Auntie Evan wasn’t not calm, he was just passionate. So he watched all the women brainstorm as he sat shut out.

And when Auntie Evan saw the Melissa Harris-Perry show, he felt the same way. He felt that if he or any of the guys on the show would open his mouth, they’d get in trouble or get shut down.

We acknowledge the power of women and their ability to be heard. But the way this conversation is going now, the victim is victimizing. This is hard to deny and it is what it is. Girls should not minimize themselves so the “poor, little boys” can have their egos built up. That’s ridiculous, and this is not what we’re saying.

We’re saying we need to start a new conversation, and get powerful in a wholly different way. Men and women see the world differently. Women believe in growing the pie: they can get more power and men can keep having power. But men see the world in zero sum: when something gets added, something else must get taken away. Thus men feel diminished.

But there is a way to lift this layer of binarism and have people power. We’re going to tell you how to be heard as a man, how to get promoted without offending, and how to live in a woman’s world.

Usually, there are two ways men go when they’re in a female-dominated office with a female boss: they wither get angry and bitter and tell themselves that she got to that position just because she’s a woman, or they have the male wimp syndrome and are afraid to say anything. Neither of these will get you promoted. You don’t have to be the angry guy or the wimpy guy.

There are a few things guys can do to keep their part of the power and be a man in a woman’s world. It’s not an us or them situation anymore. It is not a zero sum game were if they win you lose, where the winner takes all. This goes for both sides. Here are a few steps to reach a people power threshold:

  • Stop the winner-takes-all mentality and start thinking in the team-takes-all mindset. The rising tide causes all boats to rise. Consider the team and how to make it better. When you do this, you’ll be noticed as the go-to person. A female boss will be looking at a male job candidate to see if he’s team oriented and not just looking out for himself. (Any boss is looking for this quality.)
  • Be solution oriented. Don’t just talk about the problems. There’s paint chipping on the wall, what do most people do? They complain that the paint’s chipping. Solution-oriented employees figure out who’s going to get the paint, who’s going to get the brush, who’s going to fix the chip. They create a team atmosphere. Don’t complain, do. This is what makes you into a leader.
  • Like a scholar athlete, you must have both brains and brawn. The straight-A jock. Guys should reveal their scholar side, not just jump into a conversation and take it over. It’s not high school anymore—the high school star quarterback is not king anymore.

You win when everybody wins. This has been proven countless times. This is the reality in a girl-power world. You must be team oriented, not self-oriented.

We all have power; power in life and power on the job. Let’s focus on people power.

PLANNING THE OFFICE HOLIDAY PARTY

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SHOW DATE: DECEMBER 11, 2013

If you’re planning the holiday party, here are a few valuable things to keep in mind:

  • Get everything set up days in advance. It’s going to be crazy those few hours before the party, so why add to that craziness? Leave only the finishing touches to the day before or the day of.
  • Your boss will probably go crazy. Don’t shut down as he’s turning red and machine-gunning spittle over your blank face: try and see what he’s actually upset about.
  • You want the day of the party to be about taking care of your boss and taking care of any fires, so once again, get everything set up days in advance.
  • Name tags are pretty detestable and cheesy… in principle. But unless it’s a small event where everybody at the party knows everybody else, just put the name tags on. You want people to mingle and get to know each other.
  • If you’re invited to anything—especially if it’s a business event or holiday party where the hosts are paying for the food and drinks—look into the calendar the moment you get the invitation, RSVP right away, put it in your calendar, set a reminder, and show up. If you’re the one setting up the party, keep reminding your guests that it’s happening. People have busy lives—they may forget.

WHY GETTING YOUR BOSS A GIFT IS A BAD IDEA

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SHOW DATE: DECEMBER 11, 2013

It’s not appropriate to give your boss a gift. And it’s doubly inappropriate to take up a collection for it.

There are three vital reasons for this that Auntie Evan has been mulling over in his head:

a) Someone may not feel the same way you do about the boss.

b) Other people can’t afford it.

c) Either way, it’s putting your co-workers in the uncomfortable position of saying “no.”

You’re not making anyone feel better by getting your boss a gift, and you’re not scoring any points.