When your boss offers you an opportunity to take on a new responsibility, don’t even think. Don’t even breath. Just take it.

Whether it’s speaking in front of a group or taking on a new task at work, the opportunity can reveal your skills, teach you new ones, and show your employer what you’re capable of. Even if you’re offered the opportunity last minute, if you mess up, at least you have the excuse that you had no time to prepare.

“But I get nervous, I get cold feed, what do I do?” Don’t get nervous. All your employer is going to think is that you’re not going to get offered another opportunity for a long time—you had your shot and blew it.

Stop with the excuses—you can’t rely on your boss to coddle you. Don’t lose the chance to take on a new opportunity: it’s going to get you a raise, or a promotion, and you’re going to be seen as bigger, better and greater.




A new book on management (whose title we shall refrain from mentioning) encourages bosses to pay themselves first and everyone else later, as well as book vacation time before anyone else can.  After all, “you’re the boss, and you’re the one who counts.”

Yeah, you read that right.  Now let’s just hope your boss doesn’t read it anytime soon.

Whether or not your boss is the kind who only looks out for number one, you—AKA number two—needs to remind him that you have a life and needs of your own. We’re not talking about a big confrontation here; rather, we mean that you need to drop reminders now and again that you are not a slave to the office.

“I’m really excited to get the garden going for summer this year,” is something you can just drop into a conversation one day.  So is, “We’re hoping to make it to the Florida Keys this year.” In other words, don’t be afraid to sprinkle details about your life outside the office around now and then. That will remind your boss that you have your own needs. And it might just be the subtle reminders like this that ensure he never treats his number two as his bitch.

Will Your Next Vacation Get You Fired—or Promoted?


While vacations sometimes feel like “playing hooky” from your professional life, the
truth is that they actually make you a better worker: When you have a healthier work-life
balance, you’re going to be a better, more productive employee. Companies like Google
are starting to acknowledge this fact by taking away their employees’ cell phones when
they go on vacay to ensure they really relax.

Despite this, chances are that you’re too scared to take all of those hard-earned vacation
days. A recent study shows that the average American accrues nine unused vacation days
every year. Well guess what—if you’re not going on vacation, then you’re completely
missing the boat (and the cruise ship). The fact is that, if you go on vacation the right
way, your vacay won’t put you at risk for getting fired—it could actually get you

How? Well, first, you have to develop what we call a boss mentality. This means that
you need to think and act like a boss, even if you’re on the lowest rung of the corporate
ladder. You might think you don’t have it in you, but you do—you’re the boss of your
house, right? You manage to cook, clean, get the kids to school, pay the bills, and keep
a roof over your head, right? That’s a boss mentality! Now you just need to apply it at
work. Here’s how:

1. DECIDE that you are leadership material. Again, you do it in your “home” life, so
you can do it at work.

2. BECOME the “go-to guy” in your position. When someone is having problems,
stay five minutes late to help them, whether you like that person or not. Be
proactive when you see problems instead of complaining about them. Suggest
ways in which you can help beyond your assigned duties.

3. BE COACHABLE. Be inquisitive and open to learning new things.

Once you have developed the boss mentality, you will naturally begin to excel in your
job in ways you never thought possible. But just as importantly, your coworkers and
your own boss will begin to see you as a leader—someone who deserves to be promoted,
because you already have the traits, skills, and knowledge of someone in a position of

So, how does this apply to vacations? Well, you just apply the boss mentality to how you
approach your vacation. Here’s how:

1. Make Your Vacation Request a solution, not a problem. When you’re thinking like
a boss, you’ll understand why boss’s don’t want you to leave: they’re nervous. So, if you
pitch a vacation as an apology (i.e., “I hope it’s not too inconvenient, but I really want
some time away”), you’re increasing your boss’s anxiety and he’ll see your vacation as a
nuisance. Instead, pitch your vacation as a solution:

When you ask for time off, present your boss with a plan for who will cover your
duties at that exact moment.

Tell your boss which projects will be done by the time you leave.

Determine who will take over your calls and emails

Provide a rationale for why the dates you want are actually GOOD timing for
your company/group/team.

2. Ensure everything at work and home is taken care of before you leave. Plan
who is going to pick up your mail, water your plants, and feed the cats. That will allow
you to enjoy your vacation instead of worrying about life back home. At work, don’t
just ask people to cover for you. Send an email to your boss and your coworkers with
this information in writing. This not only covers your butt if someone drops the ball,
but ensures the office can function without you. And, it’s a classic example of the boss

3. Make sure your boss can check in with you when you’re gone. Vacations are for
checking out mentally, but you want to make sure you can be reached if necessary. So:
Provide your boss with contact info for where you can be reached.
Set up an email a schedule for when you will check email (e.g. once every day),
and stick to it.
Before you leave, ask your boss and other coworkers if there’s anything they

If you follow all of these tips, you’ll be able to have a relaxing vacation, knowing that
everything at work is taken care of. But you’ll also show your supervisors that you have a
boss mentality—and that means that they’ll come to realize that you not only deserve that
vacation…you deserve a promotion!