SHOW DATE: OCTOBER 1, 2014
You know it’s true.
You lied to get your job. Eventually, you have to put up or get out.
If you say you know how to work with Excel, eventually you’ll have to learn Excel.
What’s brought this subject up is our office manager, Roberto.
Roberto said he could be a copy edit during his interview. Obviously one of the things you need to do to be a copy editor is spell. When we asked him to read over some client work, the ugly truth was revealed.
He didn’t see a difference between “desert” and “dessert.”
But seriously, this is not the worst sort of lie. There’s all types of lying. Half of Americans admit to lying at some point during a job interview.
We are not in favor of lying. However, our personal belief is that you should do everything you can to get the job. But you have to be able to rise to the occasion if you plan on stretching the truth a bit.
In Roberto’s defense, he was good at English. He had good grades in his English classes. So when he saw that we wanted someone who preferably knew how to copy edit, he said he could.
Our problem is not that Roberto said he was a copy editor. Our problem is that when he got the job he didn’t get ass over to The Learning Annex and learn copy editing.
Just because you have an English degree doesn’t mean you know how to copy edit. Just because you know how to use a computer doesn’t mean you know how to use Excel.
You have to be cautious. This is where the lie gets crazy.
Sometimes you don’t know that you lied. And you find out later that what you said you know how to do you don’t actually know how to do.
What you do then is take a class.
There’s a big misconception. It’s never too late to learn the skill you said you could do (but can’t). Even when you’re found out.
But what’s the difference between an acceptable lie and an unacceptable lie? It’s fine to stretch the truth a little to get the job, but it needs to be something that you can back up.
An example would be saying you can copy edit, if you’re not going for a copy editing job.
If you have 4 out of 5 skills and the 5th skill is something you can learn, say you have all five.
Heath Ledger supposedly got the lead role for A Knight’s Tale by saying he knew how to stage fight. Which he didn’t. But when he got the job he immediately went out and learned how to stage fight.
Here’s an unacceptable lie. If you’re not 6’2”, don’t say you’re 6’2”. This goes for acting gigs, shoots and online dating. If you say you’re 180, and you’re actually 280, that’s a big fat lie.
If you say you worked at Morgan Stanley when you didn’t work at Morgan Stanley, that’s unacceptable.
If you say have a Bachelor’s and you don’t, that’s unacceptable.
These are career destroyers.
These are usually lies made up from thin air.
There’s a difference between faking it till you make it and flat-out lying.
You know in your heart when you’re hustling and when you’re just making shit up. It’s the same feeling you had when you were five years old and knew you were doing something wrong.
SHOW DATE: SEPTEMBER 24, 2014
Every single year, our office manager, Roberto, makes appointments during this time when he should know—just as he’d known for the past five years—that we’re off.
Who makes appointments on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur?
Be aware of your boss’s traditions and holidays. Or else it’s just going to be embarrassing.
In fact, be aware of the holidays of people you work with directly. If a co-worker you interact with on an almost daily basis is celebrating year 5774, send him a Happy New Year email.
It doesn’t matter if you’re Jewish, Muslim or whatever. It’s about being aware of your network’s traditions. So when time comes and the holidays roll out, you not only know not to schedule appointments, meetings or events, but also that this is the time you should be wishing people a happy holiday.
Uncle David and Roberto always celebrate the Night of a Thousand Stevies, “the largest and most beloved Stevie Nicks fan event in the world.” Auntie Evan never forgets that this day is off-limits.
And that’s exactly how you should operate in the office.
Honor other people’s cultures, traditions and holidays. Don’t throw a banquet or anything. Just ask them if they’ll need help around the office that day. Acknowledging that you know is enough.
Let’s say your boss is gay. And you just put a little equality flag on your desk on Gay Pride Day. Or you put the flag up on your Facebook profile pic for a day.
The acknowledgement makes all the difference.
It can get you a lot of respect. It’s how you network and get jobs. Don’t miss the opportunity to show that you are aware of what others find important.
It’s also vital to be aware of what you’re entitled to during your holidays.
Private employers can make employees work on holidays. There’s no state of federal law against that. However—and here’s the catch—there are laws that ban religious discrimination.
So it’s illegal to let your employees off on Christmas but not Hanukah if there are both religions in the office.
What a lot of companies do is give you a set number of personal days you can take off.
If your boss isn’t giving you these but she is giving others a day off for their holiday, you need to tell her to give you the equivalent days off.
(The Civil Rights Act of 1964 requires employers to accommodate employee’s religious holidays.)
Wrapping it up, it makes a huge difference if you reach out and acknowledge your employer’s, co-workers’ and friends’ religions and traditions. It’s enough to warrant you respect, grow your network and even grant you a job opportunity.
Also know your own rights when it comes to taking days off. You’re entitled by law.
Till next time.
SHOW DATE: SEPTEMBER 17, 2014
Building a functional team is one of the hardest leadership skills to master.
All the negotiation, all the management that goes into it is paramount to mastering leadership, getting promoted and skyrocketing your career. Basically what Job Talk is all about.
So let’s dive right in.
In essence, teamwork is a bunch of moving parts that all have to work together.
Susan hates Harry. Harry has a thing for Jeff. Jess doesn’t even listen to you because you’re not the “official” boss (the official boss is having a three-martini lunch). And so on.
What are you supposed to do?
This happens all the time. Team members engage in verbal sparing matches and you’re supposed to magically create a functional, respectful team.
It’s just like the coalition building thing that’s happening now.
The U.S. and its allies are forming a coalition against the ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) terrorist organization.
In a nutshell, President Obama is building a team that will support an airstrike against ISIS.
One problem though: ISIS is in Syria.
This is turning out to be fraught with disaster.
There’s three big players in the game.
One of the players is the Syrian government. They have to allow the bombing to occur in Syria.
The second player is the Syrian rebels, who are amidst a civil war. The rebels are the people in the frontlines, fighting against ISIS. But they’re also fighting against the Syrian government.
And then there is ISIS itself.
Now President Obama is having to walk this tightrope between the Syrian government and the rebels, who hate each other but have the same common enemy.
The first two players share a common goal: stop ISIS. But they also hate each other.
Sort of like how two co-workers who hate each other have to work together on a project for their boss.
This is happening at our very own office at Forster-Thomas.
Our office manager Roberto (who has an enormous ego) and Dan (who also has an enormous ego), one of the mentor leads for our non-profit group, Essay Busters, have been put together on a team project.
Tension runs hot. Roberto, who’s also the Essay Busters coordinator, either loves or hates Dan—there’s no in-between. Basically they have a hard time working together.
At first we were hoping the problem would get resolved on its own.
That rarely happens.
So Auntie Evan stepped in.
He literally took the two of them and dragged them into a room and said, “all right, now we’re going to work it out.”
But that didn’t work. Auntie Evan figured if he just told them the truth, that there’s a common goal here, to just pull it together, all would be fine.
So why doesn’t Auntie Evan just take over the project and do it himself?
This is actually one of the worst things you can possibly do. We’ll explain in a bit.
There’s several things you can do to solve these conflicts.
Uncle David shares his five most solid points on resolving team conflicts:
- Don’t stick your head in the sand.
- Don’t be the white knight who just swoops in and does it all himself. Yeah, it seems like the only solution. But it solves nothing and only inhibits your leadership abilities and doesn’t get to the root of the problem.
- Understand the conflict has no rational basis—it’s rooted in emotion. It’s about grudges and feelings. You can’t move past a grudge until your address and recognize how the team member feels.
- Create a social event where some relationship building can occur outside the office space. Resolution does not have to happen on the job.
- If you want to be an effective leader, you have to cut to the root of the issue. A simple, “pull it together” will do squat for team building efforts. Yes there’s always a bit of that pep element. But you also have to find out the why behind what their feeling, and then focus your energy on resolving that.