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How You Can Survive a Frustrating Boss

Having a problem with your boss consistently can make for a very frustrating professional environment. If you’re always butting heads, then going to work is no longer fun. The alarm clock goes off and you basically drag yourself through your morning routine because you dread stepping foot inside the office, right? The good news is that you don’t have to look for a new job… yet. Here are some ways that you can survive a frustrating boss:

Find where your problem really lies. There’s a number of different reasons why you and your boss could be having issues. Some common ones are:

  • creative differences
  • personality conflicts
  • different professional expectations

If you can determine what your problem actually is, then you can begin to work on the differences that you’re really having with your boss. It is impossible to move forward with any repair until you can determine exactly what it is that is making you so frustrated!

Determine realistic solutions to the problem. The only person that you can change is yourself. Going into your boss’s office and expecting them to change is an unrealistic goal that will only lead to failure! Look instead at what you can do to improve the environment. That might mean adjusting your own expectations or making an effort to understand why your boss is doing things the way they are. With greater understanding of the situation and proactive efforts at finding a solution, even the most difficult bosses can become more bearable.

Make an effort to talk it out. Having a productive conversation means being honest about how you feel, but doing so in a non-threatening way. Remember: you’re looking for a solution to the issue that you have – not to create more issues! Communication is a two-way street and it is often a communication issue that creates high levels of frustration. By making more of an effort at having productive, useful communication, the more likely you’ll create a better work environment.

If nothing seems to work Sometimes it is just an unfortunate fact of life that people are incompatible. If you’ve made an effort to resolve your differences with your boss without success, then it may be time to bring in a third party. That could be the boss of your boss, a human resources manager, or someone else on an equal or greater management level. Together you can have a meeting where both sides can talk about their frustrations in a safe environment.

If having a third party involved doesn’t work to settle your differences, then it might be time to find a new position under a new boss. Remember that a professional frustration is really just feedback in disguise. Is it feedback regarding your job performance? If not, then chances are the issue your boss has that may be frustrating you isn’t really about you. Realizing that fact can often be enough to relieve  a lot of frustration!

5 Common Mistakes People Make At Work

Even if we love our careers, going to work every day isn’t something that we generally look forward to doing all the time. Sometimes our actions at work can make the work that we do more difficult and we sometimes don’t even recognize that we’re causing ourselves more problems! By avoiding these 5 common mistakes that people make at work, your job can be much more enjoyable.

1. Engaging in the Politics of the Workplace

Sometimes you just can’t avoid office politics and that’s ok. The mistake that people sometimes make is that they seek out to engage in the politics of their workplace. This time and effort drags them away from the job that really needs to be done, meaning that when work can get accomplished, it is hurried and rushed. Rushed work generally creates poor results, and that can affect your long-term standing within the company.

2. You’re Multi-Tasking Too Much

The modern employee has to multi-task projects just about every day, but you can actually multi-task too much stuff. Your mind can only maintain its focus on so many things, so rather than try to do three things at once, try something else. Focus on one project for a few minutes. Then switch gears and focus on the next project that is due. Then move to the third project or back to the first one. By maintaining a singular focus, you’ll get more done in that short amount of time than you would doing two or three things at the same time.

3. Work Complaints

Misery loves company and there are usually a lot of miserable people at work! From the overall direction of the company to complaints about your co-worker’s latest hair style, there is undoubtedly someone who will stop by your little nook of the workplace with a cup of coffee and 30 minutes of complaining. Instead of sharing in these complaints, look for ways to improve the processes that are bothering you. This will help to solve the problem!

4. Over-Estimating Your Ability To Get Stuff Done

The idea of working well is to under-promise and over-deliver. The issue that many people have, however, is the reverse of this concept. They over-promise and then under-deliver. Then they wonder why the boss is calling them into the office! Don’t exaggerate what you can do or set unrealistic goals for yourself. Tell people what you can feasibly get done by a deadline, then do your best to provide the highest quality result possible.

5. Learn From Your Mistakes

There’s a common saying that goes something like this: “History is doomed to repeat itself because people haven’t learned the lessons that history has provided.” It is ok to make mistakes… as long as you’re willing to learn the lessons that a mistake teaches you. Humans are fallible creatures. Expecting perfection will always create disappointment! If you learn from each mistake, however, you’ll reduce the risks of making more mistakes, and that’s all anyone can ask of anyone else.

How to Say No at Work

Have you ever felt overwhelmed with too much to do at work? I certainly have. Nowadays many companies expect their employees to do more work in less time. Here is the paradox of work. The better you get at your job, the more people will ask you to do. In other words, your boss will give you more responsibilities if he/she sees that you can handle the smaller projects. You will get to the point where your ability to finish all your work by the deadline will be next to impossible. So what is the solution? You can stay overtime and work weekends. This is a good temporary solution but this is not something you should do all the time because it leads to burnout. The simple solution is to learn to say no.

Most employees can’t say no because they want to please everyone, fear they might lose their job or not be seen as a team player. Saying yes to everything can actually damage your reputation and hurt your career.

Take time to think before committing to a new project, and before you say no, consider the ramifications.  Before you say no, spell out your current responsibilities and ask your boss to help you prioritize. Your goal is to let your boss know that you are not trying to make excuses why you can’t take on the project, but you want to be honest, realistic and upfront. After you have provided your reasons why you can’t take on the new project, proposed a solution or an alternative. This will show your boss that you genuinely want to help and you are providing a few options.

So saying no is not that bad after all. You might find out that people will respect you more when they know that you are not afraid to decline a request.

7 Tips to Deal With Email

Email. What used to be one of the ‘best new inventions’ of the modern world has now become a monster that can eat up your time, frustrate you immensely and even infect your computer. Yes, it’s still an excellent way to communicate but with all the crap that comes through email these days it almost seems like it would be easier to just send smoke signals.

But there is help. Below you’ll find 7 ways to help you deal with your email and turn it back to the light side of the force. Use these tips and soon you’ll have your email monster tamed and maybe even look forward to looking in your ‘inbox’ again.

1) Don’t be a slave to your inbox.  If you check your mail every time you hear that ‘ding’ you’re going to kill your productivity. Unless you’re waiting for something extremely urgent checking once an hour is probably fine.

2) Responding immediately is not always a good idea. Again, unless it’s urgent responding within 2 hours is acceptable. Besides, if you always respond right away people will start to expect that.

3) Ask for and be clear in your email messages. If you know what people need and they know what you need you will spend a lot less time going back and forth with innumerable emails.

4) Know how your email program of choice works.  Most of them have excellent time-saving features that never get used because nobody takes the time to read about them.  D’oh!

5) Going away?  Set phasers to ‘kill email’. If you don’t want to return from vacation with a mountain of email use an auto-responder to let people know you’re away and when you’ll be back and delete their emails automatically.

6) Learn how to use your email program’s search function.  Let’s face it, wading through a shipload of emails trying to find one bit of info is for monkeys. Using the search option will save you a lot of valuable time.

7) Know how to use your email’s Spam controls. They’re different for every program but essential if you don’t want to waste half of your day looking at ads for penis enlargement pills.

There you go.  7 great tips for helping you break the email beast. If you even use half of them you will see an immediate difference in your inbox and a reduction in time wasted. Now if you’ll just stop playing Farmville all day on FaceBook you might even get some stuff done.

7 Tips for Coping With a Job You Hate

Almost all of us have been there at one point in our lives or another; the job from hell. Whether it’s a boss that is more dim than a broken light bulb or co-workers who bug you like ants at a picnic, there are times in your life when you’ll be stuck with a job that you just abhor and you have no other choice but to sit there and take it.

Or do you?  I mean, a crummy job isn’t exactly the end of the world, and sometimes there are things to be learned even from the worst of them. So if you’re temporarily stuck with job that’s like a bad joke, read on and find out about 7 Tips for coping with it and keeping your sanity.

Tip 1 – Remember that this isn’t the last job you’ll ever have. You won’t be there forever, and even if you are there’s always the possibility that your boss will get hit by falling space debris.

Tip 2 – Primal scream therapy is good for the soul, and if you have a sock puppet that you can yell at while pretending it’s the boss all the better. Just don’t do it at work, especially if you need to take off your socks.

Tip 3 – When you get home at night do NOT talk about work. Ever. Work life and home life should never mix.

Tip 4 – Take a break during the day to do something stupid and wasteful, if only for 10 minutes. Watch a dumb video, or draw a picture of your cubicle mate being eaten by a T-Rex. Fun!

Tip 5 – Stay positive and work hard, even if you hate yourself for it.  You never know if what you do now will pay-off in the future and a glowing review from this job could land you a much better job down the road with a boss that doesn’t remind you of a feral pig.

Tip 6 – Have something to look forward to after work, so that you at least know that when your day is done something you enjoy awaits. Working out, getting together with friends, or drinking until you’re goofy all work just fine. (Just don’t drink and drive.)

Tip 7 – Keep your sense of humor. Studies suggest that having a sense of humor will help you cope with many situations in life.

If you can do these things you will definitely survive any job, no matter how boring, bland, or irksome your boss and co-workers may be.  Best of luck.

Top 3 Ways Get Along With the Boss

Unless you work for yourself or run your own business there will always be one person that you have in your life who will be very important; your boss. No matter what you do, whether it’s digging ditches or rocket science, your boss is the man or woman who will ultimately help you or hinder you in your career. Getting along with your boss is thus very important and can mean the difference between loving your job and being promoted and praised and dreading going to work every morning.

There are many different things you can and should do to nurture your relationship with any boss that you may have, but the following 3 will help you the most.

1. Remember that your boss, no matter how old they are or how much (or little) experience they have, is human just like you and makes mistakes just like you. The trick is to never point out those mistakes in front of others, and if you do find the need to point them out make sure you do it with a lot of tact. If you can fix their mistake first and then point it out to them tactfully you will make a strong ally with them which may come in very handy at promotion time.

2. Praise your boss when they do something excellent (or even just OK), but don’t overdo it. Everyone likes to hear that what they have done is appreciated and bosses are no different, but on the other hand nobody like’s an ask-kisser, at least not for very long.  Your boss probably got to where they are by being very astute, and they will know right away if you’re the king of BS or really giving praise because you mean it.

3. Ask your boss how you’re doing and what it is that they think you can do better. There isn’t a boss in the world that won’t be impressed by this because it takes real initiative to ask this question and nearly nobody does it. If your boss points out something make sure to get on it and change it (if possible) and let them know in a subtle but firm way that you did. If they point out something they like make sure to keep doing it and do it more often if you can.

Bonus- Dis-agreeing with your boss is OK but never in front of other people unless you’re dead sure that you are 100% correct and the boss will agree with you. If you do need to disagree with something they said or did do it in private and, as I mentioned above, and do it very tactfully.

If you can follow these rules and tips you are sure to get ahead and, one day, maybe even be the boss yourself.  When you get there make sure to be a good, fair boss and treat your people the way you liked to be treated when you were just a worker-bee. Good luck!

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