Why it can be such a drag asking someone to be a referee (Blog #46)

I know I said last week that for the next couple of weeks my focus will be on how to find the right people to have on your team. But as I was helping a friend out with her resume the topic of referees came up and the way my friend reacted to it, well, I could relate to it, and so I thought you probably could to.

And it went something like this.

Mimoza: “Jenny you might want to update your referees or touch base with them to see if they’re still on board.”

Jenny: “I know I have no reason to feel this way because I’m proud of the work I’ve done, but I always feel awkward asking past employers to be a referee for me. Even though I know I was a good employee. It’s uncomfortable. If I haven’t seen them for a while I need to make a phone call that I wouldn’t otherwise make, make lame small talk and then ask for the favour. Now, I’ve never had someone say no to me, but it still feels awkward. And it’s even worse when I never really enjoyed working for them, but if you don’t have them on your resume then there’s this automatic assumption that there was a problem with you. And you find yourself asking someone you’re not keen on to talk about you for what could be a very important job. It’s demeaning. I know it’s not that bad, but I hate it.”

I don’t know about you, but I could relate exactly to what my friend was talking about when it came down to almost all my jobs except when it involved people I worked with at job #8.

Why? Because at job #8 leadership created an environment for its employees to do their best work and with it came an environment where genuine friendships were developed. And asking a friend for a favour, even if it was the CEO, was simply no bad deal.

Blog Tip #46 – A work culture that creates an environment where asking a favour from the most senior person in the company is done with no hesitation, is priceless

I thought I’d make this clear just in case you were still questioning if work culture is important or not?

What did you think about Blog #46?

How many times have you had to ask someone to be a referee while feeling awkward about it?

Tell me about it by leaving a comment below.

If you have any friends or colleagues that would benefit from this blog post – please share it!

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The things companies will never speak to you about!

Talk to you next week.

Mimoza

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How do you decide which people you help grow? (Blog #45)

teams of employees

But how do you decide which people you help grow?

As I mentioned in blog post #44 for the next couple of weeks I really want to focus on how does one go about identifying the right people to have on your team. The ones that you want to help grow or work alongside. The ones you want to invest your time and energy in. And sometimes the thing that can confuse the situation the most is if the person you’re dealing with is nice. And I mean one of those people that are really, really nice. Yes, they’re humble. Yes, not only can they get the job done without insulting the shit out of everyone, but people look forward to working with them.

But is this enough if they’re not hungry? From what I’ve seen definitely not. Here’s why.

(By the way to get where I’m coming from when I talk about humble, hungry and people smart check out blog post #44 – Do you have the right people on your team? 3 ways to find out).

There I was in job #8 with a full-on marketing position that had me wearing many hats, from copy writer to event planner, social media planner, strategist, etc. And on top of that I was also expected to do the designing. At first I almost made the fatal decision to put the design hat on as well. And then I thought, if I try and be everything then I’ll be nothing. And then the question popped up in my head, do I even want to be a designer?

No.

I had no problem putting together a very detailed brief of what I wanted, but the designing itself wasn’t something I wanted to do.

I needed a designer. So once I learnt that one of our support people at work had some design skills we got him on board.

Initially, I loved working with him. He was great to work with and, at first, he also seemed quite eager to get involved as well. I could see it all coming together. Even the CEO suggested that he sign up for some design courses, which the company would pay for.

I was giving him pep talks left, right and centre. Here was a guy in his early twenties with a design job already with a company that would cover all the cost for him to become the best in his field.

Can you get better than that?

But the fact that I’d be more excited about this than the actual person should’ve made it clear to me that it wasn’t for him. And it wasn’t. He quickly decided to pass up on the whole opportunity.

I couldn’t believe it.

Blog tip #45 – Despite that this person was great to work with, both humble and people smart, without the hunger he was not the right person for me to have on my team.

Did he continue to help out with the design? Yes. But the effort he was willing to put into it started to be less and less. In the field of marketing and design to get the best result you need to be prepared for the fact that you could be making the last change about 50 times. It’s just how it is. And when someone isn’t prepared to do that then they’re not hungry. And not some you want on your team. Not if you want the best results.

What did you think about Blog #45?

Are you hungry in your job right now?

Or is this something that you have yet to experience?

Tell me about it by leaving a comment below.

If you have any friends or colleagues that would benefit from this blog post – please share it!

Let me share with you all the things I wish someone told me 10 years ago about the corporate world – subscribe to 10 Years and 9 Jobs TODAY and get your FREE 7-Day Mini Course – Work Culture Issues: The things that will do your head in daily and the reasons behind it.

The things companies will never speak to you about!

I’ll see you next week.

Mimoza

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Do you have the right people on your team? 3 ways to find out (Blog #44)

teamwork

I don’t know about you, but I love the start of a new year. It’s exciting. A new beginning. New opportunities. A great time for a change and for improvement. And you may have already started thinking about what you should do this year to better yourself. And a lot of it will come down to the team you’re in. The people you work with.

The people you work with determines a lot as my brother found out just recently.

My nephew, who just happens to be one cool little dude, is also a superstar soccer player at his local club. OK, slight exaggeration. Yes, I’m a very proud aunty. How could I not be? He has his club’s premier team coach in awe of his skills. Not bad for an eight year old. And not bad for my brother who has been my nephew’s team coach for the past 3 years. In fact the club has big hopes for the team overall.  So much so, that my brother together with the other coach are constantly on the lookout for new influences they can introduce to the team to make them even better. And that’s what they thought they found with a new coach, which they spotted at another club.

At first it all looked great. The new coach’s approach seemed to complement what they already had. And then the new coach came out with this, “Listen here boys, (to my brother and the other coach) this is how I work. I don’t want anyone to interfere with what I decide to do.” (In other words it’s my way or the highway. Hang on a minute, I thought we were a team? I guess not!)

Although my brother tried several times to change the new coach’s mind he didn’t want a bar of it. My brother tried to show the new coach the advantage of working together as a team and that the other coach they had on board, which was the coach for the club’s premier league, had a lot of value to add.

Come on!

He’d be a person you’d want on your side. But the new coach didn’t want to budge.

With that said the new coach got the boot without the season even starting.

My brother’s reaction when it was finally over, “Thank god! All the politics over the last couple of weeks was doing my head in. Who would’ve thought it would turn out like this.”

This is where I jumped in and said, “Agron, you need to know what to look for.”

And my brother came out with, “It’s not like we could’ve asked him a hundred questions.”

But this is where people make the mistake. You don’t need to ask a hundred questions to know if that person will be a good team player or not. It’s about knowing what to look for, for starters, and it seems to come down to three simple things.

They need to be humble, hungry and be people smart¹.”

Blog Tip #44 – As you’ll learn when you check out Patrick Lencioni’s, “The Ideal Team Player – How to Recognize and Cultivate the Three Essential Virtues: A Leadership Fable”, which I highly recommend, you want to work with people that are:

  1. Humble – be able to show a vulnerable side and this is what it looks like. “Yes, there are things I don’t know. Yes, I’m not perfect. Yes, I do make mistakes. Yes, I’m human too.”
  2. Hungry – this is what you get when the person is both motivated and hardworking. They’re the ones that go beyond what they need to do and are passionate about their work.
  3. People smart – these are the people that show signs of emotional intelligence. In other words, they’re the ones that can get the job done without insulting the crap out of everyone.

In this case, the new coach wasn’t necessarily a bad person, just not the right fit for a culture of team work.

Was the new coach hungry?

Yes.

Hey, we live in a world where everyone is busy and when you’re taking time out to coach a local soccer team for nothing I think that says something.

Was he humble?

No.

I don’t want anyone to interfere with what I decide to do.” Are you kidding me?

Was he people smart?

No.

As if his approach wasn’t going to rub people up the wrong way. From that point on it was like “Who the hell does this guy think he is?”

It definitely seems as though the coach had more of an individual focus. Something along the lines of let’s see how good a coach I can prove myself to be for my own pride as oppose to approaching the job with the team of coaches he had behind him.

So, what questions should be asked to determine if a person does have these 3 character traits?

Stay tuned, as for the next few weeks I’ll share with you all my experiences and knowledge about what you need to look out for when trying to find a person that you want to have on your team

What did you think about blog post #44?

Have you experienced anything similar? Tell me about it by leaving a comment below.

If you have any friends or colleagues that would benefit from this blog post – please share it!

Let me share with you all the things I wish someone told me 10 years ago about the corporate world – subscribe to 10 Years and 9 Jobs TODAY and get your FREE 7-Day Mini Course – Work Culture Issues: The things that will do your head in daily and the reasons behind it.

The things companies will never speak to you about!

I’ll see you next week.

Mimoza

¹The Ideal Team Player, Patrick Lencioni (2016)

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How to tell apart amateurs from the ones that know what they’re doing (Blog #43)

amateur vs professional

There I was between job #5 and #6 and I scored an interview with a local university that I was pretty excited about. Ever since completing my uni degrees I somehow thought it’d be great to work for a university. Kind of like my chance to give back. I know, old-school thinking, but this was me about 8 years ago now.

After getting that call for the interview, I remember I instantly started to feel nervous. The interview was with one of the more prestigious universities and I straight away thought, maybe I’m not good enough.

Yep, those tragic thoughts of self-doubt entered my head and in my attempt to try and overcome them I thought, I really have to try and come across as qualified as possible, as knowledgeable as possible as “marketing expert” as possible. In other words, I was going to try and appear as perfect as possible.

A mistake that only an amateur makes.

And as a result, the interview ended up looking like this…

The interviewer: “So, Mimoza, if you had a chance to have dinner with anyone in the world, who would it be and why?”

I was so focused on trying to appear like I was crazy about marketing that I thought I could only talk about marketing people and when I couldn’t come up with a marketing expert’s name I just ended up saying, “A successful marketing expert out there.” (Yep great answer, NOT!)

And the interviewer gave me another chance, “Really, no one else?” And I still couldn’t come up with anything better.

And in my attempt to appear really organised, although I can’t remember exactly what I said, I believe I somehow left the impression that I was suffering from obsessive compulsive disorder badly. I still remember vividly them saying that they could picture my pantry being alphabetically organised (but it wasn’t, not even close).

Was it surprising that the comment they came back to me with was, “I don’t think you’ll be a right fit for the team”?

Definitely not.

In my attempt to appear perfect I came across as, one, completely weird and, two, like a complete amateur.

Blog Tip #43 – How can you tell the amateurs apart from the people that really know what they’re doing?

Easy!

The amateurs will try and come across as perfect and show no signs of weakness or insecurity.

The people that know what they’re doing will say with confidence what they know how to do and what they don’t know how to do. 

What did you think about blog post #43?

Have you got any similar interview stories? Ones where because you were trying too hard you never gave them a chance to see the real you. Tell me about it by leaving a comment below.

If you have any friends or colleagues that would benefit from this blog post – please share it!

Let me share with you all the things I wish someone told me 10 years ago about the corporate world – subscribe to 10 Years and 9 Jobs TODAY and get your FREE 7-Day Mini Course – Work Culture Issues: The things that will do your head in daily and the reasons behind it.

The things companies will never speak to you about!

I’ll see you next week.

Mimoza

6 signs of a corporate team you don’t want to be part of (Blog #42)

bad corporate team

It never seizes to amaze me how much the importance of building an effective team is down played in the corporate world.

There’s this assumption that it somehow happens on its own. It never tends to be the number one priority of a company. And way too often you’ll hear managers say “We need to focus on the work as without the work we won’t have a company.” But without a team that is totally focused on the good of the company, the amount of work brought in can almost be a bit of a lost cause.

Only once in my corporate life did I truly feel like I was part of an actual team and, as you know, that all happened in job #8. But, as you also know, my whole blogging purpose is to talk about the things you’ll experience in the corporate world – what to look out for. And the truth is that there’s a much bigger chance that the team experiences you’ll have in the corporate world, won’t be that of a true team experience. In fact, most will be a pale comparison of what it really means to be in a team and it’ll look something like this.

6 signs of a corporate team you don’t want to be part of:

  1. It’s full of politics – Basically, rarely will people say what they really think. Their words will be chosen based on the reactions they want people in the group to have. So, whatever words make the manager and the team members happy. “Sure, we can do what you’re asking for, even though I think the idea is so sh**!” The focus is on avoiding conflict instead of what’s good for the company.
  2. Vulnerability doesn’t exist – You won’t catch people saying “I need help with this” or “I made a mistake with this.” People are too busy trying to come off as perfect. Manager included!
  3. Your so called “team” is more like a collection of individuals – Rarely are things discussed out in the open as a whole team. In fact, most of the discussions happen one-on-one between a manager and a team member or between 2 team members. And people are far more interested on how well they can do individually as oppose to how well they can do as a team.
  4. There’s a strong sense of false harmony – What do I mean? Rarely is there conflict but, as a result, there’s a lot of tension. A lot of unhappy people not saying what they really want to say. The harmony is there only because people hold back and don’t say what they really feel.
  5. You’re led to believe that your “team” includes only those working directly in your area and everyone else in the company isn’t included – Basically, you’re made to feel like you need to protect yourself from other departments and their managers. This is usually the result of your manager’s influence on you and the way they deal with and talk about other managers within the company.A quick example just for you. And we flash back to job #5, which was my first stint with government. My manager on my first day told me not to make any phone calls in the presence of one my colleagues that was in another team but sat directly behind me. And would warn me about speaking with other managers and to be very careful about what I said. I WAS DOING A MARKETING JOB FOR GOD SAKES!! Nothing about it was criminal but apparently things needed to be on the hush hush. How ridiculous!
  6. There’s a major lack of commitment within the team – This is usually a result of people’s opinions not being heard and the outcome… people feeling as though they’re not part of the team. Thus, not really caring if the results come in or not.

And it can look something like this… flashing back to job #9. The whole marketing team is called in for a meeting to review the marketing plan for the year. The finalised version that is due to be presented to the Board of Directors the next day. For at least 50% of us this is the first time we are seeing this plan and we get asked “What do you think?” Like our manager even cared? If he cared about what we thought we would’ve been involved in the planning stage and not 5 minutes before it’s handed to the Board. So, how much do you think we cared if the plan was successful or not? Care factor = 0.

Blog #42 – To really get a good understanding of all things I’ve talked about with you today you should check out Patrick Lencioni’s “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team”. It’s one of the books Kristen Hadeed recommended in her book “Permission To Screw Up” and provides an excellent everyday example of how all of this can take shape in the corporate world.

What did you think about blog post #42?

Can you relate to any of the things I’ve spoken about above? Is there anything else you’d add to the list?

If you have any friends or colleagues that would benefit from this blog post – please share it!

Let me share with you all the things I wish someone told me 10 years ago about the corporate world – subscribe to 10 Years and 9 Jobs TODAY and get your FREE 7-Day Mini Course – Work Culture Issues: The things that will do your head in daily and the reasons behind it. What companies will never speak to you about!

I’ll see you next week.

Mimoza

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5 reasons why Kristen Hadeed’s “Permission To Screw Up” is a must read for anyone that thinks they understand work culture (Blog #41)

Happy people

Why?

Because it will put you on the right track as it’s more than likely that your understanding of what work culture is, is nowhere near right.

If you’ve been following me for a while now you’d know that one of my main reasons for my whole work culture crusade is because throughout my 10 years and 9 jobs I’ve encountered very few people out there that, one, know what work culture is and, two, have any understanding on what actually makes a good work culture.

Like I’ve said in my past blog posts, you’ll hear you managers mention it, but it will almost always be spoken about in a very broad context. Like, “Work culture is very important” or “There are work culture issues here.” That’s it. That’s where it will stop, with this assumption that as a manager if you’re providing your people with a free lunch here and there then you’ve got it covered. WRONG!

It comes down to a lot more than that and the best thing about this book is that’s exactly what it covers, what it comes down to. It really gets into the finer detail of what was involved in developing a work culture that made Hadeed’s company thrive and stand out from the rest.

There are so many reasons why I think this book is a must read, but today I’ll sum it up in 5 main reasons for you.

Reason 1 – It proves all those people wrong that believe the work culture in their company can’t be better than what it currently is because… of the type of business, type of industry, size of the company, nature of the people or work, because what they do just isn’t glamorous enough, whatever excuse they have, etc.

Why?

Because Hadeed’s company called “Student Maid” is a CLEANING COMPANY! Do I need to say anything more?

As she mentioned herself in the book, they don’t do anything glamorous. We’re talking about scrubbing toilets for god sakes. And she was dealing with an industry where the turnover rate was over 70%. But with the right strategies and techniques in place she turned that around for her company simply by continuing to push the status quo and asking “Why” when things didn’t feel right. The key being when they didn’t feel right. Because if it didn’t feel right then they weren’t right. And not stopping until it felt right. No matter how much effort or trial and error it took. No matter what the people around her, including experts, said to her.

Which leads me to Reason 2.

Reason 2 – Developing an effective work culture doesn’t happen by ticking off a HR checklist. It’s based on how you and those around you feel and really tapping into that.

A great example that Hadeed talks about is how her hiring process, that initially started with a strict checklist, later became overpowered by the gut feeling she got about the person she was hiring. Other examples include when work that initially seemed like a great opportunity to pass up was later rejected by her because of the way it made Hadeed and her team of employees feel. Because of the effect it had on their work culture. It simple wasn’t worth it, no matter how much money the company would make. And as she highlights later in her book, work culture needed to be protected above anything else, if her company was going to have a future – another bit about the book I love.

Why?

Because it shows exactly how important her people were and are to her.

Reason 3 – Hadeed points out, very clearly, what the no. 1 focus for every company should be – It’s people!!! HELLO!

As mentioned in the book “A company is only as good as the people it hires.” But it’s not only this, Hadeed made sure that if someone was going to work for her, then she made it her mission that when the time came for them to pursue other opportunities, they’d leave the company a better person. I’m talking about leadership skills, organisational skills, team building skills, character building, you name it. She made it her mission that this was not just a cleaning job, but a place they could be proud to say they worked at and as a result be proud of the person they’d become.

Reason 4 – There’s an excellent foreword by Simon Sinek that highlights trying to be a perfectionist is nothing but a short-term strategy for both the person trying to maintain that image and the company’s work culture.

It creates a toxic environment.

Why?

Because when you’re “perfect” you simply don’t make mistakes. Responsibility never gets taken and blame gets passed on. As a result, teams breakdown as everyone is trying to take care of their own butt and prove how perfect they are.

And guess what happens if someone has a great idea or information that others don’t have?

They’re not going to share it, are they?

As the focus here is making sure you look good not the team. Managers included!!

Reason 5 – Hadeed shares what techniques made a positive difference to her work culture. And this kind of stuff I find is rare, especially coming from someone that fully believes in the difference work culture can make and made it a priority to build it, maintain it and protect it.

She really pushes the norms here and goes against what some experts advised her on, which I love. She talks about employees providing performance reviews for their manager (Bring it on! I can’t tell you how much I agree with this one and I’ll provide an example of what I would’ve said to one of my mangers given the opportunity. Get ready for that blog post).

She also talks openly about asking her employees where they see themselves in two years’ time and asking them to be completely honest no matter what the answer is. Allowing to get a good picture of what they want out of their role as well and what she needs to prepare herself for down the track. She’s even gone as far as to ask her employees what their ideal job description would be and tried to cater to it as much as possible. A true display of leaderships from beginning to end.

Blog tip #41 – Do yourself a favour and read this book NOW! It will change your whole prospective on what work culture actually is and the difference that it can make to your life and those working with you.

In the meantime, if you have any questions regarding the book or would like to discuss it in more detail feel free to message me. I’m more than happy to get into it in more detail.

If you’ve had a chance to look at it already, let me know what you thought. What did you get out of it?

If you have any friends or colleagues that would benefit from this blog post – please share it!

Let me share with you all the things I wish someone told me 10 years ago about the corporate world – subscribe to 10 Years and 9 Jobs TODAY and get your FREE 7-Day Mini Course – Work Culture Issues: The things that will do your head in daily and the reasons behind it. What companies will never speak to you about!

I’ll see you next week.

Mimoza

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One of the most important things managers need to be able to say – Part 2 (Blog #40)

A sign that says sorry

“Sorry, I completely stuffed up!”

It can happen to the best of them. And it all starts with landing a new job as a manager and in the process of trying to be an outstanding success they become tyrants and completely lose sight of how miserable their team has become working for them.

Why?

Because while becoming obsessed in succeeding for themselves, they forget their team is made up of human beings and not androids from another planet. So much so that certain needs that people need to function, like eating lunch and having a break, starts to become a rare thing instead of an everyday thing.

What do I mean?

Let me paint a real-life picture for you:

Coming back from maternity leave I was slotted in a new team and by the second day my new manager asked me, “So, Mimoza, what do you think of the team?” And with no hesitation I said, “Your team is dying!” You should’ve seen have face. But that’s exactly what I saw and this is why.

The first thing I noticed was that people weren’t taking their lunch break and in a lot of cases weren’t having lunch at all. And leaving on time, according to our manager, was treated as one of the biggest crimes you could commit. People that left on time were spoken about with resentment as our manager had this overwhelming belief that unpaid overtime was an unwritten requirement to the success of any job. Working hours past five o’clock become a norm so much that meetings were being booked past five o’clock daily.

And with all this there was our manager still trying to convince us that she really cared about us. Yeah right! I think it’s safe to say we all missed that feeling.

When one employee’s motivation sunk really low, our manager offered to give her a chance to work from home. But then demanded, like a dictator, the next day that she provide proof of what she did. Only to appear clearly disappointed by the work done.

When another employee called in sick our manager expressed her outrage to the team by asking me to call that person back demanding a sick certificate for the next day. Was it even a requirement based on HR policy?

The manager was disgusted at anyone’s request to ask for extra pay for the countless hours of overtime and asked that no one put any requests for leave for up to 6 months at a time. Imagine what her face looked like when someone did (lol).

And all this I witnessed in no more than a 3-month period. And throughout this process my manger was completely convinced that in the whole team only 2 people were unhappy and saw them leaving as the solution to the problem.

When one of those people did leave, my manager made it no secret that she was happy with the decision, and yet it only took a couple of weeks to call her back to ask if she was willing to come in and help us out on finalizing a few things. Hang on a second, I thought she wasn’t right for the job?

By the end of those 3 months, within a couple of weeks, more than half the team left, either leaving to no job at all or moving onto another department.

And how was this handled by the company?

The following Monday, after half the team had left, our manager together with the CEO addressed the team, or what was left of it, with the news that she was also suddenly leaving by the end of the week. And the reason they gave us was that now she was working on another project somewhere else.

What utter bullshit! SHE GOT KICKED OUT!

What should’ve happened?

How could both the manager and CEO have earned respect and gained integrity in a situation so horribly gone wrong?

By addressing the team with something like this:
“Guys, we’ve completely stuffed up and we’re sorry!” 

Blog Tip #40 – Aiming to be perfect isn’t a realistic goal, neither with employees or managers and yet this is exactly what’s asked for in the corporate world. So when you stuff up there’s a very good chance you’ll get kicked out. What’s worse, no accountability of the mistake is taken. The higher up managers blame it on the person that gets kicked out and the person that gets kicked out doesn’t get a chance to fix it.

All this does is sets the tone for a culture that leaves their employees thinking you either have to come across as perfect at what you do, or you’re simply not good enough for the job.

And what does this result in?

A culture where people don’t accept blame and go to extreme measures to hide their mistakes and flaws. No matter what, even if it means working against their teammates.

A fantastic book I’m reading at the moment, which I’ll go through with you in more detail in future blog posts to come is “Permission To Screw Up” written by Kristen Hadeed. This is an excellent read regarding this topic and my recommendation is that you definitely check it out. Hey, if you can create a kick-ass culture in a cleaning company where the work isn’t glamorous by far, then there’s no limit to what you can do in a company where the jobs are more attractive.

So, what did you think about blog post #40? What part can you relate to? Tell me about it by leaving a comment blow.

If you have any friends or colleagues that would benefit from this blog post – please share it!

Let me share with you all the things I wish someone told me 10 years ago about the corporate world – subscribe to 10 Years and 9 Jobs TODAY and get your FREE 7-Day Mini Course – Work Culture Issues: The things that will do your head in daily and the reasons behind it. What companies will never speak to you about!

I’ll see you next week.

Mimoza

P.S. If you’re wondering what “One of the most important things that managers need to be able to say – Part 1” is, simply check out blog post #27 by clicking right here. It’s my most popular blog post thus far.

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Do you find yourself saying, “My job isn’t that bad, it’s just that…”? (Blog #39)

Zombie at work

I don’t know whether you’ve noticed it or not? But there’s a lot of guilt associated with working in the corporate world and openly admitting that you hate your job. Even if it is so obvious that it’s written all over your face with that blank zombie like stare that screams out, “GET ME OUT OF HERE!”

But, despite this, most people will tend to continue as they are and with that  blank stare will say to you “My job isn’t that bad, it’s just that…” and give you every excuse under the sun to convince themselves to settle for a work life full of nothing. No purpose. No meaning. Nothing!

Why?

Because we’ve been made to believe that we’ve got it good because…

  • We work in an office.
  • We sit in front of a computer.
  • It looks and sounds good when we tell other people what we do.
  • Our parents feel proud of where we work. Even though they don’t really know what it is that we do, but the fact that you’re in an office and in front of a computer, according to them, you’ve done well.
  • It offers security that quite often kills any excitement or creativity that you once had for your work life/career.
  • And we’re not scrubbing toilets. (Yep, any excuse under the sun.)

So you’ll tell yourself just about anything just so you can convince yourself that you’re doing well. Despite the fact, you’re not even close to reaching your fullest potential and all you’ve really done is dipped your toe in the water.

And it’s these excuses that convince us to accept a job we hate, even though the work that you do insults your every existence and the way your manager treats you makes you feel so freaking small that comparing you to a smurf doesn’t even cover it.

But, I guess you’ve got it good because it all happens in an office and in front of a computer. (Yeah right!)

Blog Tip #39 – Gone are the days that you can consider yourself successful just because you’ve made it into the corporate world.

So, what?
What difference have you made?
What purpose are you part of?
What greater good are you contributing to?
How fulfilled are those crappy instructions, your manager gives you to follow, making you? My guess you’re far from it.

And as far as this concept of “My job isn’t that bad, it’s just…” this is nothing more than your attempt to settle for a work life of nothing.

Basically, you’re giving yourself permission to go dumb. To settle. But I guess it doesn’t seem as bad when you’re getting paid for it. And when it comes to whether you like your job or not, it’s quite straight forward, you either do or you don’t. And you know what the answer is. What’s confused you are the standards that others have exposed you to.

Just to help you eliminate any confusion on whether you like your job or not, check out my very first blog post 5 sure signs that you hate your job (Blog #1).

So, what did you think about blog post #39?

Let’s be honest. How many times have you said these words in a conversation “My job isn’t that bad, it’s just that…”?

Hey, we’ve all done it. Tell me about it by leaving a comment below.

If you have any friends or colleagues that would benefit from this blog post – please share it!

Let me share with you all the things I wish someone told me 10 years ago about the corporate world – subscribe to 10 Years and 9 Jobs TODAY and get your FREE 7-Day Mini Course – Work Culture Issues: The things that will do your head in daily and the reasons behind it.

I’ll see you next week.

Mimoza

Subscribe to 10 Years and 9 Jobs TODAY and get your FREE 7-Day Mini Course and my latest blog posts weekly.

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A HR training course, almost 2wks of company time WASTED and NOTHING ACHIEVED (Blog #38)

bored employee completing a HR course

One of the most frustrating things that can be said to me in regards to my whole 10 Years and 9 Jobs’ mission is when someone comes up to me and says, “Mimoza, what you’re talking about is what HR does.” I simply think to myself – here we go, another person that I just have to save. However, I must admit every time I get this comment it does inspire me to push my message and cause even more.

As you’d know from previous blog posts especially blog post #7 – 4 HR culture building activities that don’t work, I have yet to be exposed to a HR department that has actually done something to influence work culture in any way. It just seems as though the approach used is a “let’s just get these things ticked off our list so it looks like we’re doing something” approach, wasting time and making no difference to work culture in the process.

And here’s one very real example for you.

There we were working away like a freaking mad house. People within my team were skipping lunches, working until 11pm at night and working on the weekend started to become a norm. People were in tears, stressed to the point where they started to look like characters from “Night of the Living Dead” and people started resigning on a weekly basis, some to no new job. They just wanted to get the hell out of there. And with every person that left, the people that remained, including myself, were left feeling envious of how they never had to come back to that hellhole again.

Amidst all this out come HR with a 45 min training course for the whole company to complete to bring us all up-to-date on what’s considered harassment, bullying, etc. at work.

We all started to do it as there was a bit of pressure from HR to get it done as it was important for them to have this ticked off their list. And as a work colleague was doing it I remember when she turned over to me and said: “This is an absolute joke! So many things that are happening here in our team every day, according to this training course, easily falls under bullying. How’s this going to change anything?”

So we eventually all got it done. But the main question here is – What did it achieve? What changed?

The time that it took everyone in my team to complete was about 45 min. The number of people in the organisation was about 80, I’d probably say a bit more, but let’s keep it at 80 for the sake of this calculation.

45 mins x 80 people / 60 mins (to work out the total number of hours spent) = 60 hours which is about 1.6 week’s worth of work. 15 hours short of a full 2 week’s worth of work. Each week containing 37.5 hours.

And this calculation is also being quite generous as it doesn’t factor in the time HR spent in organising and implementing this training course.

What did this HR training course change?

Did it change the way people were treated?
No!

Did it change anything about the poisonous environment we were in?
No!

Did it do anything about the severe issues my team was experiencing?
No!

Was it worth 60 hours of the company’s time?
Hell NO!

Especially for a company that apparently was so strapped for time that people within my team were missing out on lunch, staying back until 11pm and working weekends non-stop.

And there we were wasting 60 hours on something that did nothing for us only to add a tick to the HR’s to-do list.

It never seizes to blow my mind on how many so-called experts simply don’t have a clue about what actually impacts work culture on a daily basis.

Blog Tip #38 – But this is where YOU can make a difference and get many steps ahead of all those industry experts that put out culture building activities that achieve nothing.

Check out my FREE 7-Day Mini Course – Work Culture Issues: The things that will do your head in daily and the reasons behind it. Simply subscribe to my blog 10 Years and 9 Jobs by clicking right here or scrolling down to the end of the page.

What did you think about blog post #38?

Have you ever experienced something similar? I’d love to hear your story.

Tell me about it by leaving a comment below.

If you have any friends or colleagues that would benefit from this blog post – please share it!

Let me share with you all the things I wish someone told me 10 years ago about the corporate world – subscribe to 10 Years and 9 Jobs TODAY and get your FREE 7-Day Mini Course – Work Culture Issues: The things that will do your head in daily and the reasons behind it.

I’ll see you next week.

Mimoza

Subscribe to 10 Years and 9 Jobs TODAY and get your FREE 7-Day Mini Course and my latest blog posts weekly.

7-day mini course on work culture issues affecting your life daily and the reasons behind it. The issues companies will never talk to you about.

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6 work culture issues that will do your head in daily (Blog #37)

Employee confused.

Well, it’s been one hell of a ride with you so far, telling you all about my experiences in the corporate world, the good, the bad and the ugly. And with #37 blog posts down, I can tell you I’m only just warming up.

I can’t tell you how good it feels to pull apart experiences, theories, ideas and perceptions and just get down to the bottom of what worked and what was an absolute waste of time. All the things I wish someone from my uni lecturers/tutors, managers or senior colleagues, ANYONE could’ve told me about.

I still can’t believe how such an important topic that so plainly determines the success of a business can be so overlooked. To the point that when it’s mentioned it gets covered in such a broad context that it doesn’t even get close to touching the things that actually make a difference.

From the university business graduates to the mangers, senior managers and CEOs – there’s a gigantic gap in the actual understanding of what makes you dread your job like the plague on a daily basis and what needs to be done to improve it.

As I’ve mentioned to you in numerous blog posts, that’s the reason why I needed to start writing about this topic. I was going crazy and at how much people were missing the point.

And what completely blow my mind is how people within very senior positions, with a lifetime of work experience behind them, could be so wrong about it. How is it that they could still believe that we’ve got work culture covered by shouting a lunch here or there, or by providing a few extra days of leave a year?

I can tell you from firsthand experience – IT DOESN’T MAKE A DIFFERENCE TO THE EVERYDAY EXPERIENCE YOU HAVE AT WORK.

With every blog post that I write, my aim is to explain to you how good your workplace/job could be by using my experience, knowledge and advice.

Why? Because there’s this overwhelming belief that it just has to be that difficult, stressful, miserable, etc. It’s simply what comes with a corporate job. (Yeah, only if you’ve never seen any better and don’t know any better.)

But other than just sharing another blog post with you, which I look forward to doing every week, this time I’ve taken it a step further.

I’ve put together a FREE 7-Day Mini Course on the work culture issues affecting your life daily and the reasons behind it.

Yes, those 6 things that will do your head in every day. What everyone working in the corporate world should know and understand.

By the end of this FREE 7-Day Mini Course you’ll have a better understanding on the work culture issues faced in everyday corporate life than a lot of mangers I’ve worked with, with 20 plus years’ experience. And if you think I’m exaggerating, simply check out blog post #9 – 3 signs that you’re a corporate dinosaur. This is a really good example of how off the mark managers can be.

Who’s it for?

Everyone working in the corporate world or aiming to get into the corporate world. The beginners (newbies and uni students), those with a decent amount of experience and managers, no matter how far up.

Beginners (aspiring uni students or newbies at work)
It’d be great to have a good understanding of all these issues at the start. Trust me, if I was able to spot all these things when I first started off, I’d have avoided many, many moments of self-doubt, low confidence and confusion over sometimes the simplest things.

Those with a decent amount of experience
Even if you’re well experienced you may be surprised at what you’ve become oblivious to over the years. What you simply can’t spot anymore. You may think you’re happy, but there’s a good chance that you’ve become one of those people that have simply settled. One of those people that say, “I like my job” but…

  • have lost their hair due to stress
  • have let their health go, and anyone that sees them after a long time is absolutely shocked at the change
  • have asked to have Mondays permanently off as the thought alone of going to work on a Monday causes them to experience severe migraines.
  • are always in the worst mood at work and are only a little bit happier on a Friday.
  • can’t stop complaining about it or gossiping.
  • needs wine at the end of the day to get through it all
  • always looks forward to a project being over and done with and hopes that things will be a bit better after that
  • says things like, “It’s not that it’s that bad, it’s just…” and finishes the sentence with every excuse under the sun, other than just admitting that, yes, it’s really that bad.

Sound familiar?

And managers
Even if you think you’ve got it covered, which there’s a good chance that you don’t, take it as a refresher that covers a point of view that you may not have considered. What might not be bothering you, might be bothering all those other people working under you (hint hint).

How do you get your hands on my FREE 7-Day Mini Course and find out what those 6 issues are that do everyone’s head in daily?

It’s easy! Simply subscribe TODAY by clicking right here and it’s yours within an hour! Or simply scroll to the bottom of this blog post and subscribe! It takes about 5 seconds to subscribe.

It’s safe to say I’ve seen a lot of unnecessary suffering and I don’t want this to happen to YOU!

It’s still going to suck a bit, but let me make it less gruelling for you by sharing with you all the things I wish someone told me about the corporate world 10 years ago.

Subscribe TODAY and get the 7-Day Mini Course FREE!

Talk to you next week, where I’ll give you a prime example of a HR work culture activity that did nothing other than waste valuable company time. This one’s a beauty.

Mimoza

Subscribe to 10 Years and 9 Jobs TODAY and get your FREE 7-Day Mini Course and my latest blog posts weekly.

7-day mini course on work culture issues affecting your life daily and the reasons behind it. The issues companies will never talk to you about.

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