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

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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

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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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Even if the work you’re doing kicks your butt, it doesn’t mean it has to be stressful! (Blog #36)

people doing very challening work

It was Saturday night and we were having a get-together at a friend’s house for their daughter’s 7th birthday. As we were all hanging out the topic of stress, work and video games came up. And boy did I get worked up. My friends must have walked away thinking I was a bit of a pyscho.

But whenever you get onto the topic of something you’re passionate about the green-eyed monster in you will definitely come out from time to time.

So, as we were hanging out eating our delicious charcoal kebabs, Afghani style, in the lounge room, one of my friends mentioned how she had started playing a video game before bedtime and how it’s helped her relax, forget about work and have a good night’s sleep.

As much as I tried to stop myself I couldn’t leave it without asking her, “What’s the problem? Why are you stressed? Why are you having trouble sleeping?”

Did I think it had to do with work culture? You bet I did! Which is why I just couldn’t leave it alone.

So, then I started with the questions.

“Are you truly happy with what you’re doing?” Her reply was “Yes!”

I then said, “Then why are you stressed? What’s the problem?”

To her defence, our other friend, came out with a whole string of comments;

“Do you think it’s easy what she does?”
“Do you think it’s easy to invent something from scratch and experience no stress in the process?”
“Do you know how many people she’s responsible for?”

Implying very clearly that it simply was part of the job because her job was very important.

What we need to remember is that stress has become such a big part of our lives that, most people out there, believe that it comes hand in hand with any job that has any kind of importance attached to it.

But I still didn’t stop and dove deeper with the questions. Yep, even though my husband was looking at me like, can you please just stop NOW?!

But I couldn’t.

So we spoke more and more about the everyday scenarios that my friend had to face.

And were they difficult?

Of course they were!

It involved all kinds of things. From if an employee dropped dead the issues involved in finding someone else to do the job, while at the same time meeting the requirements for the funding and producing the results within the timeframe required. And my friend persisted about how stressful this was.

I merely asked the question “Why?”

And the answer my friend gave (drum roll)…

“Mimoza, it’s the system. Do you know how long this process would take? Do you know how hard they make it for you?!?”

Hallelujah!!!!

Wouldn’t you know it, another overly agonising, torturous system operating in the workplace that would cause any person to lose their mind. Surprise, surprise (NOT!).

And that’s when I said, “There you go, that’s the problem.”

And then the other friend came out with a comment that made me lose my head and literally stand up out of my chair (like what the hell was I going to do – thank god they’re good friends and know me well) and said, “But you can’t change the system!”

YES, YOU CAN!      YES, YOU CAN!      YES, YOU CAN!

There are two things that I have to say in my defence for not letting go and persisting to get down to the bottom of it.

  1. I’m very passionate about this topic. I mean who else would get up early Sunday morning, pregnant, while the kids are still sleeping because I just couldn’t wait to write this blog post? Can you think of anyone? Because I know I can’t.
  2. I’ve seen so much unnecessary suffering from bad systems in the workplace, that apparently were unchangeable only to see them change when someone with a bit of sense, and more importantly, guts came into position.

So, when someone says to me “You can’t change the system” I think – WHY THE HELL NOT?!

And we flash back to job #9. We got to a point where everyone in the team was solely focused on protecting their own butt, people were quitting on a weekly basis and those that were there were using all the inner strength they could conjure up just to get through to the end of the day.

And when I had a meeting with my manager to point out all these things, this is what I got from her, “Mimoza, it is what it is. Management has changed and this is what it is! There’s nothing we can do about it, nothing is going to change!”

Within two weeks the head of the department was removed from the company and within a matter of days the dynamics of the team changed from having to kill ourselves for projects that just couldn’t be stopped to them not only stopping, but some being cancelled altogether. (Wait a second, I thought they couldn’t be stopped? Funnily enough they could (lol!).

Blog Tip #34 – There’s an assumption that most people within the workforce will make that is so freaking wrong, it’s not even funny. And here it is…
for a job to have any kind of significance it needs to be stressful. So, in other words, if you want to have an important job, as a criteria, it needs to kill you slowly.

Wrong!

When this is the case there are work culture/system issues that need to be addressed!

And what people tend to get mixed up is that when I talk about stress, I’m not talking about problems or challenges.

Problems and challenges are inevitable. That’s where we learn and it’s what makes us better at what we do.

Stress is when things are just made more difficult because 30 years ago someone put a system in place that forgot to consider that people are human beings and since then no one has bothered to challenge it.

Why?

Because it is what it is. (Sound familiar?)

Never let anyone stop you from asking “Why”!

What did you think about blog post #36?

Have you dealt with systems that just make you want to rip your hair out?

What’s been the most torturous thing about them?

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!

Talk to you soon.

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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Is your work turning you into an Igor? (Blog #35)

igor character wiht latern

One of the most ridiculous things that I’ve been told by managers and other employees, when commenting on why someone is so miserable, moody or pissed off, all the time, at work, is that it’s just how they are. Like it’s a character trait to constantly be mad, pissed off and down in the dumps.

Sure, there are negative people in the world. But when you’re seeing this is a person every day at work it’s safe to say, with no hesitation, that it’s a direct result of their environment. In other words – they hate their job.

And it astounds me at how obvious these signs are and yet people still refuse to believe that the cause is their job.

3 examples for you.

Example 1
Mimoza:
“Tina is so difficult to deal with and she is so moody and pissed off all the time. She doesn’t want anyone talking to her and constantly seems depressed and in a bad mood. It’s obvious she hates her job.”

Manager: “Oh no. She’s doesn’t hate her job. It’s just how she is. She’s like an igor that’s all. That’s her character.” (Are you freaking kidding me?)

Example 2
Mimoza: “Why is Karen so difficult to talk to all the time. Every time you go up to her it’s like you’re draining blood from her or something.”

Manager: “You know she has 5 kids between herself and her partner and every time I see her react like that I just remind myself that that’s probably why.” (Yep, and it’s nothing to do with the fact that she hates her job, of course not. (lol!))

Example 3
Mimoza:
“How’s Lachy going with his job now? Is he happier these days?”

Manager: Looks at me a bit confused. “Yeah, he’s fine. What made you think he hated his job?”

Mimoza: “Because he literally said to me that he hates his job with a passion and makes no secret of hiding it, word for word.”

Manager: Looks puzzled and shrugs it off like nothing important. “No, he’s fine.” (No he wasn’t. The manager simply got use to him always being miserable).

There were two approaches that seemed to be used by managers and employees that I worked with. It was either, “That’s just how they are” or the manager would try and find any excuse under the sun to justify and ignore the fact that it had to do with WORK!

How much more obvious did it need to be?

Blog Tip #35 – Don’t complicate it. If you’re feeling unhappy, frustrated, annoyed, etc, AT WORK. Then there’s something that is bugging the living daylights out of you AT WORK. Not across the road, not because of something that happened to you a year ago. AT WORK! Whether it’s the work system, a person, a degrading task – it’s AT WORK.

Acknowledge it for what it is and do something about it. Don’t fall into the trap of accepting it as it being just the way you are.

To read about how work environments can change a person to the point where you feel like you never knew them, check out my blog post #3 – …then he said “Go and get nicked!” – How an ugly environment produces ugly behaviour.

What did you think about blog post #35?

Have you had any experience with these types of situations?

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!

See you next week.

Mimoza

This doesn’t mean that your company has a good work culture! (Blog #34)

A person faking a happy face

It was Friday afternoon and as I met up with a client for lunch for a delicious beef krofta baguette and some beautiful crème brûlée at one of our favourite places in Adelaide, Muratti, we got onto the topic of work culture.

It amazed me at how she described her company’s work culture. And how after that description she believed that the company she was working for were leading the way in that area.

The conversation went like this, “When you put it down on paper our company is doing pretty good in that field… I guess. They’re making sure people are developing and are putting the responsibility on managers to make sure their team is covered as far as courses and other things are concerned, so… I guess it’s pretty good.” (Are you kidding me?)

All of this was said with a tone that was a little bit too unsure and timid. I think it’s safe to say her tone alone indicated deep down inside she wasn’t convinced either.

My reaction?

“Victoria, you can usually tell when people are happy with where they work and let’s just say that it’s not coming through with what you’ve just said or how you’ve just said it. And, didn’t you say to me a couple of weeks ago that it was plagued with politics, hidden agendas and inefficiencies?”

In a nutshell, even the job I hated the most for any outsider seemed not like a good job, but like a freaking great job.

Why?

Well, it had all the perks that a great office job has. The office looked great. They provided all the things that they were legally meant to plus more, life insurance, income protection, a superannuation scheme, etc.

So, why did I and a good chunk of the people there HATE IT?

Because all those things count for nothing, when the everyday culture of the place is a “protect your own butt no matter what” culture.

Blog Tip #34 – It’s the everyday things that you go through at your job, no matter how tiny or big, that contribute to whether you work in a healthy work culture or not. All those things that look good down on paper don’t build a good work culture! All they can merely do, at the most, is complement it, if there’s a good work culture already in place.

What did you think about blog post #34?

What does a good work culture look like to you?

What is it about your work culture that has actually made a difference to your everyday work-life?

Tell me about it by leaving a comment below.

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!

Talk to you soon.

Mimoza