14 Apr

I Want My Boss’s Job!

Blog No Comments by Mareisha Winters

I Want My Boss's Job!Everybody who works has a boss. Sometimes it is challenging to establish just the right relationship. Some of us fear our bosses, or constantly try to please them. We may not like the boss or think he/she is qualified.  Or maybe you think your boss is a downright jerk.  Whatever your scenario, this month we will focus on issues that may arise in your relationship with your boss.

If you’re not nearing retirement, most likely your current job is not the job you see yourself in in the future. Many of us have a career plan that includes us moving up the career ladder to a higher position that involves more responsibility and more expertise. That job may be your current boss’s job. So how do you tell your boss, when asked about your career plans, that you want his/her job?!

Well first of all you probably do not want to come right out and say “I want your job.” This may not go over well and may make your boss feel threatened. However, your boss should understand that you do not intend to stay in your current position for a lifetime, especially if your position is more entry or mid-level. But you do not want to sound like you are trying to come in and steal their job.

Many organizations go through a process known as succession planning. Succession planning is “a process for identifying and developing internal people with the potential to fill key business leadership positions in the company”. So it is in your best interest to make it known that you want to eventually move up into a key leadership position so that you can be a part of the succession plan. Your boss may have been asked to seek out someone who could replace them for when they move up into a higher level position. Inform your boss that you want to learn everything there is to know about the business and are interested in moving into a position similar to theirs in the near future. Ask them for suggestions on how to move up in the organization and what they did to get to where they are now. Be subtle about telling them you want their job.

If you know your boss’s personality well enough and he/she is not the type to receive that kind of information positively, you may want to share that information with someone you see as a mentor within your organization. Tell someone that can serve as your career advocate.

Even if your boss is someone that you could share this information with, without fear that he/she may feel threatened, you should still consider sharing your career desires with others. Obviously, you do not want to run around the office telling everyone, “I want my boss’s job”. Instead share that you would like a position similar to your boss’s position in the future. The more of the “right” people that know your desires, the more advocates you have when the time comes to make a succession decision.

It’s All About the Boss!

 

10 Apr

Keeping It Professional: Can You Be Friends With Your Boss?

Blog No Comments by Susan McCuistion

Keeping It Professional: Can You Be Friends With Your Boss?Everybody who works has a boss. Sometimes it is challenging to establish just the right relationship. Some of us fear our bosses, or constantly try to please them. We may not like the boss or think he/she is qualified.A� Or maybe you think your boss is a downright jerk.A� Whatever your scenario, this month we will focus on issues that may arise in your relationship with your boss.

In the workplace, there is a certain level of cordiality, trust, and openness that is expected. One must be friendly, but being friends is different. Friends are equals. Boss and subordinate are not. Below are a few questions to ask yourself if youa��re considering being friends with your boss:

  • Will you be able to accept difficult feedback from your boss when you are not doing a good job at work? Being friends means we accept each othera��s strengths and weaknesses. At work, your boss needs to be able to coach you thorough your weaknesses and sometimes give you very difficult feedback. Can you accept your friend telling you that you need to improve on certain tasks, or that you are not ready for the next job?
  • How will you feel if there ever comes a day your boss has to say, a�?Youa��re fired!a�?? At some point, all bosses have to fire someone, whether ita��s for cause or just because the company is making cuts. Being friends with the boss does not grant you immunity.
  • Sometimes, we do things that arena��t in our best interest to help or protect a friend. What will you do if your boss asks you to do something unethical at work? Would you be able to say, a�?No,a�? to protect your reputation and save your job?
  • What will you do if your boss shares confidential work information with you that your co-workers do not know? And, what if you accidentally spill the beans to your co-workers? If there is information people at your level should not know, then your boss may be acting unethically if he tells you. If you share that information, you risk both your bossa�� and your jobs.
  • How will you react to charges of favoritism when you get a key assignment or big reward? You can bet that even if you deserve these, if you are friends with your boss, some will cry a�?Favoritism!a�? As much as your boss may want to believe she is objective, being friends with you may remove some of that objectivity.
  • On the other hand, how will you react if you dona��t get that key assignment or reward? Will it ruin the friendship? If it ruins your friendship, will that in turn ruin your career? As much as we want to believe we can keep our personal and professional live separate, it just doesna��t happen. When we form an opinion of someone, we tend to keep it. If your boss gets another view of you, she may not like it, and it could affect her decisions about your career.
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Being friends with your boss can have negative effects for you, your boss, your co-workers, and your working environment. Just dona��t do it.

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08 Apr

When It’s Time To Leave Your Boss

Blog No Comments by Mary-Frances Winters

When It’s Time To Leave Your BossEverybody who works has a boss. Sometimes it is challenging to establish just the right relationship. Some of us fear our bosses, or constantly try to please them. We may not like the boss or think he/she is qualified.  Or maybe you think your boss is a downright jerk.  Whatever your scenario, this month we will focus on issues that may arise in your relationship with your boss.

You love the organization and the work that you do, but your relationship with your boss is challenging. You don’t want to leave the organization, you just want another manager.

Sometimes it is simply a personality clash. Perhaps you are an introvert and your boss is an extrovert and unconsciously gives preferences to people like him/her.  Maybe you made a mistake in the past and the boss just doesn’t seem to be able to get over it no matter how well you have performed since then. Maybe your manager’s leadership style is not compatible with how you liked to be managed. Or maybe your boss is just a jerk!

Here are some signs that you should consider other opportunities within the organization and how to go about positioning yourself for a transfer.

  1. You do not think your last couple of performance reviews accurately assessed your performance. Even though you challenged the ratings, the boss stood firm.
  2. You do not feel that your contributions on a day-to-day basis are valued and recognized no matter how hard you work.
  3. It is obvious to you that the boss plays favorites. He/she has a couple of “pets” that seem to get the attention and recognition.
  4. When you ask for more development in the form of training, you are always turned down.
  5. Your boss is very critical of your work, always finding fault even though you know it is of high quality.
  6. Your boss very rarely exchanges pleasantries with you as they do with others on your team.

How do you position yourself for another job within the organization?

  • Before you let your boss know that you are considering other positions, assess what other opportunities might be available for which you qualify and have an interest. Many organizations have internal job postings.
  • If your organization does not have job postings, become observant about what other people do in the organization.
  • Once you have let your boss know what you are interested in exploring other opportunities, set up a meeting with HR to let them know of your interests.
  • Discuss with HR how much impact your less than stellar reviews will have on your chances of transferring to another job but do not “bad mouth” the boss. Even though you think the issues with your relationship are primarily his/her fault, it will not get you very far to criticize the boss. Focus on your skills and the positive contributions you have made to the organization to try to diffuse the performance reviews.
  • Perhaps you could visit another department and shadow another employee.  Work with HR to set up exploratory or information interviews.
  • Discuss with your current boss, the type of reference/recommendation he/she would give you. You might be surprised that even though you have not received high marks your boss might be willing to put in a good word with the receiving supervisor. (Hint: Your boss might be just as anxious to get rid of you as you are to leave.).
  • If you sense that the boss would not give you a good recommendation, you may have no choice but to look outside the company.
  • If you decide to give the internal transfer system a chance, be patient. Continue to do your best work.  Set a reasonable target for when you want the transfer to happen (e.g. 6 months; 1 year).  If you do not see progress, you may need to look outside of the organization for a new job.

It’s All About the Boss!