Posts tagged: On the job

If I have to spend one more minute with this person, I might scream!

| July 26, 2016
annoying coworker

We all have “that” person at work, that annoying coworker with an uncanny ability to get under our skin — even make the environment feel toxic. Whether it’s the office know-it-all or a passive-aggressive button-pusher, every interaction makes our blood boil.

Unfortunately, dodging them in the hallways or fantasizing that they’ll get fired only works for so long. Sooner or later, you’re going to have to face them. (Sound of sad trombone.)

The good news is, it’s possible to feel better. The harder news is, doing so is up to you. It’s not enough to behave impeccably despite someone acting horribly; your reactions to them are making you unhappy. So it’s time to change your reactions.

Here are six things you can do to keep “that person” from ruining your day read more

How I changed careers (and found work that is truer to my nature)

| July 11, 2016
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Rachel Cohen is a licensed New York social worker, freelance writer, and Fordham grad. She currently works at the Association of Community Employment (ACE), assisting the homeless population in finding full-time jobs. She loves writing about social work, self-care, mental health, and vocational development.

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For the last three years that I worked as a digital editorial director, I loathed not only my job, but also my career. “Loathed” is a pretty strong word, but it’s accurate. I felt dread at the first hint of my alarm clock every day. What’s worse, I felt despair every night, thinking that I was powerless and that this feeling would never end.

Depressed, I tried to eat away my problems — my typical solution — which led to major weight gain. I was sick and lethargic, often from the stress.

I didn’t have the nerve to quit, and instead I fantasized about getting read more

Job search: Get the confidence you need right now

| January 13, 2016
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It’s time for a new job. About that you’re certain.

What’s less certain is that you’ll land a good one, especially with all the what-ifs swirling in your head.

What if I’m going in the wrong direction? What if I can’t find the same salary level? What if I don’t have what it takes? What if the new job is worse than my old one? What if they make me take a test? What if? What if? What if?

Stop.

Ask yourself a new question: What can I do right now?

Looking for a new job dredges up a lot of pesky (and persistent) feelings of insecurity. We spend time imagining the worst instead of preparing for the best. To regain your confidence and hang onto it, you need to put aside distracting uncertainties (which, by the way, don’t help get anything done) by focusing on the actions you can take.

Start by tackling these three read more

What goes wrong when you’re always right

| March 11, 2015
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Stuck Moment: His strategy is wrong, I just know it. But when I explain it to him, he doesn’t seem to want to hear it  — no matter how much I insist. I don’t understand why people won’t listen for their own good. It’s not my fault if I’m right.

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Seeing things that others don’t can put us in an awkward place. We want — or need — to prove our point, and yet somehow this makes us the bad guy. And that just doesn’t compute: Being right = good, not bad, right?

Not always.

Yes, contribute to the conversation, but be mindful of how. We humans, after all, can be a prickly lot. And one red-hot button is when someone regularly tells us we’re wrong. We start to feel devalued. Perhaps unworthy. Definitely annoyed.

The consequence of being that righty-pants, no matter how good your intention, is read more

Coworkers won’t communicate? Break out the Tip Cards

| February 20, 2015
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Evie Racette is a straight shooter.

Bred in the Midwest, she was raised to speak her mind. But these days, as the new town manager of Pinetop Lakeside, a resort town in Arizona’s White Mountains, she finds herself in a communication conundrum. How can she introduce necessary change if she can’t talk freely with her coworkers?

“I just took the position in October, and I’ve felt resistance,” she explains. “In the southwest you couch everything you say, and that’s been hard for me.”

Then she came across Unstuck’s new Tip Cards, and it dawned on her that the cards might tackle the elephants in the office using a process that suited the culture.

“I thought it would be a great resource for the staff. I saw it as problem solving in a removed way.” Evie says. “We all have interpersonal issues, and sometimes that’s not easy to share with your manager. read more

You’re doing everything right — but you still feel stuck

| December 12, 2014
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Stuck moment: I can’t believe she thinks I’m not pulling my weight. I’ve done everything that’s required — what more does she want?

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Think of it as the silent stuck moment. There’s nothing wrong, really. What needs to happen happens. Deep down, though, you know something is off. And on the surface, it feels like treading water — tiring and not all that inspiring.

Take it as a sign that it’s time to reflect on your level of accountability in the situation.

There is responsibility — I do what I’m supposed to do — and then there is accountability — I do what it takes. It may seem subtle when put into words, but the difference is palpable when it comes to achieving our goals.

When we’re truly accountable, we’re all in. We’re motivated. We pay attention. We communicate. We battle obstacles and seek solutions. People see it in our facial expressions read more

“The best work advice I ever got”

| November 17, 2014
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Let’s face it — all of us who work feel the same way now and then: We struggle with self-doubt, fumble for the right answers, and sometimes just wing it and hope it flies. Fortunately, people are inclined to offer their hard-earned pearls of wisdom to help us find our way. We asked 24 professionals to share the single best piece of work advice they’ve read more

How to take the fear out of feedback

| November 7, 2014
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Eh, feedback. Like death and taxes, other people’s opinions of what we do are a fact of life. Whether on the job or in the thick of wedding planning, people who care for us will sometimes offer hard-to-hear truths about our behavior. And that can trigger a flood of fear and negative emotion that blots out the positive opportunities that the feedback offers. Consider that:

Feedback is a chance to gather perspective other than your own on how you’re doing.

Feedback is a chance to course-correct before it’s too late.

Feedback is a chance to plan to succeed.

It’s not something you want to miss out on, but many of us usually do in one of three read more

25 ways to make networking less dreadful

| October 16, 2014
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Stuck moment: I know this so-called networking event tonight is important for my career, but I’m not going to get anything out of it. I never meet the right people. And it always seems like everyone knows people there already — what am I suppose to do, just barge into a conversation with strangers? I hate this. 

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There’s no shortage of people who detest networking, and no shortage of reasons why: It feels artificial. I have better things to do with my time. I never know what to say. It’s boring. It’s exhausting. There’s nothing in it for me. 

All of these reasons are valid — and if we peek under the covers we’ll find the singular core: We’re afraid. Of being rejected, of failing, of not being up to snuff. Everyone feels it, even those super-smiley glad-handers we know we’ll never be. On top of that, research shows read more

How to work like a human

| September 11, 2014
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When I was 23 years old, I found myself in a job for which I was vastly under-qualified — associate managing editor of Ms. magazine. I’d walk around with a clipboard, creating and enforcing deadlines for the rest of the editorial staff, including the magazine’s beloved copy editor, Joan. She was a wise and patient woman, more than twice my age, who had been at Ms. for as long as anyone could remember. One night, in the frenzy of putting the latest issue to bed, the ever-meticulous Joan became a workflow bottleneck. So, I approached her, clipboard in hand, and impatiently explained that she needed to pick up the pace.

“I’m tired,” she said. “I’d really prefer to finish in the morning when I’m fresh.”

“I understand,” I said, not understanding in the least. “But we need to finish tonight. I’m sorry, but you’ll just have to keep going.”

Joan dutifully stayed late read more