My friend Tim likes to send me links to job listings he’s considering and ask my opinion about whether he should apply. Pretty much without fail, my answer is yes (or really, YES!). There is always something—he's not sure he wants to work for such a large company, or he's worried that the hours will be too long, or he's not sure if he's really ready to leave his current job. But the thing is, it doesn't matter. He should just apply!
The thing I dread most about work is attending events like trade shows, all-day business meetings, or ghastly "networking opportunities."
I have always been very concerned with becoming a respectable job candidate, even before I really knew what I wanted to do. I’d thought the goal was to master information that would set me up for a successful career. I took school seriously and got good grades, and I believed that doing well on tests was a good indication that I was doing well, that I would be successful in life.
I'd love some advice about giving feedback on bad work. I've recently been promoted over some people who are older than me and some people who are my friends. Both are types of people that are hard to criticize!
I'm pretty good at some things. I’m a fast reader, I can bake really delicious gluten-free peanut butter cookies from scratch, and I’m excellent at making up answers to questions I don’t actually know much about. If anything, I am sometimes overconfident in my abilities. Yet any ideas I have about having gift for public speaking are entirely fantasy.
In many respects, the skills that we learn in school are not very good preparation for work. Success at work often doesn't involve being obedient, following instructions, or even necessarily completing assignments on time (all the abilities that school achievement is built on). There is one way, though, in which being in school and being in the working world are quite similar: having to collaborate and work closely with different, sometimes non-compatible, personalities.
I’ve bragged about jobs that I’ve rejected, but now it's time to come clean and tell you about the jobs that have rejected me. Let me state for the record: I am someone who has been rejected from many jobs.
"We think you're great and we'd love to offer you the job," the woman on the phone told me. She trailed off momentarily before resuming again, "but we're not sure there's any way you can take it. But, we thought, 'maybe she has a rich husband.'"
Last year, a Gallup poll found that a lowly 30 percent of Americans are actually happy at work, and many complained of "bosses from hell" as a major reason. The truth is that it's difficult to be a good manager. A good manager should, ideally, both direct your work and help you grow in your skills and career. She should be supportive, provide timely feedback, and help when you are stuck. She should be able to do all of this on top of the work that she needs to do herself. It's said that people are promoted to the point of their incompetence, and this is especially true when it comes to management, since dealing with people is a skill that few people actively cultivate. And there are so, so many ways to be a bad manager.