Animals operate best when they live in habitats for which they are suited. You wouldn’t expect a polar bear to fare well in the deserts of Arizona or a rattlesnake to try to adjust to the North Pole. Similarly, a worker thrives when put in a workplace that matches her personality, ability, and needs.
Some mismatched employees overlook the problem. They may reason that having a job at all is sufficient in this economy, or they may hope their feeling of being out-of-place will disappear over time. Living with the status quo is oftentimes easier than breaking it.
Ever watch your kids (or your spouse) play video games and wonder how they can maintain interest for hours on end? One of the keys to becoming hooked is the idea of “small wins.” Each level completed, enemy defeated, or problem solved brings a sense of accomplishment that makes the player feel good and want to continue.
Most of us at one time or another will work for a “difficult” boss, so learning how to deal with one can be a vital career skill. “The more you learn to manage up, the more successful you will be wherever you are and whatever you're doing,” says professional behavioral analyst Beverly Flaxington, author of Make Your SHIFT: The Five Most Powerful Moves You Can Make to Get Where YOU Want to Go. Here, she offers seven tips for managing your boss (without the boss knowing you’re doing it):
We’ve all been there—stuck in a job we hate, when something finally pushes us to the breaking point and we can’t take it anymore. At that point, you may be tempted to do what they always do in movies—make a grand speech and leave in a dramatic and passionate fashion.
Your boss and others expect you to remember the small details that regularly escape them. Some people are better than others at remembering things, but no one is born with a good or bad memory. The trick is to train your brain to absorb information and recall it later, when you need it. Here are five memory-boosting tips:
Do you feel drained by events that require a lot of chitchat or favor a quiet night at home over a social function? If so, you may be a natural introvert. Though there are plenty of introverts who have risen to leadership roles (e.g., Abraham Lincoln, Barbara Walters, Tom Hanks), it can feel like a professional handicap in a work culture that rewards social butterflies. You don’t need to take on a false persona to move ahead at work, but you will need to adjust your tendencies. Here’s how to lead as an introvert:
Betsy, an office professional in a healthcare organization, joked to a colleague, “After 12 years, I know my boss so well that I can finish her sentences!” Two weeks later, as a result of an acquisition, Betsy’s former boss was gone, and Bob, her new boss, was sitting in the executive suite.
Betsy’s relationship with Bob was awkward, at best. To start, Bob was 15 years younger than Betsy—he was her son’s age— and he barely talked to her. He seemed to be a quiet, do-it-yourself kind of guy, who liked to take his own calls, write his own letters and open his own mail.
They say that the workplace is sometimes just the grown-up version of high school. Just as with those dreaded teenage years, you often must navigate a tricky landscape of challenging relationships and interactions. There may be some bumps in the road—and at times you may end up feeling like the popular crowd has left you behind.