Remember Where You Started When You’re the Boss

We all start somewhere. Usually at the bottom of the Totem pole. It’s not exactly ideal but it grounds us, gives us our base, and helps us establish great work ethic along with a feeling of accomplishment for every indent we pass. It is “the grind” and it should be appreciated and revered as the most important stepping stone to our lives and careers. It should also serve as the most important lesson in humility.

For all the great skills and connections we make at this “entry” level, the amount of insight we gain can sometimes match the amount of stress we compile. Every job comes with it’s own atmosphere of challenges, it’s own set of restrictions. That’s why the most you can work in a week (at least in the U.S.) is 40 hours. Anything more and you’re rewarded with overtime. 40 out of 168 hours, nearly a quarter of your time in a week can be spent at work. Anything that takes up a quarter of your life will surely exhaust you.

But believe me when I say…
You have got to enjoy going to work.
Enjoy conquering the day!
When you’re older, more experienced, and finally in charge… things get a little easier.

Surely people will argue that statement with me. But if you present them with 40 hours of entry level work mixed with the accompanying low pay (again, you got to start somewhere), oh hey look they’re already gone. I guess the words “low pay” scared them.

“Everybody wants to be the King.”

So let’s fast forward a little bit shall we? Close your eyes if you have to but imagine several years, even decades, into the future where you’re running your company, at the top of the payroll, or living the life of a successful traveling blogger (my favorite kind of people!). You’ve got the money, the freedom, and your goals are now much bigger. Instead of worrying about the smaller tasks that keep the company running, you’re now wearing the shoes and expensive suits that come with taking care of the bigger picture.

Congratulations, YOU MADE IT!

Now what? Well once upon a time you wanted to be the king. Now you have to work on “staying the King”. Managing day to day operations, helping your company or business grow, providing direction for your subordinates. Life doesn’t get much better.

Annnnnd most importantly… it’s payback time! Remember when your boss treated you like crap? Time to take it out on those unsuspecting interns! Remember how you use to get away with the small stuff? Time to put restrictions in place that’ll prevent others from doing that! IN FACT, it’s time to nail those subordinates of yours to the cross and hand out restriction after restriction. Because everyone knows that a company is only going to be good if you litter the floor with caution tape. Ever watched Orange is The New Black? Remember how, no matter where Pepper turns she seems to break some obscure rule and gets rewarded with a citation for shots? There’s your reward system. There’s no need to implement an actual reward system because your subordinates already make money. You give them the reward of being employed. Next thing you know, they’ll expect you to smile at them and treat them fairly.

Don’t forget… you need to be in total control. No one applies to a new job without your knowing/blessing. You’ll need to get in touch with your companies IT for the potential of monitoring all web traffic. Facebook? Nope. A Blog site? Hell no! Are they talking about me? I NEED TO KNOW NOW! Speaking of monitoring… Cameras. I need a camera at every angle throughout the department. What? Security says 15 cameras for your department is too much? We’ll see how they feel when I tell the Board about their objection.

Ok, Ok. LET’S STOP. As you can see this is ridiculous. This is just plain weird. The only good point on here is to limit social media like Facebook at work. Everything else is boarding on how an actual prison is ran.

I want you imagine a steak. If you’re a vegetarian, imagine cauliflower. Now you’ve got all the seasoning, all the pots and pans, everything you need to make the perfect meal. You place your food in a pot and turn the heat on. Now time passes but the soft/raw food you were just working with has become this beautiful piece of art, ready to serve!

If it’s already cooked to perfection and it’s time to take it out of the pan… would you leave it in longer, turn up the heat, and disregard any warning signs like smoke?
If an employee has gone above and beyond to deliver exceptional work for your company, are you going to prevent them from moving on to a better job, pile a bunch of unnecessary pressure and restrictions on them, and disregard any noticeable signs of burnout?

If you say yes. You have become what you reviled when you were in the same position. You have allowed a deserved promotion or excellent career path to jeopardize you as a leader. You don’t see progress, only revenge. You’re not happy for a growing employee, you resent them and take their move as a personal attack.

You have become easily offended. And you must not allow yourself to sink into this common phase.

Turning it Around

Let’s start with the work environment you create. Some of the most successful companies in the world do not burden their employees with restriction after restriction. With a more open workplace, creativity is allowed to flourish and fluster. Companies like Google have seen their best work created by those who were allowed a touch of freedom. Hell Google is now ran by Sundar Pichai, an incredible genius who we can thank for applications like Google Chrome, Gmail and more. And, of course, it was just Mr. Pichai. He was in charge of the departments that would go on to create these wonderful inventions. If you don’t know much about him, I suggest reading up or viewing Youtube videos to get acquainted. After reviewing him, do you think he was the kind of boss who imposed restriction after restriction? Perhaps he tried to prevent his staff from moving into higher roles? I know! He must have taken ALL of the credit for the companies successes. Larry Page and Sergey Brin had no choice but to make him CEO right? WRONG WRONG WRONG.

The encouragement of freedom was well balanced by his demands. He expected great things from his staff but never made it a one sided affair. No great manager works for themselves. They know that by having the foundation, the entry level workers, at their best then the business will benefit greatly. When you pressure the subordinates with tales of, “do it for the company, the company is always watching, the company will feel the reprucussions, etc.” you do more damage and create more rifts than you could ever hope to repair.

Encourage them to be their very best. Implement the idea of working for each other. They shouldn’t have to feel that one small mistake hurts the company because IT FUCKING DOESN’T. But do you know what does hurt a company? A jaded employee. A burned-out employee. A disgruntled employee. Which all leads to a shortage of employees. “I heard <Redacted> was hiring!” “Oh TRUST me.. I use to work there, emphasis on use to..”

Does a sports team play for their coach? Are they simply trying to aid in his legacy? As the Legendary Bill Walsh once said, “Players don’t play for a coach, or for an owner. They’re not trying to win one for the skipper. Players play for each other, for their brothers beside them.”
When you’re out on that field you only have your teammates to help you. As much as a Coach, or an Owner, or even the entire city want to join you on the field of play they can’t. So play for the guys that are going to be in your huddle.

As the coach/manager, encourage this cohesiveness and lend a hand when appropriate. Micromanaging is a fancy word for “harassing”. You harass someone until they finally submit to your rules. They aren’t learning how to do something the right way, they are merely doing it your way so that you’ll leave them alone.

Encourage your employees to explore their career path and when the time calls, support their moves. You should not hoard your employees like they are “things”, like they’re your possessions. Be as involved as the employee is comfortable with. Some employees have a greater amount of pride and of doing things like applying for a new job on their own. They shouldn’t be forced to share their intention the moment they wish to act on it. They certainly shouldn’t be pressured by fellow employees to tell you because of the fear that you’ll ruin their chances. If this is the atmosphere you have created, you are no longer a manager. You are a “bad guy”, an obstacle in their path. People don’t take obstacles head on, they avoid them like the plague and do their best to go around them.

At the end of the day, want the best for your employees. Everything is temporary in our world. Be the best leader you can be, encourage your subordinates to be the best they can be. Have feelings of delight for your employees whether it’s something small like helping out a customer or wanting to move into a manager position like yourself. When you pave the way to success and create an atmosphere where people can feel like what they’re doing is important without dropping the world on their shoulders, creativity and success take center stage.

A company whose stock stands (as of today) at $954 a share and has been voted #1 place to work for 6 years in a row, Google understands the balance.*

So now it’s up to you to find yours.

*This post is not a paid endorsement by Google, I just enjoy using their company as a basis of understanding work place productivity.

*Disclaimer

Featured Image was retrieved from (www.Pexels.com). I claim no ownership nor credit for photo and am simply using it as an image for this post as it relates to the writing.

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How to Handle Job Rejection

Before I begin I want to preface this post with the following; For the past year I have been trying my hardest, in vain, to move on to a bigger, better, more lucrative career path.

Aren’t we all?

This isn’t a dig at my current job. I’m thankful for the skills I have acquired and the people whom I have met. Each job that I have been so lucky to have been employed at has helped me grow as a person and as a man in the workforce. That said, it’s time to start doing more than pay the bills off.

With my graduation less than two weeks away I’ve done my best to apply for a number of jobs and internships that I feel will continue to help me develop as I ultimately chase my end goals. I’ve applied to fortune 500 companies, small start ups, and of course within my own workplace. Rejection after rejection I have found difficulty in maintaining my own sanity.

“To feel uncomfortable is to grow” and half a year later I feel like a hooker in Sunday Mass. There are some applications I have interviewed with repeatedly only to be turned away, others I don’t even know if I have been officially eliminated from the candidate pool because of a lack of notice. Those who do have the decency to get back to me use the same “copy and paste”…

“Thank you for your application. Despite your impressive background and qualifications, we have decided to move on with other candidates whom we feel are better suited for this job”.

If you clicked on this article, then you probably know how I feel because you’ve been in the same boat. You’ve wondered what more you could do. You think about who they may have passed you over for. You feel scathed from rejection, wanting your recruiters to know just how wrong they are and how you’re gonna make it while they make the mistake of dismissing you.

It feels unfair. It is unfair. But it’s a blessing.

“Everyone makes mistakes… especially recruiters” – Me

What should you do after being rejected for the up-teenth time?

  • Find someone to talk to. Holding your frustrations in will only hurt yourself.
  • Revisit your resume, LinkedIn, etc. Find something you can improve.
  • Understand that competition makes you better. A loss stings, but they teach you more than a win does.
  • “Keep your head up in failure, and your head down in success.” – Jerry Seinfeld.  You will make it. It might take a few trys but when you finally do, just remember how much you worked, how late you stayed up, all the sleep you loss making it perfect. And then remember that everyone around you is trying to do the same. Respect the competition, respect the grind.

 

But wait there’s more!

What’s the etiquette after you have been turned down? Do you send them a big fat email full of 4-letter words that start with “C” and “F”? Perhaps you see the recruiters/managers at your job, do you suddenly take longer to respond to their request? OH! I know, give them the stink eye. That’ll show them how wrong they are right?!

No, the option you HAVE to chose if you really want the ultimate “revenge”… Move on. Don’t treat anyone any differently. Don’t be bitter in “defeat”. Learn from it and allow it to make you a better person, not worse. When you chose to behave differently as a result of someone else’s decision, you are cultivating an air of immaturity. You’re thumbscrew, you’re crack in the armor is exposed.

“I’m glad I passed on Justin… he’s really such a jerk!”

That’s what they will think and say. They will not feel bad about rejecting you.. they’ll feel relieved. They almost had an easily disturbed employee join their department and bring their bitter attitude with them. Can you say, “Bullet dodged?”

Bite your tongue if you must but don’t show yourself in such a vulnerable, hurt position. There will be hundreds of jobs with thousands of applicants and you must learn to differentiate yourself from the pack. Acting bitter like everyone else will only make you into one of the many sheep. Be proud like a wolf, not allowing anything but your smart planning and tactful strategy to guide your way.

And if anything, take it from me. I’ve been rejected repeatedly from jobs and internships for over a year now. I’ve been passed over for reasons beyond me and if I allow it to get to me.. I’ll be passed over by many more. Part of starting a blog has been to give me a space to not only write, which is a passion of mine, but to eventually monetize. Would I have ever started a blog with this purpose if I found the very first job I applied to? Of course not.

It’s only when we face adversity that we find our purpose and means to succeed in life.

Keep on keeping on!

 

 

*Disclaimer

Featured Image was retrieved from (www.Pexels.com). I claim no ownership nor credit for photo and am simply using it as an image for this post as it relates to the writing.