7 COMMANDMENTS FOR SUCCEEDING IN YOUR NEW JOB

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Congratulations for the “New Job”. Starting a new job is always exciting and sometime nerve wrecking. You don’t know anyone, and you want to prove how “incredible” you are. Here are a few rules that will help you make the right impression on your boss and integrate with your new team.

  1. THOU SHALL DELIVER ON YOUR COMMITMENTS

During the first few days in your new job, have meeting with your boss to understand your job role and his/ hers expectations from you. Once you are clear on your deliverables (WHAT you need to deliver), concentrate on the HOW.

Understand “HOW” the high – performers in your team – work, relate to each other and handle the boss. This will help you create a stencil for your own success at work.

 

  1. THOU SHALL NETWORK

Hired for a new job, start building your network from day 1. The people you must network with during the initial phase are 1> team members 2> colleagues from others team who impact input to / output from your work 3 > opinion makers with clout in your department / company 4 > high performers who have handled similar job.

A strong network will ensure that your work goes smoothly, there is a better reception for your suggestions / ideas and you understand office dynamics.

While you are networking , be sure to set your boundaries. Ensure that people know how  and when to approach you and for what. You should not regret later that people  consider you too easy going or take  you for granted  or think of you as unapproachable.

 

  1. THOU SHALL NOT COMPARE THINGS TO YOUR EARLIER JOB

The easiest and the worst mistake to make at a new job / new company is to compare it with your previous job, boss, colleagues or processes/ policies of your previous companies. I know that it feels good to suggest improvement in processes based on your previous experience, but unless specifically asked for – do not antagonize your current team by comparing things.

If you want to suggest changes, makes use of what if scenarios or why don’t we try approach. Also, try to identify opinion builders in your team and get their buy in on changes you want to suggest. This will ensure better receptivity for your idea.

 

  1. THOU SHALL FIND AN OFFICE PARTNER

Having a strong network is one thing, having an office partner is another.  An office partner is someone who will provide you with an ear, when you want to crib. Will cheer you on as you handle a difficult project & act as your sounding board.

To find an office partner be one, and ensure that whatever is shared with you is not used as gossip fodder with another.

 

  1. THOU SHALL OFFER TO HELP

The easiest way to create a strong network is by offering to help. Based on bandwidth available, take on projects no one else wants. Offer to help someone who seems to be struggling or someone who has been assigned a huge project – check with them what needs to be done and deliver.

 

  1. THOU SHALL FIND YOUR NICHE

Identify something related to your job that you love doing or are good at and develop the skills to become an expert. You could be the Digital Marketing expert or the manager who develops promotable talent.

Your specific expertise will help you stand-out within the company.

 

  1. THOU SHALL TAKE RESPONSIBILITY OF YOUR OWN DEVELOPMENT

Don’t expect your manager to develop you. Identify your own career path and attend trainings, take on relevant projects of if need be create your own project. Develop yourself so as to grow in your new role and for future.

 

Follow these commandments and be successful in your new job.

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Want to Burnout at Work – 10 Easy Tips

  1. BE A PERFECTIONIST: Set impossible standards for yourself and know that good enough is just not acceptable. Try to squeeze out every drop of productivity from daily work. Beat yourself if everything isn’t perfect and sacrifice everything from family time to “me time” to get it “just” right.
  2. LACK BELIEF: Lack belief in your own ability to accomplish goals and tasks (ensuring that you are stressed out even before you start) or do work that you don’t believe in (personal values clash with you companies values or your current job). Let the clash & stress erode you and make you prone to BURNOUT J
  3. EAT LUNCH AT DESK: Treat your body as a machine and work without break. Take your lunch at your desk – after all taking a break might mean the end of the world, collapse of economy or at least the bankruptcy of your company. Forget the fact that giving yourself a break will refresh you and make you more productive.
  4. DON’T TAKE VACATIONS: Going in line with point no 3, I suggest that you should not take any vacations if you wish to burnout fast. As a vacation means enjoyment, fun & relaxation while reconnecting with family, friends and yourself which can ease your stress. A strict no – no if you really wish to burnout.
  5. DON’T COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR BOSS: Unclear job description, routine activities, poor job fit, being micro managed, and no growth prospects can all lead to burnout. So for a faster burnout never discuss these with your boss/ HR to get them resolved.
  6. NEVER SAY “NO”: In line with above never say “No”. Deadline pushed forward – accept, overloaded still more work put on your plate – say yes. Colleague slacking but asking you to do his / her job – be happy. Being pulled in all directions and not having a single minute to yourself will easily stress you out.
  7. DON’T TRUST YOUR COLLEAGUES / SUBORDINATES: Trusting relationship with your colleagues and subordinates would mean “POSITIVE WORK ENVIORONMENT” which is toxic to burnout. Always be scared and believe that people around you are there only to sabotage you and are just waiting to bring out their knives. Be scared and stressed about it J
  8. DON’T HAVE ANY SOCIAL NETWORK APART FROM WORK COLLEAGUES: Unlike the point above if you are made to suffer and work with a great bunch of people at work. Ensure you do not have any social circle apart from them. Talk shop on weekends (if you are not working or dreaming / thinking of work) or on all your outings. No mental break from work, same people in and out of office will help you to burnout. To burnout even faster don’t have any network at all, as feeling isolated will make you feel more stressed.
  9. DON’T CULTIVATE ANY HOBBIES: Hobbies are detrimental if you really wish to burnout. Stay away from things that you may “Love” to do. A hobby can be therapeutic -will relax you, give you a mental break & make you happy L. This is not desirable as cultivating a hobby will make you better-rounded as your self-worth and identity should be solely based on your work.
  10. DON’T TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF: Last but not the least ensure that you do not have fixed hours for anything. You should be sleep deprived, should not eat healthy or exercise.

Following all the tips above will mean that you are on your to be “ Happily Burned out”

WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU HATE YOUR JOB?

hate your job

There are loads of people who hate their job; the job is just a chore. Waking up and going to office makes they feel sick. They are just looking forward for the day to end the week to pass. And you may currently one of them.

Even before we start discussing what to do when you hate your job, it’s important to understand why you hate your job. I suggest that you make a list of all the things that you do not like about your job. They could be work related reasons like a difficult manager , less salary, long work hours or personal reasons like you do not like the work you do or don’t like the way company works. Some of these reasons can be managed by having a discussion with you manager / HR, but here are few things that you can do on your own to make you feel more productive and less disengaged.

  • LOOK AT THE BIG PICTURE: Sometimes the easiest thing to do when you are feeling disengaged at work is to focus on the positive aspects of work and how your current job is contributing to help you build the career you want. (If this does not help and you are still feeling struck, read on)
  • CHALLENGE YOURSELF: Set weekly / monthly challenges for yourself. The high of achievement will help you get rid of the boredom and will also help you to add to your resume in case you have to take the ultimate decision of changing the company.
  • DO SOMETHING NEW: Take on new tasks/ projects. Ask for additional responsibility at work. Be part of cross functional teams. The connection with people and the motivation that comes from doing a new thing will help you get engaged.
  • DEVELOP NEW SKILLS: Instead of just looking at your current job, look at the next step in your career path. Identify the skills that are required to do that and work on developing them while working on your current job. Always remember that by developing new skills you are making yourself more valuable in your current role and improving your opportunities for your future career growth and success.
  • IF IT IS TO BE, IT IS UPTO ME: In the end, remember that if you are disengaged at work only YOU can do something about it. Take initiative, talk to people about your concerns, don’t just complain but work on an action plan. Time to take action is NOW.

Have you been through such a situation or are going through such a situation. Feel free to share your concerns and tips.

Struck in comfort zone – 3 Tips to help you break free

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(Image courtesy David Castillo Dominici @Freedigitalphotos.net )

Want to know if you are struck in a comfort zone – try free quiz on personal coaching site http://www.becoached4success.com/free-downloads.html

If you are still reading on, you must have realised that you are struck in your comfort zone. Comfort zone may mean relaxed pace, no risk but it usually leads to sense of complacency and boredom –we stop evolving & growing & face entropy – the dreaded decay.

Don’t look so dismayed. The very fact that you are reading this blog means you are ready to act, ready to break free from the shackles of comfort & enjoy the roller coaster that any new change brings. Here, are a few tips that will help you.

  • Create a list of your fears & your dreams: List down all the things you want to achieve in your life, all the dreams you have. Now make a list of all your fears & all the things which are holding you back from achieving your hearts desires. Define activities that will help you face your fears and get out of this comfort pit.

           An example action sheet

Start Own Business

    1. Business Plan Approval: Get the business plan approved for loan by bank. Will help to plug any gaps in business plan & give confidence in regards with actual feasibility

    2. Financial health: Get your financial advisor to help you create investment plans so as to enable you to meet all you expenses till your business breaks even + to manage any emergencies.

    3. Get a business coach

  • Love yourself : No matter what your weight or health – accept yourself and love yourself. Eat healthy, work out, wear the best clothes you can and always remember this is the only body you have. Take care of it. Every day look into the mirror focus on what you’re doing right, and speak positively to yourself. Realistic constructive self-talk helps in reducing stress, gives self-confidence, and help you put more enjoyment into your lifeSelf-love gives you confidence to try out new things and not fear the risks of breaking free from comfort zone.

  • Try something new every-day: The simple act of trying a new activity can help people move beyond their comfort zones. You can start by enrolling for a new class (fitness or cooking or drama or tarot) or try a new cuisine or any small change in your daily routine. The act of trying something unfamiliar will probably be uncomfortable at first but remember that feeling a little uncertain isn’t going to hurt you.

 

 

Appraisal Hack : Preparing for an appraisal

 

 

  1. Collect back-ground material: The following material can help you create smart self-appraisal, which in turn will help you with your actual discussion with your manager.
    1. Job description : to define boundaries and expectations
    2. Targets versus accomplishments : quantitative data for performance highlights
    3. Last year’s competence appraisal: for highlighting strengths and achievements related to areas of development
  2. Create an accomplishments list:  List any projects that you handled that you finished ahead of the deadline or under budget. Think about ways you saved or made the company money. Any process improvements you made during the year. Include any new training or skills you acquired during the year and how they have helped you and will in turn help the company.
  3. Do a self-appraisal: Even if your company doesn’t formally do them, it’s good idea to complete a self-evaluation. Use the same performance appraisal form your manager will be using. Go through each competency and goal listed, and rate your performance. Be honest in your ratings with ready reckoner of justification for rating. In case its competence based appraisal you will be facing, go through the demonstrated behaviors associated and keep ready 4 to 5 instances where you exhibited such behaviors.
  4. Have a goal sheet: Be ready with a list of goals you would like to pursue and skills you’d like to develop over the next year (ensure that these goals and skills have direct impact on current job & are aligned to your career plan). While defining your goals you might want to look for opportunities to expand your duties, broaden your knowledge, or take on additional responsibility. Draft these as goals and you might actually get a toe hold onto a future higher responsibility position.
  5. Personal needs discussion: The review process is your opportunity to ask for a raise or promotion, and have an open discussion about your career path and potential opportunities. For most people it’s difficult to bring these things up while sitting face-to-face with the supervisor, so create a written list of items you’d like to discuss. If it’s still difficult for you to discuss forward this sheet along with self-appraisal & goal sheet prior to appraisal as agenda items.

Have a great appraisal.

Workplace Bullying : What you can do ?

Definition of workplace bullying:

Bullying in the workplace can be defined as ‘all those repeated unreasonable and inappropriate actions and practices that are directed to one or more workers, which are unwanted by the victim, which may be done deliberately or unconsciously, but do cause humiliation, offence and distress, and that may interfere with job performance, and/or cause an unpleasant working environment.’ (Based on Stale Einarson and Paul McCarthy)
Or
“The repeated less favorable treatment of a person by another or others in the workplace, which may be considered unreasonable and inappropriate workplace practice. It includes behavior that intimidates, offends, degrades or humiliates a worker”. (Source ACTUQ/QCCI/Old Govt Dept of Workplace Health & Safety)
Or
“Persistent, offensive, abusive, intimidating or insulting behavior, abuse of power or unfair penal sanctions which makes the recipient feel upset, threatened, humiliated or vulnerable, which undermines their self-confidence and which may cause them to suffer stress” (MSF Union, 1994)

Comments that are objective and are intended to provide constructive feedback are not usually considered bullying but strong management.
What qualifies as bullying behavior?
The bullying behavior could range from verbal abuse, blame, humiliation, personal and professional denigration, manipulation of job specifications, unrealistic workload, aggressive e-mails or notes, overt threats, harassment, sabotage of career and financial status, spreading malicious rumors, gossip, or innuendo that is not true withholding necessary information or purposefully giving the wrong information intruding on a person’s privacy by pestering, spying or stalking under work – creating a feeling of uselessness criticizing a person persistently or constantly ,belittling a person’s opinions ,unwarranted (or undeserved) punishment ,blocking applications for training, leave or promotion ,tampering with a person’s personal belongings or work equipment overt aggression / violence etc.
Profile of a workplace bully
The serial bully:
• Is a convincing, practiced liar
• Is vile, vicious and vindictive in private, but innocent and charming in front of witnesses; no-one can (or wants to) believe this individual has a vindictive nature – only the current target of the serial bully’s aggression sees both sides
• Uses excessive charm and is always plausible and convincing when peers, superiors or others are present (charm can be used to deceive as well as to cover for lack of empathy)

• Is unusually skilled in being able to anticipate what people want to hear and then saying it plausibly
• Is self-opinionated and displays arrogance, audacity, a superior sense of entitlement and sense of invulnerability
• Is a control freak and has a compulsive need to control everyone and everything displays a compulsive need to criticize whilst simultaneously refusing to value, praise and acknowledge others, their achievements, or their existence
• Undermines and destroys anyone who the bully perceives to be an adversary, a potential threat, or who can see through the bully’s mask
• Is adept at creating conflict between those who would otherwise collate incriminating information about them
• May pursue a vindictive vendetta against anyone who dares to held them accountable, perhaps using others’ resources and contemptuous of the damage caused to other people and organizations in pursuance of the vendetta
• Is also quick to belittle, undermine, denigrate and discredit anyone who calls, attempts to call, or might call the bully to account
• Gains gratification from denying people what they are entitled to
• When called upon to share or address the needs and concerns of others, responds with impatience, irritability and aggression
• Is mean, stingy, and financially untrustworthy
• Is convinced of their superiority and has an overbearing belief in their qualities of leadership but cannot distinguish between leadership (maturity, decisiveness, assertiveness, co-operation, trust, integrity) and bullying (immaturity, impulsiveness, aggression, manipulation, distrust, deceitfulness)
Types of a Bully Manager
Bullying Managers can be put into four types:
1. The Bulldog Bully
This is a manager who resorts to raised voices and aggressive body language to get their way and refuses to allow you to state your case often with a torrent of verbose. Other techniques include getting red in the face, using abusive language, slamming doors and banging the table a great deal. They operate under a cloud of fear and employees are petrified of making any slips or mistakes in case they incur the boss’s substantial wrath, this leads to a lack of desire to take any responsibility for tasks outside the employee’s job specification and any creativity is stifled.
2. The Silver Tongued Tempter
This type is most skillful and cunning, not for them the crudities of the active bully their style is wholly more covert but no less devastating. They happily promise great rewards and watch with glee at the extra activity their falsehoods generate. When the unfortunate victim realizes the full extent of the STB’s empty promises and complains the STB then accuses them of negativity, because they dare to take them at their word. Often the STB will blame the withheld reward on ‘situations beyond my control’, ‘other departments’ or change the goal posts. For example an employee in a local financing firm was promised a promotion to team-leader with the associated pay rise, when the date arrived for her promotion the manager explained that the company wouldn’t pay her a supervisor’ s wage until she had ‘proven herself’! This results in apathetic de-motivated and disengaged staff.
3. Messrs Reasonable & Co
This one somehow manages to make all your requests seem not only ridiculous but outrageous too and convince you that their interpretation of the situation is perfectly acceptable and even normal, when, in fact, the reverse is true. The outcome is staff adopting a work to rule style and rejecting any attempt to take any initiative, as the perception is that there will be no back-up or assistance.

4. The Trapper
Perhaps the trapper is the worst of the lot, if there is a ‘worst’. These managers will actively work to set-up the unfortunate victim by setting vague or difficult work tasks or engineering an altercation so that they can paint the employee into or corner or use the event as an excuse for trumped up charges or even verbal/written warnings. This style results in massive turnover as staff get wise to the scammer and look for more ethical managers elsewhere.

How bullying affects an individual?
People who are the targets of bullying may experience a range of effects. These reactions include:
• Shock
• Anger
• Feelings of frustration and/or helplessness
• Increased sense of vulnerability
• Loss of confidence
• Physical symptoms such as
• Inability to sleep
• Loss of appetite
• Psychosomatic symptoms such as
• Stomach pains
• Headaches
• Panic or anxiety, especially about going to work
• Family tension and stress
• Inability to concentrate, and
• Low morale and productivity

How bullying affects the workplace?
Bullying affects the overall “health” of an organization. “Unhealthy” workplaces can have many effects. In general these include:
• Increased absenteeism
• Increased turnover
• Increased stress
• Increased costs for employee assistance programs (EAPs), recruitment, etc.
• Increased risk for accidents / incidents
• Decreased productivity and motivation
• Decreased morale
• Reduced corporate image and customer confidence, and
• Poorer customer service.

Law and Bullying

Law in Canada
The Canadian Province of Quebec introduced legislation addressing workplace bullying on 1 June 2004. In its Act representing Labor Standards “psychological harassment” is prohibited. The Commission des normes du travail is the organization responsible for the application of this act.
Under the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act 1979, “all employers must take every precautions reasonable in the circumstances to protect the health and safety of their workers in the workplace. This includes protecting them against the risk of workplace violence “The Act requires establishment of Joint Occupational Health and Safety Committees for larger employers.
Under the act, workplace violence is defined as “…the attempted or actual exercise of any intentional physical force that causes or may cause physical injury to a worker. It also includes any threats which give a worker reasonable grounds to believe he or she is at risk of physical injury”

Law in United Kingdom
In the United Kingdom, although bullying is not specifically mentioned in workplace legislation, there are means to obtain legal redress for bullying. The Protection from Harassment Act 1997 is a recent addition to the more traditional approaches using employment-only legislation. Notable cases include Majrowski v Guy’s & St Thomas’ NHS Trust wherein it was held that an employer is vicariously liable for one employee’s harassment of another, and Green v DB Group Services (UK) Ltd, where a bullied worker was awarded over £800,000 in damages.

In the latter case, at paragraph 99, the judge Mr Justice Owen said:
“…I am satisfied that the behavior amounted to a deliberate and concerted campaign of bullying within the ordinary meaning of that term.”
Where a person is bullied on grounds of sex, race or disability et al, it is outlawed under anti-Discrimination laws.

Law in Sweden
Workplace bullying in Sweden is covered by the Ordinance of the Swedish National Board of Occupational Safety and Health containing Provisions on measures against Victimization at Work, which defines victimization as “…recurrent reprehensible or distinctly negative actions which are directed against individual employees in an offensive manner and can result in those employees being placed outside the workplace community.”
The act places the onus on employers to plan and organize work so as to prevent victimization and to make it clear to employees that victimization is not acceptable. The employer is also responsible for the early detection of signs of victimisation, prompt counter measures to deal with victimization and making support available to employees who have been targeted.

Situation in India
Currently there is no legislation in India that specifically deals with bullying in the workplace. Some countries have legislation on workplace violence in which bullying is included. But employers have a general duty to protect employees from risks at work and many employers choose to address the issue of bullying as both physical and mental harm can “cost” an organization.
In general, there will be differences in opinion and sometimes conflicts at work. However, behavior that is unreasonable and offends or harms any person should not be tolerated.

What can you do to improve the situation?

If you are in HR
• Define bullying in precise, concrete language with clear examples of unacceptable behavior and working conditions
• Establish proper systems for investigating, recording and dealing with bullying
• Investigate complaints quickly, while maintaining discretion and confidentiality and protecting the rights of all individuals involved
• Take action swiftly
• Create an environment in organization in which dignity and fairness for all is the norm

If you are being bullied
• Keep a track of all incidences with date, time, witnesses , emails , memos , telephone calls – if need be do voice recording
• Find out as much as you can about your organizations policy on harassment and bullying.
• Write to the bully following any and each incidents, denying or correcting their false claims if necessary. Keep copies of any correspondence as evidence.
• If the behavior doesn’t stop , present your case (as factually as possible) to bully’s boss and HR and ask them to take action
• If no appropriate action is taken approach top-management with your case, proofs, responses from the bully/your boss/bull’s boss/HR
• If no action is still taken start looking at other options as it doesn’t make to stick to an organization which doesn’t care about its employees
• Do be a part of self help groups as bullying can lower morale

Body Language Tips for the Interview

 

You may have the best resume & the perfect answers but what differentiates two equally suitable candidates in an interview is the body language. Use the below body language tips to make you seem confidant & enthusiastic, avoiding any kind of faux pas

Walking in

Walk in straight, smile, make eye contact and shake your hands with each individual in the room. Introduce yourself using your first and last name as you shake hands.

Handshake

Keep the handshake firm, but remember it’s not a wrestling matching and you don’t have to crush your opponent fingers.  Don’t do a dead fish / limp handshake it makes you seem submissive.

The handshake should not be prolonged or be too short – count till 3 inside your head and let it go.

Do not cover the interviewers hand with both of yours or shake the hand or pump the other person’s hand more than three times

Sitting position & distance

Sit upright but in a relaxed fashion leaning slightly forward at about a 10 to 15 degree angle towards the interviewer to show you are interested. Do not lean back, it is lazy or arrogant and slouching is just lazy.

If you lean too forward and stretch your hands or body over interviewers desk , you will come across as aggressive and will create discomfort for the interviewers whose personal space you will be entering.

Keeping your head straight looks self-assured and authoritative, it sends the message that you should be taken seriously. For a more friendly and relaxed look tilt your head slightly to one side. Nod your head every now and then to show you are listening closely.

Whatever you do , please don’t fidget  unless you want to appear nervous.

Hands

The two major mistakes candidates make in regards with the use of hands during interview is a> make chopping or pointing motions which appears aggressive or b> keeping the hands hidden which makes one seem as less open and less honest

The best thing to do with your hands is to rest them loosely clasped in your lap or on the table, if there is one. You may also want to use the steeple to get your point across, if you feel strongly about it. Steepling projects confidence.

Do not touch the nose, lips or ears with your hands , it  can signal that the candidate is lying.

Arms

Folding arms across the chest signal defensiveness and resistance. It sends the message that the candidate is shutting the interviewer out and is either feeling or does not agree with what the interviewer is saying.

Keep your arms open and let your hands rest loosely clasped.

Eyes

It’s important to be confident and look the interviewer in the eye, but do break away. Locking eyes with someone for an extended period of time can be interpreted as aggressive or creepy.

If you are not comfortable with looking a person directly in the eye, keep your gaze centred in the triangle formed by eyes and nose. Distracted, never looking in the eye while answering or upward eye movements can suggest someone is lying or is not sure.

If you have more than one person interviewing you at once, briefly address both people with your gaze and return your attention to the person who has asked you a question.

Head

Nod once or twice with a smile of agreement. But find your still centre and stay there. A bobble head appears to be too agreeable, while lacking his / her own perspective.

Facial expressions

Match your words, tone & facial expressions.

Do not purse the lips or twist them sideways, it shows disapproval of what is being heard. Biting your lips suggests nervousness. Try to relax your mouth. Do not smile too much unless you hear a joke.

Legs

Crossing feet at the ankles or placing them both flat on the floor sends a message of confidence and professionalism.  Do not rest an ankle on the opposite knee – it looks arrogant and casual, while crossing the legs high up appears defensive.

Mirroring

Use mirroring to create a connection through body language. Influence it to give the interviewer the feeling that you are getting on. For example, if the interviewer leans forward, you may lean forward to; if he nods, you may nod too. Do not start mirroring as soon as you start with the interview process, do not copy instantaneously or it will look awkward ,do not overdo it.

 Have a great interview !!!