4 Types of Bosses & How To Turn Them Into Your Biggest Allies

2 12 2016

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There are many types of bosses that you will run into when entering the working world. And each of them brings their own unique problems, but there are ways to turn said problems into advantages. Here are four types of bosses you might have in your life, and four ways to turn them into your diehard allies.

  1. The Hands-off Boss

For some it’s a dream, for others, it’s a nightmare, for most, it’s a mixture of both. The hands-off boss can be confusing but that doesn’t mean you can’t use it to your advantage.

Enhance your communication skills

With a hands-off boss, you need to know when to ask for guidance and when to do something yourself. Learning this is key to developing your communication skills in the workplace, which is an invaluable asset to have. Knowing when to speak up and knowing when to shut up will keep you in your boss’s good books.

Show initiative

If your boss is the hands-off kind, it’s most likely that he or she wants you to come up with your own ideas and be interdependent. Show initiative in meetings, one on ones and in your day-to-day working life. You will gain a lot of skills which will only aid you as you move up the ladder.

 Become a leader

If you are on a team with a boss who keeps out of the projects, you can step into a leadership role that shows your boss you are capable of big things and help them with their job.

  1. The Micromanager

Just as some bosses like to leave you to do your job, others like to know every small detail which can be just as daunting.

Seek them out

If your boss likes to micromanage, the best way to turn them into an ally is to give them what they want. So, seek them out for advice and guidance and check to make sure they are happy before completing tasks.

Build trust

You can voice your opinion but the more you keep your distance and do as you are told the more you build trust.

  1. The BFF

The BFF doesn’t want to be your boss, they want to be your friend, and while this may sound great it can come with its own set of unique hassles but there are a few things that you can do to maintain a good relationship.

Follow their lead

If your boss wants to be your best friend, don’t shun them to avoid awkwardness as this will only enhance it. Instead, follow their lead and don’t overstep the bounds they have already put in place.

Gain a mentor

A boss that wants to be your friend will often go over and beyond to keep you happy, so use this to your advantage. Ask them to be your mentor to gain significant knowledge of your company as well as the business. Doing so will only benefit your relationship with them.

Climb the ladder

A lot of people don’t enjoy the blurred lines that accompany the best-friend-boss so if you are one of the few to embrace this you will be on the top of the list when it comes to promotions. This doesn’t mean “suck up”, just follow the above points and let it play out in your favor.

  1. The Perfectionist

You have checked your work ten times but your boss still isn’t happy because the font is not to their liking? The perfectionist boss can cause a lot of headaches, but here’s how you turn them into an ally.

Appeal to their nature

If your boss is a perfectionist, you need to appeal to their perfectionist tendencies. When completing a project, point out something that could be a little better and watch their face light up with glee.

Sharpen your skills

Perfectionists can be annoying, but one positive of having a boss that is a perfectionist is the fact that you will comb over every small detail in your work before sending it to your boss. Knowing that the smallest thing might cause your boss an insurmountable amount of pain will make you extra careful when completing your tasks, sharpening your skills and keeping your boss happy in the process.

Whether your boss is hands-off, a perfectionist, or a micromanager, there is always something you can do to make your working life a lot easier. Take note of the tips above and put them into practice when you meet your new boss. Good luck!

****For this post, Campus to Career thanks Kate Thora!!****

About: Kate Thora is a Senior Content Specialist for Uphours, an online resource with information about businesses worldwide. Her artistic soul manifests itself also in her love for singing and dancing, especially to traditional Indian music. Follow her on Twitter @katethora1





6 Questions to Ask About Benefits

7 06 2016

 

It’s very exciting to receive a new job offer, but there are still many questions that must be answered before actually accepting and starting a new job. Certain information may not have been discussed in an interview, and are critical for a new employee to successfully adapt to a new job and environment. If you are ready to start a new job, but aren’t sure what questions to ask, here are a few to know.

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What is the Company Culture Like?
Once you’ve received a job offer, it might not hurt to ask what the company culture is like. It’s both helpful and necessary to understand how adaptable and flexible a company is when it comes to requesting time off, scheduling activities outside of work, and other things like dress code and in-office behavior.

Overall Leadership Type?
It is important to know what kind of leadership is common throughout the new company and to understand what kind of work environment you’ll be spending your time in. Some companies may favor a fast-paced, high-energy work environment, while others may have a more gradual or quiet work space.

May I Have a Hard Copy of the Job Offer?
Asking for a formal, hard copy of your job offer can also be useful for a number of reasons. If your job suddenly includes new tasks that were not included in the original job description you were hired under, you will now have proof of it. This could help out a business lawyer if you find you need to seek one out for compensation issues, or if you decide to ask for a raise.

May I Have a Hard Copy of the Benefits Package?
After receiving a job offer, the very first item you should ask your employer or Human Resources representative for is a formal, hard copy of the benefits package. Asking for detailed benefits information in an interview is often considered rude or presumptuous. Asking once the job offer is made, however, is critical. Some employers offer unique benefits, such as tuition reimbursement programs. Asking for a full copy is necessary in order to understand all the perks that come with your new job and to know what you can work toward in the future.

How is Compensation Structured?
Another critical question that should be asked is whether or not your compensation plan includes bonuses. Some companies offer bonuses, but only if specific requirements are met, which vary greatly. It’s important to know exactly how your compensation plan is structured and what it takes to achieve bonuses.

What is the Corporate or Business Philosophy?
One last question you should ask is what the overall corporate or business philosophy of the new company is. Inquiring about the company’s short-term and long-term goals will help you determine if you’re a good fit and how you can adapt more to the overall atmosphere and culture.

Securing a job offer can be very exciting. The Ottinger Law firm recommends having a list of things to consider before actually starting a new job though. Understanding your new benefits package, your new job’s compensation structure, and the company’s philosophy are all critical pieces of information that will help you successfully adjust to your new job and employer.

Photo credit: Evan Dennis, Unsplash.com





Winged Migration: What a Flock of Geese Can Teach Us About Leadership

13 01 2015

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As I was out for a run recently, I observed a flock of geese landing in a nearby field. I watched as they touched down in what seemed like a carefully choreographed dance, their wings spread wide, feet lowered as they signaled to each other with joyful honks. Nature is all around us – beautiful and full of lessons. You see, we’re not so different from that flock of geese as we embark on our journey of leadership development.

We all have leadership potential. The animal kingdom doesn’t elect leaders. Respect is earned. In my opinion, leaders are born, but there is no such thing as a born leader. Leaders emerge through their own hard work and dedication. Ever notice the V-formation birds, especially geese, fly in? The leader at the point rotates over the course of the journey. Every goose pulls their weight.

***What are you doing to earn the respect of your peers and co-workers? Are you pulling your weight as a leader or are you expecting everyone else to do the work?***

This article was originally posted to LinkedIn – read the rest of the story here





Leading in the Workplace: A Comprehensive Guide to the Corporate Ladder

3 06 2013

Guest post by CollegeFocus

Okay, so you survived college and you were one of the lucky ones to secure an awesome job right when you got out. However, now you find yourself with a choice: You can either sit back, blend into the wallpaper and enjoy the fact that you’re gainfully employed, as many are content to do, or you can push yourself to start climbing that corporate ladder. Moving up in the business world isn’t as hard as you might think, and as long as you avoid some common pitfalls, work hard, and use some common sense, you’ll be jumping up the ranks in no time.

Corporate LadderIt’s OK to Start at the Bottom

A common misconception is that you have to be in a position of power in order to be a leader in the workplace. However, this simply isn’t true. Treat your new job like it’s your first day of college. No one knows who you are, so it’s up to you to decide how you want to be known. Take this opportunity to show that you are hungry and are willing to lead whenever the opportunity presents itself. Obviously, this will come more naturally to some people, but if you’re not a vocal person, you can still lead by example. Actions speak louder than words. So if you start out doing the little things that are within your power to do, your co-workers (and more importantly, your managers) will take notice.

Gain the Trust of Your Co-workers

It’s important to show your co-workers they can trust you. First, they have to be able to trust that fact that you’ll do what you say you’ll do, when you say you’re going to do it. Reliability is one of the first things that bosses look for when handing out promotions. It’s also important that you get them to trust you as a person; that you’re the type of person they can confide in if they need help or need someone to cover them.

Communication ConferenceDon’t Become One of the “Cool Kids”

It sounds cliché, but every workplace has them. These employees will usually gossip, complain about upper management, and will almost invariably convince themselves that they are better than everyone else in the office. You want to maintain a good relationship with your co-workers, so help them out, just don’t fall into the same mindset as then. Not only is it a toxic attitude, but it can also take away your motivation, and alienate you from your other co-workers.

Dealing with a Promotion

When you finally do move up, one of the biggest challenges will be maintaining your relationships with those who are now “beneath you” in the chain of command. The first thing you have to do is let them know that you’re still the same person. And you’ll still be able to joke around and have fun with them – after work. It’s important you make it very clear that they need to respect you as their boss. True friends will understand this. However, sometimes the divide can start to blur and you might find your authority being challenged. If this starts to happen, a simple one-on-one meeting may clear things up. You don’t need to reprimand them, but a closed-door talk will be enough to show that you mean business. Lastly, don’t play favorites. Nothing will put a target on your back faster than doling out special treatment. Treat everyone with the same amount of respect you want to be treated with, and you should do just fine.

About <a href="http://www.collegefocus.com/"the author: David Fridland is a writer for CollegeFocus, a site where you can compare rental prices on textbooks, and obtain a plethora of knowledge on the ins and outs of college as well as entering the career world. He graduated from the University of Colorado-Boulder with a degree in Political Science. When not writing, David spends most of his time out on the Ultimate Frisbee Field.





Career Lessons from Great by Choice

15 01 2013

A few months ago, I promised you a review of Jim Collins’ bestseller Great by Choice: Uncertainty, Chaos and Luck – Why Some Thrive Despite Them All, but I realized that I never posted my thoughts.  Rather than a traditional review, I’d like to go over the highlights and discuss how the concepts can apply to your career.  After all, what’s the point of a review if you don’t know how you can apply the things you’ll learn about in the book?

“We cannot predict the future. But we can create it.”

– Jim Collins

The 10Xer (pronounced “ex-er”):  By definition, 10Xers are companies that beat their industry by 10 fold.  Collins’ research finds that 10Xers aren’t more creative, more visionary, more charismatic, or more ambitious, more blessed by luck, more risk seeking, more heroic, or more bold. They’re focused on data with great discipline and stick to their plan (ie: their 20 Mile March.) They’re consistent.  In your career or job search, are you sticking to the plan?  Do you have a plan?

What is your 20 mile march?  Do you continue to develop yourself as a professional, learning and tweaking your strategy along the way?

Zoom Out, then Zoom In: The 10Xers possessed a “dual-lens capability” in which they could zoom out to see changes in the environment and assess risk and then zoom in to focus on the superior execution of plans and objectives.  In other words, don’t get lost in the weeds.  It’s important to understand the macro before you tackle the micro.  In your job search or at work, are you zooming out first to understand the bigger picture?  Knowing this will help you find the right long-term solution vs. a quick fix.

cannonballBullets, then Cannonballs: In the book, Collins describes this concept as a lesson in calibration.  Let’s use the legendary pirate metaphor: Imagine if you had a limited amount of gunpowder on a ship.  Would you pool all your resources (the gunpowder) to fire a cannonball at a target?  What if you miss?  You’re definitely in hot water then.  But, if you use just a little powder to fire a few bullets to test the wind direction and other factors, taking into account the differences you will encounter will a larger shot, you can then use the rest of the powder to fire the big one – the cannonball.  Lesson: Fire bullets first.  Test the waters.  Learn what works for you, recalibrating along the way.  When you have empirical validation that you’re on the right path, fire the cannonball.

So, what did I really think about this book?  Honestly, it was pretty easy to read, has real-world applications, and the multitude of case studies (my favorite ones were Scott/Amundsen, Southwest Air, Apple, and Microsoft) made it all come together.  My employer, Enactus, even felt that the business concepts of this book were so important that we read and discussed it at length during our summer strategic summit, helping us each understand how it applies to what we’re doing as an organization.

Here’s the thing, though…

Just reading a book isn’t enough – at least, not a business book or a book meant for personal or professional development, in my opinion.  For most of us, simply reading something only sticks with us for a short while.  My advice?  Take good notes.  Note how the book relates to what you’re doing right now, what you’ve done in the past (successes and failures) and what you can do to improve your future.  Apply the key concepts to your career.  I’ve found that the best books continue to give you inspiration throughout your life.  In fact, some of my best BHAGs have been inspired by them.  Will you apply the principles from the best and choose greatness? 

PS. If you want to know what a BHAG is, I’d highly recommend reading Good to Great, also by Jim Collins.  You don’t necessarily have to read it before Great by Choice, but I found that it helped.

PPS. I read plenty of fiction for entertainment as well (didn’t want you to think I’m a boring business book guy.)  My favorite authors include James Patterson and Michael Crichton.  Just finished Crichton’s Micro and I give it two thumbs up!  It was a great escape over the holiday break.

Read any good books lately? 





The Web’s Best Career Advice – Weekly Roundup v.3

13 12 2012

This week, I bring you four excellent articles that will help you in your career, regardless of where you are today.  Are you working on your digital portfolio?  Yes? No? You might look into it!  Check out this week’s feature article on Campus to Career here.  It’s all about creating a dynamic digital portfolio to help you land the job!

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Some people strive for work/life balance while others have accepted that the concept is more like work/life integration.  For more, check out my friend Meghan Biro’s article on Forbes: 5 Steps to Work Life Sanity in Today’s Social World.  Take some of the advice.  It will be good for you!

Do you know what the NUMBER ONE mistake most people make in their career? Read more from LinkedIn.

Read the YouTern blog?  I always find a few gems a week on their site and this week was no different.  Check out their article, 25 Things We Must Know Before 25, here.  Older than 25?  Don’t worry, there’s still time!  🙂

Lastly, here’s a great article from CareerRocketeer about leadership – great advice for anyone: Top 11 Ways to Improve Your Leadership Skills.

What was THE BEST career advice article you read this week? Share it with everyone!  I’d love to know.  As always, thanks for reading.





Leadership Lessons: The 5 W’s

7 08 2012

Leadership lessons come in all forms.  Often times, I’m inspired by leaders within my organization.  Those leaders include people that are in senior leadership roles (ie: Executives) and those that aren’t (ie: everyone else.)  Some people believe that leaders are born, others believe that a person can learn to be a leader.  I’m an advocate of the latter, but know that things like good ethics, integrity, determination, and foresight are some of the key building blocks of leadership.

So let’s get down to it – starting with the what, who, where, how and why (and when):

WHAT:  Leadership.  As I mentioned earlier, it comes in all forms.  Leadership matters, but ethical leadership matters more.  As you’re developing as a leader, be sure to keep your eye on the bigger picture and remember it’s always a good time to do the right thing.

WHO:  You.  Your support network consisting of friends, family and mentors.  It takes a mixture of all these components to make a good leader and it doesn’t happen overnight.  Invest in yourself and ask for feedback throughout your leadership journey.  Note that I said leadership “journey.”  The journey doesn’t end – keep improving yourself, benchmarking and soliciting feedback from your peers.

WHERE: Everywhere.  Leadership lessons can be found all around you.  Don’t get so caught up in yourself that you forget about others.  Remember to pay it forward and help develop others as leaders.

HOW & WHY: Have the know-how, but don’t stop there.  Knowing how to do something is one thing, but knowing why can get you so much farther.  Diane Ravitch once said, “The person who knows HOW will always have a job.  The person who knows WHY will always be his boss.”  My boss has used this quote often during team meetings.  You know what?  He has a very good point!

***BONUS***

WHEN: Now.  Start now.  Don’t wait until you get “around to it.”  Start developing yourself as a leader now.  Reach out and find a mentor, ask questions, and read as much as you can on the topic.  Don’t forget to take a few steps back, zoom out, and find the “why” in your career.  I guarantee you’ll be glad you did.  So, what are you waiting for??  Go get ‘em!!

Any other leadership tips?  Feel free to leave them in the comments section below.  I’d love to hear from you!  As always, thanks for reading.