One of the biggest issues I have had is with managers who don’t let me have autonomy. I am a hard worker and don’t mind giving updates to managers to keep them up to speed. Problems arise for me when micro-managers won’t let you make a move without running it past them first. I am not alone. As adults, we want to be able to have some freedom in our lives.
Maybe it’s a generational thing or maybe it’s personality. I think a ton of people are similar in this preference. You have probably heard that quote, “You don’t leave a job, you leave the manager” and I couldn’t agree more. If you are a manager, how can you ensure you aren’t getting into that despised “micro manager” title?
Even if you already have a specific idea in mind, ask your team for their ideas. Not only may they surprise you with other ideas, they may have the same general direction as you. This helps your directs feel as though you value their opinion.
Even if you end up doing something else, it will be helpful to elicit feedback. If you are a manager, you need to be able to influence your team. You aren’t a dictator. Your team isn’t there to just take orders from you. Give them opportunity to voice their opinions and explain to them if you cannot take action.
In HR I hear so many grievances by people who just want to be heard. When you have expertise in your field and managers ignore it, resentment ensues. It all comes down to being Emotionally Intelligent. You are a manager now. You are responsible for the people as well as the work product.
Unless you are in a very entry level industry like a call center, quit time tracking. Focus on work output instead. Who cares if someone is 10 minutes late to work if they are getting all their work done? Unless they are missing key meetings, it’s just not worth it. Spend your time focusing on ways you can improve the department instead.
I once had a manager that had 1-2-1’s every couple of days. Instead of helping me think through things, she literally wanted a play by play of everything I did. Then she proceeded to tell me how what I did was wrong! Listen, I get that senior leaders need to know what’s going on at a high level.
They don’t want to be caught off guard. But most of my managers have been cool with my decisions. I firmly believe that there is no ONE right way to do anything. Maybe your style is different, but as a leader you need to be open to other styles.
Think about your career advancement to get to be a manager. There was likely someone, maybe a manger, who took an interest in your development. Make sure you are paying it forward. Even if you have people on your team who need development, you can help them reach their potential. There is nothing better than helping someone get to the next level.
Not only does it help motivate your ambitious employees, it makes you look great as a leader. People want to know they have a runway to get better and grow their career. Sure some people are OK with mediocrity, buy that certainly isn’t the norm. Keep the best employees by helping them grow their careers.
As Forbes states, “Happy employees are loyal employees”. What could be better than that? People who work for you who are loyal and happy? That’s amazing! As this article from The Balance points out, managers drive motivation.
You have such an opportunity to drive the team dynamic. This is leadership. You are here to help your team be the best they can be. Think back to what helped you succeed. It likely was someone believing in you. There is nothing wrong with high expectations. I thrive on them. But leave the condensing tone at the door.
Picture this. It’s Tuesday afternoon at 5:30, you are about to leave the office. You have literally been non-stop. You ate lunch at your desk. You barely had time to pee. As you are leaving, you are mystified as to how it is time to go. You were so busy but you got nothing accomplished from your to do list. How is this possible?
I spent so many days like this. Living for my inbox and the phone calls I was getting. Most of us have a ton of priorities at work, so many that it can be hard to get everything done. With so many companies downsizing and relocating roles to lower cost locations, employees are expected to do more work than ever with much less support. So how do you make sure you are getting things done and shining so that you are recognized?
You have to stop saying yes to everyone, like immediately. You don’t have time to get everything done. Just stop, it’s not possible. No, really - I’ve tried! You have to prioritize to get the most important and urgent of your tasks done first. Type A’s - this may mean that you don’t reach inbox zero everyday and you need to learn to be OK with that. If you need some help with what to prioritize, think about what absolutely needs to get done now. Your boss’ request or boss’ boss are likely going to be number one. You are going to have to learn to accept that. Will some people be annoyed? Absolutely! If that bothers you, check out this article.
Aside from higher up requests, consider if there are financial or legal implications to what you are working on. If you are having trouble determining what is the most important tasks in your job, take a look at the peers of yours that are being promoted and your leadership team. What are they focused on? They have done what you want to do. Even if you don’t like them, they know how to succeed.
Quit People Pleasing
This one is so close to my heart. I have dealt with this my whole life. I want every.single.person to like me. What I mean by this is that you have to quit caring what your peers think of you. Don’t do anything mean or underhanded, but you can’t worry about them liking you. There are going to be times in your new way of working where you will have to tell your peers no so that you can get something more important done and that’s OK.
They may be annoyed with you and even start talking about you behind your back, but if someone is going to do that to you why do you care? The best colleagues cheer you on when you are trying to do your best, not attempt to bring you down. You should be cooperative and help them where you can, but you need to put your priorities first. Cheer on your colleagues when they are doing well and focus on your goals.
Ah, boundaries. For a recovering people pleaser like myself, I have been working on boundaries for years. You need to have boundaries in place to keep yourself calm when it comes to work. Determine a time when you shut down work and collect yourself. If you are “on” all the time, eventually you will burn out. Trust me, I have been there a few times. PschCentral has some great tips to separate work from your life including knowing your values and communicating clearly. If you have a boss or company that doesn’t value your boundaries, you have the power to change.
Make a morning routine where you have time alone for yourself. My favorite time of day is when I first wake up. No one in my family is awake and it gives me time to think, exercise and make my goals for the day. Despite all the many articles recommending an early rise time, I do not get up at 5:00 to do this and I don’t plan to. I need at least 8 hours and think sleep is important for our health. I get up at 6:30 and have plenty of time for my morning. Take a look at your routine and see if you can make some slight changes to give you a few more minutes. Trust me, put the phone away and you will discover some time!
Gratitude & Goals
I am a huge proponent of mindset and its effect on how happy we are. I spent the first 30 years of my life being super pessimistic. I changed my thinking and the last 5 have been an amazing change. Has my life changed that much? Not really. The changes have more to do with my gratitude for what I have in my life and enjoying the journey.
If you want to get started on becoming more grateful for what you have, pay attention to your thinking. The first thing I did was to start paying attention to my thinking. Inventory your thoughts and pay attention to how many of them are negative. Psychology Today recommends a method called BLUE where they focus on thoughts that blame yourself, look for bad news, unhappy guessing and being exaggeratedly negative. When you feel yourself thinking these negative thoughts, counter them with something more positive or neutral.
These tips have helped me go from dreading going into work everyday to being happy with where I am. I work full time in a role I enjoy and I work part time on my passion. You can stop hating Mondays and be happy with your life. As much as I want to reach my goals, I am loving the journey to get there.
Today I am super excited to bring an interview to you that I think will be an amazing resource for you! Shivani Gopal is the Founder and CEO of The Remarkable Woman; an organisation founded to accelerate the path towards equality, for women and for the world. Since founding the social enterprise Shivani has gone on to win the Top 50 Small Business Leaders award and is recognized as a leading feminist and business thought leader, helping women navigate through their careers, businesses and financial success.
CEO, The Remarkable Woman
For those readers who aren’t familiar with your work, could you give us a brief introduction?
The work we do at The Remarkable Woman is all about accelerating the path towards equality, for women and the world – personally, professionally and financially.
We know that there’s a glass ceiling, and while we can’t smash it immediately – we can do something about it. Which is why we partner women with mentors and sponsors, help them get access to leadership programs, and gender pay gap discounts.
Our entire reason for existing is to see more women business owners and leaders. Because the world cannot advance, until women do.
What inspired you to write blogs on the topic of women entrepreneurs?
Women make up one third of business owners in Australia. We don’t have a strong venture capital culture here as there is in other developed nations like the US — so we have even less women entrepreneurs who actually get funding. The result means it’s harder for women to launch successful businesses.
So, I wanted to create a network for women to feel supported to pursue their dreams of starting a business. After all, we are immensely talented, so why shouldn’t we be the current and future business leaders of the nation?
The reality is in order to make that happen we need to acknowledge that running a business is tough business. There are so many competing priorities like getting your branding right, marketing the business, managing the operations, getting more sales, and then of course there’s the burden of keeping up with admin. Accounting software provider, Reckon’s ‘In the Zone’ research has shown us that the burden of admin and red tape is so heavy that it’s killing the business dream for almost half of all business owners.
With this in mind, and the knowledge that rules and regulations keep changing, like the recent expansion of Single Touch Payroll legislation from July 1, small business owners need some ongoing guidance, not just on marketing and business ideas, but also on the important practical considerations on things like payroll.
After all, even elite athletes need coaching and mentoring to get that one step ahead. We’re mere mortals. We too need support, it’s a human thing. We need to embrace it and get ahead because of it.
How are women more resilient as entrepreneurs? Why do you think that is?
We’ve always known women to be resilient, emotionally intelligent and strong individuals. What I love is that there’s research to prove that in business, women are indeed more resilient than men. Recent research from Reckon has shown that women, when it comes to business admin (the stuff we don’t like doing), are more likely to roll up their sleeves and get the job done themselves – in fact they spend $5,000 less than men on admin expenses, like outsourcing. It shows us that even with the boring stuff such as admin, women can push through with their resilience and make it happen.
It reminds me of a line that Elon Musk said not too long ago: ‘starting a business is like eating glass while staring into the abyss’. Why? Because starting a business is hard, and you need to be prepared to do all the not so fun stuff, so that you can have the ability to create a business you love. It takes a lot of painstaking work (hence the glass) and you need to stomach a lot of uncertainly (hence the abyss). Women aren’t afraid of hard work, and as a result, we’re built for thriving in business.
In your opinion, what can women entrepreneurs be doing differently to avoid the negative wellbeing issue?
Put themselves first. While it’s great that women can roll up their sleeves and get the job done, any job for that matter, that doesn’t mean we always should. We need to embrace delegation, because delegation is the secret to being able to have it all. You just need someone else to carry some of the load.
Some of the issues highlighted by Reckon’s ‘In The Zone’ research show us that entrepreneurs are getting around 4.5 hours of sleep each night, they aren’t putting aside time for themselves, and as a result everything suffers – from wellbeing, to mindset, love life, and the business itself. You simply can’t be in the zone if you’re tired.
Wellbeing needs to be a priority – because you can’t run a business at full speed if your mind isn’t keeping up pace. So, you need to have a mindset shift.
I advise women to set time aside at least a few hours each week for ‘soul food’ – doing activities that nourish wellbeing. Whether that be sleeping, reading, baking (a personal favourite!), or spending time with loved ones. They’ll come back rejuvenated, back in the zone, more creative and better able to take their business to new heights.
To do this, we need to embrace new technology and automation that simplifies both life and business, such as Single Touch Payroll applications. The more efficiencies we create in our admin, the more free time we’ll end up having to really treat ourselves and wind down.
The overall lesson here is, yes women are resilient. But let’s save that resilience for the big battles. We don’t have anything to prove, we’re remarkable as it is.
Do you have any tips or recommendations for women who are interested in starting their own business?
Do something you’re passionate about. Write down your ideas, the what, how and why, and start adding meat to the bones. You’ll have a strategy before you know it. And if you’re someone who has a mind bubbling away with ideas, keep writing them down. After a few weeks, go back and look at them, you’ll likely see a theme in there – or you’ll find that you’ve been writing the same idea down, over and over again, just in a different way. That’s how you know with clarity what to run with.
From there, just get started. Don’t think, just do. Don’t question yourself, don’t even give time the chance to let self-doubt kick in, just start the work. Do the research, find your market, set up your ABN and keep moving. You’ll have something up and running, or you’ll pivot to a better idea before you know it. The actions always get you there. The thinking doesn’t. That takes you to self-doubt. My mantra for this is ‘action cures fear’. Whenever I’m in doubt, I just keep moving.
A big thank you to Shivani for taking the time for the interview! If you want to know more about Shivani and her work, check out her website at The Remarkable Woman.
One of the biggest reasons people excel at work is their ability to work well with others. While you do need to put in the work and be competent in your job, if you have low EI you will be tapped out at a certain point. People want to work with people they like.
What is Emotional Intelligence
A simple definition is how well a person picks up on other people’s emotions and the ability to use that information to connect with them and engage. To put this into a practical example, think about yourself at work. If you need your boss to approve something, you need to be able to pick up on their mood. If you are able to see when they are in a good mood versus a stressed out one, you are more likely to be able to use that to your advantage.
If they are putting off vibes of anxiety, instead of asking now for what you need, ask how you can help. If there is a way you can assist them, your boss will be grateful and you may get what you are asking for. On the other hand, if you aren’t able to pick up on your boss’ emotions and ask at the wrong time, not only will your request have a higher chance of being declined, you probably annoyed them!
How Can I Improve My EI?
First, you need you need to know where you are currently. There are a ton of resources to help you with this including free tests, like this one from Psychology Today. Don’t worry if you are low on the scale, some people are just more naturally prone to picking up on others emotions.
To improve, figure out which area you are falling short in. According to several resources, including Mindtools.com, there are 5 elements to Emotional Intelligence:
Self awareness - This is pretty self explanatory. How well do you know yourself? Your preference. dislikes, how you act around others. Your knowledge of these areas is the first step to knowing how to interact well with others. I love the Myers - Briggs assessment for this. There are a ton of free versions, one of my favorites is 16 Personalities. If you aren’t self aware or just aren’t sure, check out MBTI to give you a bit of insight.
If personality tests aren’t your thing, try keeping a journal of self reflection. You could also ask some honest friends and colleagues to give you some insight. Just promise not to get mad if they tell your the truth!
Self-regulation - Once you know your strengths and weaknesses, you need to play to them. Find ways to increase the things you know how to do best. You will also need to dial down those weaknesses. Maybe you are super passionate? You need to practice thinking, not speaking. It’s important to realize everyone doesn’t work the same way and that’s OK. Maybe it isn’t done in the method you like, but as long as the work is getting completed, who cares?
Motivation - How motivated are you to do the work you currently do? Do you tend to set your own goals and works towards them? Or do you rely on external factors to push you into action? People who have this element of EI tend to be more committed and continue working on personal development throughout their lives. If you think this is an area you need to work on, take a look at your goals and remind yourself why you have them. Then take a step towards them today. Keep working on it and make progress every day.
Empathy - How well are you able to what someone else is feeling? Do you tend to relate to what others are going through? This is a particularly helpful trait to have if you are in a leadership position. In addition to being able to pick up on people’s feelings and emotions, you must use that information to gauge your response. A great way to increase this trait is to replace statements with questions, as suggested by 6Seconds.
Social skills - These skills deal with how well you get along with others. Think about how you work with your peers. Do you typically get along well with your colleagues or do you run into conflict? Skillsyouneed.com lists influence, communication, conflict management, leadership, change catalyst, building bonds, collaboration & cooperation and team capabilities as aspects of social skills. There are a number of courses you can take if you want to work on these skills, as well as lots of practice!
While you can certainly get far in your career without a high EQ, you can get there more quickly if you have these skills. If you have aspirations of being in leadership position, these skills are an absolute must. Managing people is hard enough, if you don’t have emotional intelligence it’s near impossible.
How do you know you are in the right career? For many of us the more realistic question is what do we do when we know the career we are in isn’t the right one. Maybe you have a feeling you should be doing something else, but have no idea what that could be? It’s OK to question where you are and where you should go next, in fact I encourage it! For me, the best thing to do is to start with looking inward.
Assess Where You Are
What do you like in your current role? Surely you don’t hate every single thing. Make a list of everything you enjoy doing now. On the flip side, point out what you dislike. That’s ok. Rainbows and clouds aren’t realistic. There are some things you will accept as part of your day and some things that you want to make sure you avoid at all costs. For me, one thing I refuse to ever deal with again is a micro manager boss. It is just so against my personality, I am miserable with it. I have set a boundary and if I run into it the future I will move on. I have to. It is just something that is not ok with me. What does that look like for you?
Know Who You Are
What is your personality type? Are you an introvert who love to write? Or do you get bored unless you talk to a ton of people everyday? Maybe you are somewhere in the middle? It’s important to know what you like and dislike, along with what your strengths and weaknesses are. I am an avid personality test taker, so my go to is a test like Myers Briggs to figure out these aspects.
If you want an MBTI type test, check out 16personalities which is free and pretty comprehensive. The Muse also has a good article on several of the best tests to help you figure out your best career. If quizzes aren’t your thing, try thinking about what makes you tick. What is important to you in your life and what could you care less about? Also think about what people have consistently complimented you on over the years. This will give you a good insight as to what your strengths are.
Take the Next Step
INFJ that I am, I have taken all the tests to figure out what I am meant to do. Turns out, I am on the right path. As far as Corporate America goes, HR is the best place for me. Long term, it’s being an entrepreneur. There are other options that I would be a good fit for but are a bit out of reach. For example. Psychiatrist always comes up for me. The issue is, I am not going to medical school and taking on all that debt! I also think I would get drained with all that talking about serious topics. While these tests are great to get some insight, you also have to think about what makes the most sense for you given where you are in life and where you want to go. Think outside the box.
The most important thing is to make a step forward to your new life. If you found that you are an extrovert who thrives on talking to people but work in accounting, how can you get more interaction with people? If you are like me and an introvert who loves helping people, how can I structure my day to get more involved with actions that make a difference?
Are you ready to take the next step in your career? Sign up for a free consultation to see how I can help you reach your potential.
In the past few years, the job market has it has become increasingly difficult. After investing tons of money and years in education, it can be quite frustrating to find a job. Thankfully, there is some good news for those who have MBA degrees. Over 75% of MBA graduates tend to find jobs within just a few months of graduating.
However, what kind of career paths should MBA graduates follow? Considering factors such as employment growth and forecast, job satisfaction, and annual salary, here are some of the best careers that one can pursue after graduating with an MBA.
1. Chief Technology Officer
The work of a chief technology officer is to oversee all aspects of technological development and establish the company’s technical vision. They also oversee special projects, research, and development. This, therefore, ensures that the standards are adhered to and the technical standards are established. Since companies are always filling these positions, having an MBA with specializations in IT will not only set you apart but also secure you one of the best positions. The starting salary is generally $105,812.
2. Financial Management
To succeed in a competitive business environment, most companies depend on the expertise of financial managers. These professionals oversee all the transactions and financial activities of the company. They supervise activities such as investment, management, budget process, and financial procedures. They can also be involved in activities such as handling mergers, raising capital and acquisitions, and accessing worldwide financial transactions. Those who have a degree with a major in finance and certification along with an MBA, and plenty of experience are likely to have the best prospects. The starting median salary is approximately $121,750.
3. Computer and Information Systems Manager
To ensure that everything in the company runs well, information systems managers are very important. Apart from overseeing the security networks, they also perform the following jobs.
● They install and maintain hardware and software.
● The handle computer related problems in the company
● They develop computer networks.
● They develop and implement internet sites.
If you want to follow this career path, then you need to have an MBA with a concentration in financial systems.
4. Health Services Manager
To ensure that healthcare businesses run well, the ever-expanding healthcare industry requires very knowledgeable managers. Health services managers will ensure that all companies adhere to government reforms. They generally oversee the work of technicians, doctors, and clerical workers. In small facilities, they may supervise or co-manage the whole facility. On the contrary, in a large facility, they just oversee a small department such as finance and patient care services.
5. Marketing Management Job
Marketing depends on in-depth knowledge of customers and products. Once you enroll in a top online MBA like the one at SCU, you’ll acquire up to date tools that will help you to assess companies and products while developing your ability to communicate and understand members from other communities. Some of the things that you’ll learn include their needs, buying habits, and cultural specialties. If you have a flair for sales or you are the creative type, then after pursuing an MBA, you may be interested in becoming a marketing manager.
6. High-End Management Consultant
For companies to stay relevant and focused, they require the services of high-end management consultants. These consultants typically help government agencies and companies to solve management problems, control costs, increase worker productivity, maximize efficiency, and maximize profits. They also assist the companies in establishing an online business and adjusting to new business regulations. They provide advice to chief operations officer, chief executive officers, chief financial officers, and other executives. With a projected growth of 14%, it’s a career path worth considering.
7. Investment Banking
When it comes to raising profits, most companies turn to investment bankers. In addition to determining the financial health of the business, investment bankers also come up with strategies that can help increase revenues. They provide counsel to their clients about acquisitions and mergers and also propose an excellent financial model to their clients. Although some companies will employ those with a Finance degree, most of them require an MBA.
These are some of the best career paths that someone with an MBA degree can take. However, irrespective of the path that you take, you need to negotiate your pay based on the financial and intellectual investment that you’ve put into your MBA. Congrats on completing the degree, now go put it to use!
We are probably all guilty of being too busy, myself included. That’s why when I was listening to a recent podcast by Tim Ferris on the idea of essentialism, I was instantly intrigued. The Disciplined Pursuit of Less, a book written by Greg McKeown, advocates the lifestyle of essentialism. If you have the time, I highly recommend listening to the podcast. The author does a great job of explaining essentialism and how it can be applied to your life.
Getting it all done can be a huge challenge, the reason why? It’s impossible! You can’t be everything to everyone. Essentialism teaches us to spend time deciding what is “essential” in our lives and saying no to everything else. In theory it is simple, but in practice it is quite difficult. If you tend to be a people pleaser like me, saying no to people is downright painful. I literally hate it. I am getting better at it and focusing on my goals is one way to make it happen.
According to McKoewn, "Essentialism isn't concerning the way to get additional things done; it's concerning the way to get the proper things done. It doesn't suggest simply doing less for the sake of less either. It is concerning creating the wisest potential investment of some time and energy so as to work at our highest purpose of a contribution by doing solely what's essential."
Forbes explains the 3 key steps of essentialism, that based on the theory of how to get more by doing less. Sounds amazing right?
If you are ready to embrace the idea of doing more with less, there are three main steps – explore and evaluate, eliminate, and execute.
Explore and evaluate:
McKeown provides a key difference between "essentialists" and "non-essentialists". Essentialists, though doing less, actually having more options than their non-essentialist counterparts. Essentialists set a broad set of options, but then commit only one or two to focus and solve them logically and ultimately take the right decisions. On the other hand, non-essentialists are basically mindlessly busy, doing whatever comes their ways without carefully analyzing and ultimately don’t accomplish much.
Take a look at everything you're doing and determine what you really love or what pertains to your goals. If you need help with this, check out this article on Unlocking the Secret to Peace & Joy in Your Life from our sister site.
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In this step, you should avoid saying "YES" to everyone, we always trying to please everyone by saying "YES". The fundamental part of Essentialism is that "only once you give yourself permission to stop trying to do it all, to stop saying yes to everyone, can you make your highest contribution towards the items that basically matter."
Once you start saying no to things that don’t align with your goals, it becomes associated with your emotional discipline rather than metal. McKeown also writes that you need to understand how you can’t do it all, so quit doing the things which are not important to your success. Focus on the fact that you choose what you will and will not do. Use your power, energy and time to do the essential tasks you determine. By following this concept, you should get more productive.
Cut things out of your life that are trivial and rob you of energy. Other people can try to prevent you from saying "YES" to the things that matter. Other distraction can include internet, Facebook, email or your Netflix binges. Remember that you are saying no to your goals by saying yes to these alternatives.
Execution is the final step and perhaps the most important to your success! To succeed, you must take action. Decide what your priorities are and invest your time to taking actions to move closer to them. Eliminate obstacles, distractions, unnecessary errands, meetings, etc. that are unproductive and a deterrent to your focus. Do the things that matter. Plan for them first. Start eliminating, mercilessly, the things that don't have value.
I think having too many options can be a recipe for “analysis paralysis”. Particularly for people who tend to do a ton of thinking and like to make sure they have thought about things from all angles. It is freeing to be able to say no to things that don’t align to your goals. It frees you up to focus on the big picture and get closer to your long term dreams!
The open floor plan is super popular and many companies went to this model over the last decade. As an introvert, but also an INFJ, I love and hate the open floor plan. I have worked in an open floor plan, a partial cube situation, and a full on high wall cube. I think my favorite was the partial cube where we had low walls but I had a cube-mate and it was still easy to talk to everyone. I hated the high wall cube and am so-so on the open floor plan, which is my current environment. Being a personality that overthinks things, I have thought extensively about the pro’s and con’s of the open floor plan. Here are my observations!
It’s easy to ask questions - As someone who can have trouble getting courage to ask questions, the open floor plan makes it easier. I can turn to my neighbor and ask something based on what she said. I am not afraid of interrupting them, because I can clearly see they are off the phone.
Relationships - Due to the absence of privacy, it’s easier to form relationships with your team. Since you can literally hear every word your neighbor says, it’s easier to form bonds. When you hear your desk-mate on an awful conversation, you naturally ask about it.
Collaboration - I think this is one of the main positives that advocates of this plan touted. I totally agree, it’s so easy to work together on things because we are so accessible to each other. I work on a team that all have similar jobs, so hearing what the others are going through it’s great to put our minds together and come to one solution.
Noise - Working on an open floor, it gets LOUD. Sometimes it’s so loud I literally can’t hear the other people on the line. When your role is to counsel managers on employee issues, that can be a real problem. I also frequently have to put my line on mute because others on the call comment on how loud the background noise is.
Concentration - Being someone who needs quiet to concentrate, it’s super frustrating to work in an open environment. If I have projects I need to focus on, I have to put headphones in to block out the noise. I feel like I am being rude at times, but if I don’t do it, I just can’t focus on what I am doing.
Interruptions - Working on an open floor invites people to interrupt you. Even if you are clearly in the middle of a phone call or in the zone on your computer, it will not stop your co-workers from coming up to you. Even if they aren’t purposely interrupting you, just overhearing their conversations is bound to derail your productivity.
As with anything, there are good things and bad about the open floor plan. While it’s awesome for collaboration, I do think it lowers productivity. I can get so much more done at home without all the distractions of the office. At the same time, I wouldn’t have the same innovation I have if it weren’t for the collaboration I have with my teammates. To be honest, the best option for me is a combo of working from home, open floor plan, but also having a quiet space for taking calls.
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Introverted or Extroverted, Shy or Outgoing…there are so many terms to describe personality. Your personality drives who you are, what you like, and what you need. The Myers-Briggs personality test takes it beyond just introverted or extroverted to give you an insight into what makes you tick. Not only can this give you insight, it can also help with your career.
Take the Test
You probably have a pretty good idea of whether or not you are introverted or extroverted depending on what makes you energized or drained. Extroverts enjoy and feed off being around people, whereas Introverts need to recharge after a lot of people interaction. But there is more than just this trait that makes up your personality. If you have never taken the Myers-Briggs, do it today! It’s so insightful. Two of my favorite free resources are 16 Personalities and (find in email). They have accurate tests and give you a very in-depth breakdown of your type.
Assess Your Career
Based on what you have learned from your personality type, think about your current career path. Are you in a position that is best suited to what you like to do? Do your daily tasks bring you energy or drain you? I’m not saying that you can’t continue down the path you are on, but it is good to be aware. That way you know the tasks that are draining and you can plan your day accordingly.
For example, I work in Human Resources and am and INFJ. I love to help people, but get drained when I interact with people all day. So I know if I have a day with heavy meetings, I need to build in some time to work on other tasks if possible. Another thing I have been doing to counteract my days of people interaction is by going for a walk at night. This gives me 40-60 minutes with my headphones in and allows me to recharge.
Based on the profile, I know I need time alone everyday to avoid getting burned out. I also realized I like my job the most when I feel like I am helping. I get really burned out if I don’t feel like I am making any difference. Therefore, I know am going into each day thinking “What can I do today to make sure I am helping someone here?”
Change As Needed
After you think about your career in terms of your personality, you may have come to the conclusion you need to make a change. That is totally Ok! It also doesn’t have to be a change that is immediate. I know that my long term goal is to be a full time writer, blogger, and career coach. I can’t make that change immediately, but am slowly progressing toward that goal by taking steps I have identified to get me there. You can do the same thing.
If you have decided that you want to make a change, identify the first step you need to take to move you closer to your goal. It can be as simple as enrolling in a class to learn more about it or talking to someone in the field to get a better idea of what they do.
If you need help with this change, I am happy to help! Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can schedule a free 30 min consultation.
Over the years I have had many managers. Some were fantastic, others not so much. I imagine you have likely had similar experiences. Whether you are looking for a new job or perhaps in management now, it’s essential to know what makes a good boss. That cliched quote, “You don’t leave a job, you leave a bad manager” had to come from somewhere right?
Ever wonder why some people love a manager and other’s cant stand working for them? One strong possibility is that their personalities were at odds. My experience has been if I work for someone who is a huge micromanager, I feel like they don’t trust me. To be honest, most people are probably not going to love working for a micromanager, unless they are also of that mindset. For many people, if their manager is constantly checking up on them and asking a million questions, doing all the work themselves, it is unmotivating.
Working for a Micromanager
If you work for a boss that won’t let you do anything on your own, there are a few things you can try to help the situation. According to Forbes, understanding them is key. If you can figure out why they are the way they are, you can take a step forward in making them trust you. The article also suggests taking on projects you will be good at to help them see your value. In the the end, it may just be a good idea to find another role. Depending on how Senior the manager is, they probably aren’t’ going to change and you may make yourself miserable trying.
Managers, if you feel like you find it hard to trust your employees, recognize that this is not a great way to build morale. As a manager part of your job is to create an environment that lets your employees thrive and reach their best potential. Your mistrust is going to lower morale and stifle productivity.
The good news is that you can change! Start small, with one project you can delegate to a member of your team instead of taking it on for yourself. I had one experience where the manager of the group was working like crazy and I literally had nothing to do! I asked several times for ways I could help her and she just wouldn’t delegate. Not only did it leave me completely unmotivated, she was overworked. Business Week lists six ways you can leave your untrusting ways behind and become the manager your employees need.
At the end of the day, it’s all about trust and communication. Most people want to do a good job, so trust them to do it. If they don’t meet your expectations, give them real and constructive feedback to help them improve. This will not only help your employees, it will help you by building a strong team that you can delegate to.
Have a story about a bad boss that you are dealing with? Send me an email at email@example.com, I would love to hear how you handled it!