Tag Archives: boss

Dealing with a Difficult Boss Remotely

Micromanaging from a distance isn’t fun.

Working from home has its benefits. You don’t have to commute to work, you can wear whatever you want, and you might have a bit more leeway in setting your own schedule.

However, there are definite disadvantages as well. And one of those is working for a difficult boss. Some managers might be great at managing their team in the workplace, but terrible at communicating remotely. Others may be less-than-stellar managers in general and managing remotely just makes their controlling tendencies even more evident.

Regardless of what type of remote boss you’re working for, we wanted to provide a few ways to make interactions easier.

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3 Ways Conflict Resolution Can Save Your Company Culture

Culture is the most important aspect of a company and is the very foundation of the organization itself. The common values and beliefs that make up this foundation help dictate not only how a company operates, but also how its employees interact with one another. There are several factors that can create cracks in the foundation, but one factor in particular can cause lasting damage: unresolved conflict.

According to a comprehensive workplace conflict study by publisher CPP, Inc., 85% of employees experience conflict in some form at work. While conflict may not be avoidable, embracing conflict and working toward resolving it within your company saves the culture in three ways.

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Telling Your Boss You Won’t Keep Working After Hours

Enough is enough.

You’re already working more than 40 hours a week, and you love your job. But one day your boss asks you to stay even later, maybe because they have to and they want you to match the workload. Or perhaps they just keep piling on more responsibilities, until you have to burn the midnight oil just to keep up.

That’s not fair, and your boss is taking advantage of you. You should be able to have a personal life. If you’re ready to put an end to this, check out a few of our tips below.

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Is Your Boss Empathetic?

And why does it matter?

Boss RelationshipsWe all have bad boss stories. Maybe you had a boss yell at you every day, never show up for work, or take credit for a project you completed solo. Or perhaps your manager just didn’t really care or acknowledge you at all.

All of those bosses are lacking one key trait—empathy.

In a recent study, Businessolver® found that 91% of CEOs “believe empathy is directly linked to a company’s financial performance, while 93% of employees say they’re more likely to stay with an empathetic employer.”

However, while 92% of CEOs think their organizations are empathetic, only 72% of employees agree.

To find out whether your boss is empathetic, look for the following qualities.

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Being Promoted to Your Boss’s Level

Congratulations! You make more money and things are awkward.

You work incredibly hard, and truly care about your company. When a big management position opens up, you’re ready for it and submit your resume. You ace the interview (perhaps thanks in part to our handy tips), and now you’re a manager!

There’s only one problem: that means your previous boss is now just a regular co-worker. How do you act? What can you say? Is it all right to ask them to meet deadlines?

Here are our tips on turning a former boss into a colleague.

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Can You Be Friends with Your Coworkers?

Or will you only end up hurt in the end?

In a given year, many adults spend more time with their coworkers than with their friends or family. That lack of socialization can make it tempting to turn your coworkers into friends. A day spent talking about new projects and meetings can turn into a social outing after work; you can be productive and get your social fix at the same time.

But is it really the right choice to turn your coworkers into friends? Honestly, it depends on who you want to be friends with, where you work, and a ton of other factors. Before trying to start up a workplace friendship, ask yourself these questions.

What’s at Stake?

First, let’s define what we mean by “workplace friendship.” We’re not talking about the cubicle buddy you make fun of the dress code with, or that guy in accounting that told a great joke before the 8 a.m. meeting. A “workplace friendship,” as we define it, is a relationship that combines your personal life with your work life. Meaning that you meet up after work for meals or go to events together.

There can be plenty of benefits to having a close friend at your place of work. They can inform you of project progress in a different department, chat with you about your strengths and weaknesses, or help you figure out how to tackle a particularly difficult work problem.

However, whenever there’s a large group of people, cliques are certain to form. Whether it’s the playground, high school lunchroom, or the nearest breakroom, it’s hard for people to be friends with everyone. And cliques result in people feeling left out, feelings they might act on by gossiping about you or just being difficult to work with.

When you begin a workplace friendship, that means opening yourself up to the possibility of that friendship failing and still having to work with that person. Maybe you complained about a coworker when you were friends but then got promoted, causing jealousy and frustration. They tell that coworker you said something negative way back when and suddenly you’re the office tyrant.

Are They Your Boss?

How good are you at setting boundaries? Some people are able to separate work and personal issues to such an extent that talking to them about deadlines is like dealing with a completely different person than the one you planned an upcoming get-together with.

If you can’t be that person, it’s probably not a good idea to pursue a friendship with your boss. That opens you up to a whole world of criticism. If it goes well, you have to deal with other employees thinking you get special treatment. If it turns out you aren’t actually that big a fan of your boss outside of work and no longer want to spend time with them, you’ll be in the awkward position of feeling like you have to meet with them after hours to keep your job. And you’re not being paid to be anyone’s friend.

As noted by Monster, Dr. Jan Yager, author of “Friendshifts: The Power of Friendship and How It Shapes Our Lives,” said “Same-level friendships are the easiest to maintain. Problems can arise if one friend has to supervise or evaluate the other.”

But what about when your friend gets promoted and is now your boss? The key is to set boundaries. Gone are the days when you could make fun of upcoming training classes or analyze a recent managerial decisions together. If you value the relationship, keep overly personal conversations to after hours and weekends.

Do They Want to be Friends with You?

The Week is pretty clear on where they stand on this issue in their article, given that the title is Your Coworkers are Not Your Friends. And to be honest, they’re right. This quote best sums up what they’re trying to say:

“That is not to suggest we cannot or should not make friends on the job. But it is to say most of our coworkers will only ever be coworkers (take a moment to think about how many of your friendships with former colleagues have any meaningful existence outside of Facebook), and inside the office, they should be treated accordingly.”

Nobody in the workplace is there to make friends. At the end of the day, most of us are here to make a paycheck. Liking your coworkers gives you more of a reason to come in every day (and those that like their coworkers enjoy their jobs to a much higher degree), but it’s not the base reason you work.

What that means is you shouldn’t assume your coworkers want to be your friend just because you do. If they do, great! But if they don’t seem comfortable with high-fives or keep rejecting your invitations to get dinner or hang out on the weekends, don’t take it personally. Although being friendly is often a must to thrive in the workplace, being friends is not. People are free to have their own interests and spend their personal time on their own terms.

Do you have any experiences with friendships gone wrong (or right) in the workplace? Let us know in the comments below!

Questions to Ask Yourself Before a Career Change

Are you ready to make the big leap?

You don’t like your job. You’ve known for a while, but hey; it pays the bills! Plus, it’s not like you hate it—you just wish you were doing something else. It’s simply not the right fit.

One day something changes. Maybe you’re placed on a special project where you don’t feel qualified. Perhaps your friend tells you about their new job and everything clicks. It’s even possible you were inspired by something on TV. Whatever the reason, you want to make a career change.

But is it really possible? You have a steady job right now. Is that worth giving up in pursuit of your dreams?

Here at Express Employment Professionals, we see people like this every day. Talented individuals unsure if a career change is right for them. Ask yourself the following questions to get a better idea of whether starting a new path is the best choice.

What Do I Not Like About My Current Position?

Before you quit your job to head out into the job search jungle, figure out why you’re unhappy with your current position in the first place. Is it the company culture? Your job duties? Your boss? It’s possible that your problems with the job could be solved by changing departments within the same company, or discussing the issue with your boss.

You’ll also want to make sure that the problems you have with your current job aren’t going to pop up again in your new job. Learn the type of company culture you enjoy, and what kind of boss you can learn from.

What’s Your Long-Term Goal?

Never quit a job because you’re unhappy in the short-term. First, figure out what it is you ultimately want to do in the future. It’s never too late to start working toward a new dream—however, you need to know the steps required to get there.

While you keep working at your current job, plan for the future. If you want to switch into a new industry, research the industry online and discover what common career paths look like. Take online or after-hours classes if you can. Really get a feel for the job you want and what a career path in that job looks like. The goal here is to make sure the job switch sticks—you don’t want to hop from job to job.

What’s the Downside?

Even if you’re sure you want to begin a new career path, you need to recognize it might be difficult. You’ll need to make new professional contacts, learn a new set of skills, and understand an environment that might be completely different from what you’ve experienced before.

Make a list of pro’s and con’s. How will the new position affect your family? Is there going to be a longer commute? Being realistic about the challenges of changing careers can ensure you run into fewer surprise landmines down the road.

Contact Express

Once you’ve answered these questions and are sure a career change is right for you, contact Express Employment Professionals. Our recruiters will listen to what you liked and disliked about your past position, and use that information to help you find the right job for you.

Staffing companies offer both full-time and part-time positions. This means you could even find a great temp job in your chosen industry before you quit your current job. Think of it as a sneak peek of what a career in that field could look like.

Have you ever experienced a career change? Let us know in the comments section below!