Advertising
Advertising

8 Things Your Boss Doesn’t Want You to Know

8 Things Your Boss Doesn’t Want You to Know

Whistleblowing is a stigmatizing act. For every person that looks up to you, there’s one that looks down on you and a dozen that want to destroy you. Leaking the secrets of Corporate America labels you for the rest of your life, and it’s not easy. Your boss teaches you everything you need to know about how to perform your job, but they won’t teach you how to seek justice if your job hurts people. Here are some other secrets your boss doesn’t want you to know.

1. Your Boss Needs You

    When you look up your company online or see them in the news, it’s always the executives they discuss. You’re just some number at the bottom of the ladder, so it’s easy to feel like you can’t affect anything in your company. The truth is the real power in corporations isn’t held by executives; the real power lies in the hands of those working in the trenches.

    Your boss probably can’t do your job. When you hear about Jamie Dimon and Brian Moynahan leading Chase and Bank of America to foreclose on peoples’ homes, they’re not doing it personally. They don’t even know how to perform a foreclosure if they wanted. A leader barking orders is just a lone nut without followers to carry out those orders. This is why they go out of their way to keep employees from unionizing. Never forget that.

    2. Your Boss Can’t Be Your Friend

    Advertising

      Your boss wants to be your friend, but they can’t. When push comes to shove (and it happens often), they may have to let you go, and that’s difficult to do to a friend. Even if they like you, they can’t do much to help you if you’re in a position where numbers are tracked.

      If their boss doesn’t notice, your coworkers most certainly will. If it’s between your livelihood and your boss’s, you better believe your boss will choose self-preservation

      3. Your Boss Guesses…A Lot

        When I worked in management, guessing was nearly a daily occurrence. It’s not that we didn’t know what we were doing – it’s that so much work comes in, so many holes need plugged, that you have to do the best you can with what you have. Part of being a boss is taking an educated guess and seeing what the outcome is.

        Taking chances that pay off mean you’re a great leader, while a chance that fails can put you in hot water. Don’t let it get to you; I once broke something that crashed the backend processing system (overnight updates) that got the head of Countrywide’s IT department paged at 3am. I survived years between that and my departure from the company – this is the nature of the job.

        Advertising

        If you aspire to a position in management, show your boss you’re not afraid to take chances.

        4. You Have More Power than You Think

          I’m just some guy who once worked in a cubicle in some schmuck position until I spoke up. Soon I was speaking to lawyers, regulators, and more. In doing so, multiple global corporations got hit for billions, and it’s still happening. If I can do it, so can you.

          5. You Can’t Speak Freely

            Think you’re free? Post something controversial on the Internet and then act up at work. You may feel like your work is your life and your associates are your friends and family, but they’re not. When you leave a job, your work circle fades, save for a special few. Some are by choice, and others are out of your control. Watch what you say.

            Advertising

            6. You’re Always the Last to Know

              Everything in business is on a need-to-know basis. Associates get informed just before the media informs the public. Your company does this so they can preach about how the media is misinformed and you have the real inside story.

              7. Your Company Will Steal Your Work and Contacts When You Leave

                You signed a lot of contracts when you took your job; those contracts stole everything you did during your career. Remember when NBC kept Conan O’Brien off TV? He’s not unique, and neither are you.

                Advertising

                Even Ari Gold couldn’t take his clients on Entourage, and he was backed by an entire team of writers. Be aware of this going in. Business is about more than just money.

                8. You Get Blamed for Everything

                  I stepped up for my people anytime the chips were down, but when my team got blamed for a failure of mine, I didn’t exactly step up to the plate. I was one of the more generous managers too. If you think your boss doesn’t do the same, you’re delusional.

                  Some will even throw you under the bus individually (see above points for more examples). The motto CYA is much more prolific in business than YOLO. Act accordingly.

                  Featured photo credit: New Line Cinema via wwws.warnerbros.co.uk

                  More by this author

                  7 Ways To Make Exercise Fun For Everyone How to Live Life to the Fullest Say Goodbye to a Skinny Body: How to Gain Weight Fast 24 Easy Ways To Make Money On The Internet What 500 Calories Really Looks Like in Different Foods

                  Trending in Work

                  1 How to Sharpen Your Transferable Skills For a Swift Career Switch 2 How to Make Going Back to School at 30 Possible (And Meaningful) 3 7 Powerful Habits To Win In Office Politics 4 10 Signs of a Bad Boss and How to Deal with Them 5 10 Great Skills to Include in Your Resume When You Change Careers

                  Read Next

                  Advertising
                  Advertising
                  Advertising

                  Last Updated on July 18, 2019

                  How to Sharpen Your Transferable Skills For a Swift Career Switch

                  How to Sharpen Your Transferable Skills For a Swift Career Switch

                  Most people grow up with dreams to go to college and graduate with high-paying job offers waiting for them the week after graduation. Others may favor non-traditional career paths. But the desire is the same: to find a job we love where compensation is commensurate with experience.

                  However, plans change. For instance, what started out as a dream to be a surgeon is cut short by a nasty injury and you’re debating how to transition into a new role. Or you might be facing being let go from your current employer and are anxious about “options out there.”

                  Whatever the case may be, switching careers can be intentional or unintentional. What matters is that you’re well-prepared, and the only way to do so is to learn new skills — hone in on your transferable skills.

                  Why Hone in on Your Transferable Skills?

                  There are several reasons you need to develop these skills if you want to go far in life and your career. In a nutshell, honing in your your transferable skills can lead to:

                  Better Job Offers

                  Continuous assessment and improvement of your skills widens the pool of job offers for you to make selections from. You’re no longer tethered to one industry as you’re able to lead your career by design, not by default.

                  People with transferable skills on a resume also open up opportunities for more potential employers.

                  Increase in Pay and More Responsibilities

                  You’ve heard the saying “with great power come great responsibility.” In your case, transferable skills make you more marketable to employers which could lead to pay raises.

                  Although this isn’t an automatic process– you have to be proactive about what you want in the marketplace, there is a chance that these pay raises will come with change in titles and roles.

                  A Shot at Entrepreneurship

                  Yes, changing career paths also includes the possibility of working for yourself. With these skills and work experience, you could live anywhere in the world and design a life and career you want.

                  We’ve talked about why you need to strengthen your transferable skills but what are some these skills, and how can you work on them?

                  13 Tips to Sharpen Your Transferable Skills

                  1. Update Your Resume

                  You might be surprised to know this but yes, updating your resume is a skill. The very first thing you should do while thinking about switching careers is to highlight attributes that make you very desirable candidate to employers.

                  Think about your volunteer experiences, freelance projects, and school projects. Although they might seem insignificant, they demonstrate your ability to deliver results that several companies are looking for.

                  While you might have held several positions since college, switching careers will require you to have a different type of resume.

                  There are three different types of resumes: functional, chronological, and a combination resume. However, if you are looking to switch careers you’ll want to have a functional resume. A functional resume is strengths-based that emphasizes skills that are transferable rather than a collection of dates and job titles.

                  2. Brush up on Your Communication Skills

                  Every attempt to get ahead in business and in life starts with the need to communicate effectively. Whether it is interpersonal, intercultural, or multi-generational, the ability to be seen and heard while respecting the boundaries of work relationship matters.

                  That’s why it’s one of the top skills you need to master. Strong communication skills allows you to effectively tailor your messages to specific audiences, which will make you a stronger asset to any organization.

                  To hone this skill:

                  Advertising

                  Pay attention to your listening skills. To communicate effectively, you need to first learn how to understand others.

                  Your ability to decode overt and implied messages, no matter how nuanced they are, is key to knowing how to foster deep relationships with others.

                  This article can also give you effective ways to enhance your communication skills:

                  How to Master Effective Communication Skills at Work and Home

                  3. Learn Technical (or Business) Writing

                  Another form of communication, writing, is a skill that can take you anywhere.

                  Companies communicate a lot through written memos, emails, newsletters, and other audio-visual means. But at the crux of this all is someone or some people who are tasked with translating the organization’s vision into statements anyone can understand.

                  To hone this skill:

                  Consider taking some free or paid classes online. You can accomplish this through several community colleges or online platforms like Lynda, Udemy or edX .

                  4. Practice Public Speaking and Presentation Skills

                  No matter how intelligent you are, no one will take you seriously if you’re unable to pull off a decent level of persuasion through presentation skills.

                  Most presentation can be done through either electronic devices or require your physical presence. Your chosen career may require you to be in front of several hundreds of people or you could be charged with developing materials for presentation.

                  To hone this skill:

                  Volunteer to lead projects that give you some responsibility for putting together presentations.

                  Also, try taking courses that will improve your public speaking skills if you feel lacking.

                  These tips on public speaking would be helpful too:

                  The Ultimate Public Speaking Tips to Hook and Impress Any Audience

                  5. Get Comfortable with Identifying Problems and Solutions

                  Every organization has got its problems no matter how greener the grass is on the other side.

                  How to hone this skill:

                  Advertising

                  Practice being resourceful.

                  Do you know where to find every company policy on the intranet in less than five minutes?

                  Think about a time you noticed some inefficiency at work and proposed a solution. Think about instances where you lent your voice to a cause which resulted in improved processes for your department.

                  No matter how small or inadequate you might feel, you’ve got some problem-solving skills that some organizations want.

                  If you look for more ways to improve your problem solving skills, take a look at this article:

                  6 Effective Ways to Enhance Your Problem Solving Skills

                  6. Recognize Your Team-Building Ability

                  Your ability to smoothly switch careers also depends on how well you can energize your team, especially if you’re aiming for a leadership role. Unfortunately, team-building usually isn’t something you learn on the job in most careers unless you hold a managerial position.

                  The good thing is that you possibly know one or two things about team-building. Think back to moments in college when you had group projects with colleagues and had to work with 3 to 4 other strangers for months. Were you able to get past your differences and disagreements to focus on the uniqueness of everyone at the table?

                  Making a career switch might require that you work with multidisciplinary teams whether you have a deep knowledge of what the other team does or not. I can easily think of doctors, nurses, physical therapists, and social workers working closely to achieve the goals in a patient’s care plan.

                  How to hone this skill:

                  Look for collaborative projects and team building activities that excite you and challenge yourself with new possibilities.

                  Try some of these tactics to keep your team motivated as well:

                  17 Proven Tactics for Motivating Employees and Building a Stronger Team

                  7. Lean into Your Leadership Skills

                  Although similar to the previous point, leadership skills extend far beyond building teams, managing time sheets and correcting behavior.

                  What I’m referring to here is your ability to develop a vision, believe in it, and inspire buy-in from everyone involved. This isn’t about knowing how to run a particular machine; it’s about how to lead a team of people with various backgrounds, experiences, and ideas of how things should be done.

                  How to hone this skill:

                  Although more complex than the rest, it all starts with an introspective look into your strengths and weaknesses. Then get a mentor or a coach who can bring out your leadership qualities so you can operate from a place of strength.

                  Advertising

                  Learn more about the effective leadership types here:

                  5 Types of Leadership that Help You Build a High Performance Team

                  8. Improve Your Analytical Skills

                  Are you good at taking large amount of data and interpreting them? Your skills could come in handy.

                  Organizations are looking for people to make sense of the data around them, explain how it affects profitability, and make projections based on it. Best of all? You don’t need to be an accountant to be analytical.

                  How to hone this skill:

                  Try taking data interpretation classes online or at a community college. Learning Microsoft Excel or Access is also a plus. If you’re ambitious enough, you could consider getting additional certifications to up the ante.

                  Take a look at these ways to help sharpen your analytical skills:

                  What Are Analytical Skills and How to Strengthen Them For Success

                  9. Don’t Discount Your Time Management and Prioritization Skills

                  How good are you when it comes to deciding how important tasks are, organizing schedules, and coordinating plans?

                  Should you be willing, there is a market waiting for you out there. Organizations and busy executives are always looking for talented individuals to outsource these tasks to.

                  How to hone this skill:

                  Although not everyone possesses secretarial superpowers, you can improve this skill by focusing on taking huge tasks and breaking them into smaller goals or steps in order to achieve a bigger goal.

                  Here, you can learn to prioritize to achieve more:

                  The Ultimate Guide to Prioritizing Your Work And Life

                  10. Embrace Your Creative and Critical Thinking Side

                  Although it’s often believed that creativity is for the arts and right-brained people, I believe everyone is capable of being creative. In fact, most organizations recognize creativity as a vehicle that will drive successful inventions in the future.

                  How to hone this skill:

                  Try doing something fun. As simple as this sounds, you’d be surprised to learn how much. In fact, behavioral and learning scientist, Marily Oppezzo, says taking a walk might be all you need to get your creative juices flowing.[1]

                  Advertising

                  Anyone can be creative, you just need the right way to train your brain:

                  What Is Creativity? We All Have It, and Need It

                  11. Don’t Stop Learning Tech Knowledge and Skills

                  Being tech-savvy is a huge plus. If you have an affinity with computers, software applications and are abreast of technological improvements, it is a transferable skill that is worth highlighting.

                  You don’t have to be a young college graduate with silicon valley dreams to work

                  How to hone this skill:

                  All you need is the determination and the readiness to learn. This article will give you some ideas on the types of skills to learn:

                  How to Improve Your Computer Skills to Get Ahead in Your Career

                  12. Build Networks and Relationships

                  You aren’t free from networking. Not at the moment. With your goal to switch to a different career, your networking skills will come in handy.

                  Fortunately for you, networking doesn’t have to be so hard.

                  How to hone this skill:

                  Attend conferences and job fairs. Chances are you already have people in your network you can move you closer to your dream career.

                  To enhance your networking skills, take these steps:

                  How to Network So You’ll Get Way Ahead in Your Professional Life

                  Final Thoughts

                  Although there are several people with the same qualification and degree(s) you possess, what ultimately determines hireability comes down to a myriad of things such as culture fit, how teachable you are, cultural sensitivity, inter-generational awareness, and your ability to navigate uncertainty.

                  You have a chance to stand out by letting your dream companies know how these soft skills make you an invaluable asset, and how saying ‘YES’ to you is a win-win for both parties.

                  Happy career switching!

                  More Resources About Career Advancement

                  Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

                  Reference

                  Read Next