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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

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      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.

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        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.

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            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.

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                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

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                  Last Updated on March 25, 2020

                  How to Set Ambitious Career Goals (With Examples)

                  How to Set Ambitious Career Goals (With Examples)

                  Taking your work to the next level means setting and keeping career goals. A career goal is a targeted objective that explains what you want your ultimate profession to be.

                  Defining career goals is a critical step to achieving success. You need to know where you’re going in order to get there. Knowing what your career goals are isn’t just important for you–it’s important for potential employers too. The relationship between an employer and an employee works best when your goals for the future and their goals align. Saying, “Oh, I don’t know. I’ll do anything,” makes you seem indecisive, and opens you up to taking on ill-fitting tasks that won’t lead you to your dream life.

                  Career goal templates’ one-size-fits-all approach won’t consider your unique goals and experiences. They won’t help you stand out, and they may not reflect your full potential.

                  In this article, I’ll help you to define your career goals with SMART goal framework, and will provide you with a list of examples goals for work and career.

                  How to Define Your Career Goal with SMART

                  Instead of relying on a generalized framework to explain your vision, use a tried-and-true goal-setting model. SMART is an acronym for “Specific, Measurable, Action-oriented, Realistic with Timelines.”[1] The SMART framework demystifies goals by breaking them into smaller steps.

                  Helpful hints when setting SMART career goals:

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                  • Start with short-term goals first. Work on your short-term goals, and then progress the long-term interests.[2] Short-term goals are those things which take 1-3 years to complete. Long-term goals take 3-5 years to do. As you succeed in your short-term goals, that success should feed into accomplishing your long-term goals.
                  • Be specific, but don’t overdo it. You need to define your career goals, but if you make them too specific, then they become unattainable. Instead of saying, “I want to be the next CEO of Apple, where I’ll create a billion-dollar product,” try something like, “My goal is to be the CEO of a successful company.”
                  • Get clear on how you’re going to reach your goals. You should be able to explain the actions you’ll take to advance your career. If you can’t explain the steps, then you need to break your goal down into more manageable chunks.
                  • Don’t be self-centered. Your work should not only help you advance, but it should also support the goals of your employer. If your goals differ too much, then it might be a sign that the job you’ve taken isn’t a good fit.

                  If you want to learn more about setting SMART Goals, watch the video below to learn how you can set SMART career goals.

                  After you’re clear on how to set SMART goals, you can use this framework to tackle other aspects of your work. For instance, you might set SMART goals to improve your performance review, look for a new job, or shift your focus to a different career.

                  We’ll cover examples of ways to use SMART goals to meet short-term career goals in the next section.

                  Why You Need an Individual Development Plan

                  Setting goals is one part of the larger formula for success. You may know what you want to do, but you also have to figure out what skills you have, what you lack, and where your greatest strengths and weaknesses are.

                  One of the best ways to understand your capabilities is by using the Science Careers Individual Development Plan skills assessment. It’s free, and all you need to do is register an account and take a few assessments.

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                  These assessments will help you determine if your career goals are realistic. You’ll come away with a better understanding of your unique talents and skill-sets. You may decide to change some of your career goals or alter your timeline based on what you learn.

                  40 Examples of Goals for Work & Career

                  All this talk of goal-setting and self-assessment may sound great in theory, but perhaps you need some inspiration to figure out what your goals should be.

                  For Changing a Job

                  1. Attend more networking events and make new contacts.
                  2. Achieve a promotion to __________ position.
                  3. Get a raise.
                  4. Plan and take a vacation this year.
                  5. Agree to take on new responsibilities.
                  6. Develop meaningful relationships with your coworkers and clients.
                  7. Ask for feedback on a regular basis.
                  8. Learn how to say, “No,” when you are asked to take on too much.
                  9. Delegate tasks that you no longer need to be responsible for.
                  10. Strive to be in a leadership role in __ number of years.

                  For Switching Career Path

                  1. Pick up and learn a new skill.
                  2. Find a mentor.
                  3. Become a volunteer in the field that interests you.
                  4. Commit to getting training or going back to school.
                  5. Read the most recent books related to your field.
                  6. Decide whether you are happy with your work-life balance and make changes if necessary. [3]
                  7. Plan what steps you need to take to change careers.[4]
                  8. Compile a list of people who could be character references or submit recommendations.
                  9. Commit to making __ number of new contacts in the field this year.
                  10. Create a financial plan.

                  For Getting a Promotion

                  1. Reduce business expenses by a certain percentage.
                  2. Stop micromanaging your team members.
                  3. Become a mentor.
                  4. Brainstorm ways that you could improve your productivity and efficiency at work
                  5. Seek a new training opportunity to address a weakness.[5]
                  6. Find a way to organize your work space.[6]
                  7. Seek feedback from a boss or trusted coworker every week/ month/ quarter.
                  8. Become a better communicator.
                  9. Find new ways to be a team player.
                  10. Learn how to reduce work hours without compromising productivity.

                  For Acing a Job Interview

                  1. Identify personal boundaries at work and know what you should do to make your day more productive and manageable.
                  2. Identify steps to create a professional image for yourself.
                  3. Go after the career of your dreams to find work that does not feel like a job.
                  4. Look for a place to pursue your interest and apply your knowledge and skills.
                  5. Find a new way to collaborate with experts in your field.
                  6. Identify opportunities to observe others working in the career you want.
                  7. Become more creative and break out of your comfort zone.
                  8. Ask to be trained more relevant skills for your work.
                  9. Ask for opportunities to explore the field and widen your horizon
                  10. Set your eye on a specific award at work and go for it.

                  Career Goal Setting FAQs

                  I’m sure you still have some questions about setting your own career goals, so here I’m listing out the most commonly asked questions about career goals.

                  1. What if I’m not sure what I want my career to be?

                  If you’re uncertain, be honest about it. Let the employer know as much as you know about what you want to do. Express your willingness to use your strengths to contribute to the company. When you take this approach, back up your claim with some examples.

                  If you’re not even sure where to begin with your career, check out this guide:

                  How to Find Your Ideal Career Path Without Wasting Time on Jobs Not Suitable for You

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                  2. Is it okay to lie about my career goals?

                  Lying to potential employers is bound to end in disaster. In the interview, a lie can make you look foolish because you won’t know how to answer follow up questions.

                  Even if you think your career goal may not precisely align with the employer’s expectations for a long-term hire, be open and honest. There’s probably more common ground than they realize, and it’s up to you to bridge any gaps in expectations.

                  Being honest and explaining these connections shows your employer that you’ve put a lot of thought into this application. You aren’t just telling them what they want to hear.

                  3. Is it better to have an ambitious goal, or should I play it safe?

                  You should have a goal that challenges you, but SMART goals are always reasonable. If you put forth a goal that is way beyond your capabilities, you will seem naive. Making your goals too easy shows a lack of motivation.

                  Employers want new hires who are able to self-reflect and are willing to take on challenges.

                  4. Can I have several career goals?

                  It’s best to have one clearly-defined career goal and stick with it. (Of course, you can still have goals in other areas of your life.) Having a single career goal shows that you’re capable of focusing, and it shows that you like to accomplish what you set out to do.

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                  On the other hand, you might have multiple related career goals. This could mean that you have short-term goals that dovetail into your ultimate long-term career goal. You might also have several smaller goals that feed into a single purpose.

                  For example, if you want to become a lawyer, you might become a paralegal and attend law school at the same time. If you want to be a school administrator, you might have initial goals of being a classroom teacher and studying education policy. In both cases, these temporary jobs and the extra education help you reach your ultimate goal.

                  Summary

                  You’ll have to devote some time to setting career goals, but you’ll be so much more successful with some direction. Remember to:

                  • Set SMART goals. SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Action-oriented, and Realistic with Timelines. When you set goals with these things in mind, you are likely to achieve the outcomes you want.
                  • Have short-term and long-term goals. Short-term career goals can be completed in 1-3 years, while long-term goals will take 3-5 years to finish. Your short-term goals should set you up to accomplish your long-term goals.
                  • Assess your capabilities by coming up with an Individual Development Plan. Knowing how to set goals won’t help you if you don’t know yourself. Understand what your strengths and weaknesses are by taking some self-assessments.
                  • Choose goals that are appropriate to your ultimate aims. Your career goals should be relevant to one another. If they aren’t, then you may need to narrow your focus. Your goals should match the type of job that you want and the quality of life that you want to lead.
                  • Be clear about your goals with potential employers. Always be honest with potential employers about what you want to do with your life. If your goals differ from the company’s objectives, find a way bridge the gap between what you want for yourself and what your employer expects.

                  By doing goal-setting work now, you’ll be able to make conscious choices on your career path. You can always adjust your plan if things change for you, but the key is to give yourself a road map for success.

                  More Tips About Setting Work Goals

                  Featured photo credit: Tyler Franta via unsplash.com

                  Reference

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