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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 September 18, 2019

                  11 Hard Skills That Will Land You More Career Opportunities

                  11 Hard Skills That Will Land You More Career Opportunities

                  Are you looking to move up the career ladder? Or maybe you’re tired of having a “job” and want to start looking for a more permanent career?

                  Whatever your motivation, you are going to have to learn some new and different hard skills to broaden your opportunities. After all, there’s a very famous quote that says:

                  “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.” – Albert Einstein

                  While the insanity part doesn’t really fit here, the overall message is a good one. If you are looking for a different result (career advancement, more money or even a career instead of a job), it’s up to you to make it happen. This is both the good news and bad news!

                  The good news is that because it’s up to you, you have complete control over it happening. The bad news is that change is hard. Humans are creatures of habit, that’s why we develop routines, and anything that disrupts that routine causes us anxiety. And we will do almost anything to get rid of that anxiety. The overweight person will calm their anxiety by eating that doughnut, the smoker will light up a cigarette to avoid anxiety.

                  What we want to do with this article is to give you the hard skills you’ll need to reduce that anxiety so you can move up that corporate ladder, make more money or have career instead of just a “job.”

                  The following hard skills are essential to learn if you want to advance your career. They may not be easy to take up, but definitely worth your effort of learning:

                  1. Cloud Computing

                  “Simply put, cloud computing is the delivery of computing services—servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics, intelligence and more—over the Internet “the cloud” to offer faster innovation, flexible resources, and economies of scale. You typically pay only for cloud services you use, helping lower your operating costs, run your infrastructure more efficiently, and scale as your business needs change.” Microsoft[1]

                  There are many different jobs available in the cloud computing world today. They range from architects and developers to data scientists, security pros. Each job is its own specialty and requires a high level of specification for advancement.

                  This is definitely a hard skill that requires education. But if the tech world and computers are your thing you can make cloud computing a lucrative career.

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                  2. Data Mining and Statistical Analysis

                  Again, these are highly specialized fields. Data mining is defined as using large sets of data to look for anomalies and other patterns that can be used to predict future behavior.

                  Amazon is probably the best known company to use data mining. Have you ever noticed that when you buy something at Amazon, you’ll see a little ad at the bottom that says “customers who bought this also bought…”and it lists 2-3 other items? All of that information comes from data mining, by examining the millions of sales amazon makes they can predict that if you buy item #1 there is a high likelihood that you will buy one of the other items too. T

                  his not only increases sales for Amazon, but it also serves as a reminder for you that you may need these additional items for your project. This is very valuable information and has a wide range of uses. Although it has a bad reputation and evil sounding name, it is a very useful tool for maximizing productivity and sales.

                  3. Data Management

                  All companies today deal with a ton of data! Being able to manage that data in an efficient manor is not only highly prized, but a necessity.

                  We all have these things on our desks called computers. Unless there is a need for a paper copy, almost all of our data is computerized. Meaning that, in theory it is all at our fingertips. Being able to organize that data so that it’s easily and quickly retrievable is why computers are replacing filing cabinets!

                  However, just like the old fashion filing cabinet, data management on a computer is only good if it’s well organized. You want to make sure that you are keeping your data well organized so that it’s easy to find when needed. This is a skill that comes easily to some people (are you a person that makes lists? Good!) but with others it will be a skill that needs to be practices. Make sure that this is a discipline you master.

                  4. Scheduling

                  Being able to make and keep to a schedule is a very useful tool in both business and life. Effective scheduling means that you can prioritize projects, understand the tools needed to get the job done on time and that you are organized enough to lead people.

                  An important point here is to write things down! Whether it’s in an old fashion daily or weekly organizer or in a PDA. Have a copy of your schedule available at your fingertips at all times.

                  5. Financial Skills

                  These are especially important when looking for that promotion. The higher up the ladder you go, the more you’ll have to deal with things like accounting, budgeting, financial planning and cash flow management.

                  While you may not need to be an expert at all of these, you should have a good grasp of all of them. This is where taking a few night classes at your local community college is a good idea. You don’t need to become an expert, but brushing up on these skills will help you tremendously.

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                  6. Research Skills

                  These are important in all aspects of life, but especially in your work-life.

                  Are you looking for that first job out of school? Nothing impresses a boss or hiring manager more than someone who has researched the company. Trust me, they deal with people walking in off the street everyday looking for a job, but managers and owners need to see the value in hiring (or promoting) you.

                  So do your research and have some company specific questions ready to ask. Show that you are interested in working for that company or that position and not just “a” job or the “promotion” because you have seniority or need the money.

                  If it’s a promotion that you are after, never bad mouth the previous occupant. Instead pick out an example that he/she was good at and explain how you would like to use or expand that policy and how it would enhance the policy changes you’d like to make.

                  If it’s a new job you’re going for, then make sure to have some company specific questions ready to show that you have done your homework for the new position.

                  7. Marketing Skills

                  While marketing a companies products or services has always been a highly sought after skill. In today’s world, it can take on several different forms.

                  Some of the marketing skills that are highly sought after today include, SEO, Search Engine Optimization, SEM, Search Engine Marketing and marketing campaign management. Familiarity with Google Analytics as well as Word Press are also valuable.

                  While traditional marketing and branding were focused on advertising and selling. Almost all marketing efforts now a days are focused on the internet.

                  8. Network Security Specialist

                  Again, this is a highly skilled position that requires specialized training. But the amount of data that all companies store is significant, and if that data is leaked or stolen, it can costs them millions of dollars in both lost revenue and lawsuits.

                  So, if you have an interest in network security you will find the field both lucrative and stable.

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                  9. Communication Skills

                  At first glance, communication skills may not look like it fits into the category of “Hard Skills” that can help you succeed. But in this ever shrinking world where companies can do business from almost anywhere, communication is more and more important.

                  Are you bilingual? It really doesn’t matter what language you speak, there’s a company out there looking for someone who speaks that language.

                  10. Computer Programming

                  I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty sure that computers are going to be around for a while! As both the hardware and software get more advanced, the need for computer programming is only going to increase.

                  11. Graphic Design

                  As of 2018, there were 4.37 million new websites launched.[2] A good number of them will fail because they just aren’t interesting enough visually. The use of templates and replicated websites is only making the problem worse.

                  Part of the way Google ranks sites is through originality, this almost ensures that replicated sites will never get ranked through Google. So the more original your site is, the more likely people will visit and actually spend time there.

                  That is what a good graphic designer does. Takes your basic idea and turns it into a website that people actually want to visit.

                  Embrace the Anxiety That Comes with Change

                  You know it’s going to be there, you know that you’ll want to give up as you’re learning these new skills but, you’ll also know that the end result is worth the journey.

                  Here’s a little trick when you’re feeling overwhelmed:

                  Have you ever met an ex-smoker who was sorry they quit? An ex-drinker or drug user that said life was much better before they quit? These people have gone through some of the most difficult challenges humans can go through including weeks, if not, months of intense physical withdrawal symptoms. They did it because they knew that the pain and anxiety they would experience would ultimately get them to a much better life.

                  Now what was that complaint you had about attending night-school?

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                  This is the part everyone hates, everyone thinks night-school, adult education and just generally giving up family and/or spare time. While those are certainly possible ways to develop the necessary skills, they aren’t the only way.

                  You’ll want to check with your human resources department because depending on the company, a certain degree maybe required in order to even be considered for a position. In those cases, night-school, on-line or some other form of adult education maybe your best route.

                  But as long as a degree isn’t required, then your options are wide open.

                  Let’s just say that you’re a sales person interested in becoming the sales manager but, the territory you’ve been given will never produce the sales figures that would make you stand out as a good candidate for sales manager. So how about you start your own side business (don’t compete with your company), but let’s say you enjoy golf.

                  In this day and age, there are plenty of places that will teach you how to sell products on-line and even set you up with your own website. So you start a site selling golf equipment and accessories (don’t worry, you won’t even have to carry inventory or worry about shipping).

                  Now, when that sales manager spot opens up, you can explain that even though other salespeople had better numbers than you, it had nothing to do with your sales ability, it was more of a consequence of the territory your were given.

                  And to prove it, you brought in some information about a side business, you started showing that you’re on target for a sales growth rate of 30% this year. And because you had to do all of the marketing for the business, you came up with some marketing strategies that you can bring to the new job (built-in experience).

                  The Bottom Line

                  We’ve put together these 11 hard skills as a way to give yourself a “leg up” on the competition. We’ve tried to make this a mixture of both skills that require a great deal of training, and also ones that you can work on and develop by yourself.

                  We know that not everyone is cut out to be a cloud computing expert, but we also know that working on and having good scheduling skills will make you a much more desirable candidate for the position!

                  We also don’t want you to discount the idea of a “side hustle“. Especially for people new to the workforce, having a business that you have started and run successfully shows potential employers that you have initiative, scheduling skills and ambition which can put you well ahead of your competition!

                  As usual, we hope you found this article both enjoyable and informative. If you did, may we ask that you share it with your family and friends through social media. It really does help us and is greatly appreciated!

                  More Skill to Help Advance Your Career

                  Featured photo credit: Kyle Sterk via unsplash.com

                  Reference

                  [1] Microsoft Azure: Cloud Computing
                  [2] Netcraft: December 2018 Web Server Survey

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