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How To Be A Super Hero At Work

How To Be A Super Hero At Work

We’ve all felt the cringe and goosebumps at work when the job becomes repetitive, the boss’s face gets blood red over a simple mistake, and all we want to do is change in the phone booth, show our inner super hero and save the day.

It’s when problems are not fixed and wrongs are not righted that we lose a little snippet of ourselves every day. We forget our own raison d’être—the purpose of being as it relates to our career. Poor Clark Kent remains in a dull, mundane existence without the slightest hope of leaping a tall building in a single bound. Life is all about managing which battles and which wars to fight, but in the workplace an extra layer of caution should be added—further complicating the already painstaking process of self-discovery.

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So when is enough, enough? When do you stand up and reveal the super hero underneath your power suit?

1. You Have No Skeletons.

You are a great employee. You show up on time. You do what is asked without complaint. There is no debate to be had regarding your commitment, loyalty, and simple respect for the job. There are many people in the world who possess great talent and great skill. Those who don’t sometimes have to show commitment in other ways. Those who do should make it an extra point to behave with humility. There is nothing worse than entitlement and elitist behavior. The same rules apply to everyone, and no matter how capable you are, respect for yourself, others, and your job will always be revered first before anyone coos over your ability to pull a rabbit out of a hat.

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2. You Keep Your Opinions to Yourself.

You weigh up the consequences of bonding over water cooler rants carefully. Instead, you think of the bigger picture, where as a respected source your voice is heard and not ignored. It always feels good to identify with those around you, but any time temptation strikes, think to yourself: “I wonder what bearing this may have down the road when I am truly in need of support and am struggling for my boss’s respect…?” Those circling the water cooler may begin to look at you as a mentor as well, instead of a contributing Negative Nancy.

3. You Don’t Cry Wolf.

As a transition from the above, you do not share in mindless chatter. You back up your grievances with fact. You do not participate in nor instigate the same rants over and over without purpose. The most powerful tool in your arsenal sometimes is the ability to possess self-control. If you have made your complaint heard, wait for it…wait for it…and if nothing is done, go back to the drawing board and figure out the best way to approach it. Or, when appropriate, take initiative and fix the issue yourself.

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4. You Understand the Importance of Timing.

Timing is everything. There’s a reason why the “slow clap” is now an urban pop culture phenomenon. Very few understand the beauty of a slow clap, because they lack the depth and patience to wait for the right moment to make a statement. You have to trust me on this, but the saying is true: You will just know…and it is so cool when it happens.

5. Stand Proudly at the Lectern and Guide Your People.

Not every manager, boss, or superior was meant to be a leader. Sometimes one is thrust into this position and doesn’t know how to deal with it. It is important that when you do engage and proudly bare your vulnerability, you are constructive. You provide insight and leadership by also understanding the boundaries, respecting them, and professionally exceeding the expectations. Do so and you may find yourself providing an intervention that could very likely improve the atmosphere for everyone: management, intern, and future CEO alike.

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Just always remember to keep your power suit on, change in the phone booth, and be sure to let your powers show in a time of crisis when the ordinary becomes extraordinary and the struggles you face warrant the triumph of a slow clap.

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How To Be A Super Hero At Work

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Last Updated on November 19, 2018

How to Find a Suitable Professional Mentor

How to Find a Suitable Professional Mentor

I went through a personal experience that acted as a catalyst for an epiphany. When I got fired from a job, I learned something important about myself and where I was headed with my freelance career. I realized that the most important aspect of that one rather small job was the influence of the company owner. I realized that I wasn’t hurt that the company and I weren’t a perfect match; I was devastated by the stark fact that I needed a mentor and I had almost found one but lost her.

Suddenly, I felt like J.D., the main character in “Scrubs,” chasing Dr. Cox and trying to rip insight and wisdom from someone I respect. The realization that a recognized thought-leader and experienced entrepreneur severed ties with me felt crushing. But, I picked myself back up and thought about five ways to acquire a mentor without having the awkwardness of outright asking.

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1. Remember, a professional mentorship must be mutual.

A professional mentor must agree to engage in a mutual relationship because, as the comedy T.V. series showed us, one simply cannot force someone to tutor us. We have to prove that we are worth the time investment through persistence and dedication to the craft.

2. You have to have common interests with your mentor.

Even if a professional mentor appears at your job or school, realize that unless you and this person have common interests, you won’t find the relationship successful. I’ve been in situations where someone I respected had vastly different ideas about what was important in life or what one should spend his or her free time doing. If these things don’t line up, you may find the relationship won’t be as fruitful, even when the mentor knows a great deal about one industry.

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3. Thought-leaders will respect your passion.

One of the ways you can prove yourself worthy to a professional mentor is through your passion and your dedication. No one wants to spend time grooming and teaching another who will not take advice or put the effort in to improve. When following thought-leaders on Twitter and trying to engage with higher-ups in a work setting, realize that your actions most often speak louder than your words.

4. Before worrying if he respects you, ask if you respect him.

On the other side of the coin, you should seriously reflect on those common interests and make sure you respect your professional mentor. Just because someone holds a title, degree or office does not mean that person is trustworthy or honest. Don’t be swayed by appearances and take the time to find a suitable professional mentor.

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5. Failure is often the best way to learn

I honestly have made more mistakes than I can count. I know I’ve learned a great deal from poorly organized businesses and my own poor choices. The most important quality I’ve developed is an ability to swallow my pride and learn from my mistakes. If life knocks me down nine times, I get back up 10 times. One of the songs Megadeth wrote, “Of Mice and Men,” resonates in my mind when I pull myself up by my bootstraps and try again for a goal I’ve set: “So live your life and live it well. There’s not much left of me to tell. I just got back up each time I fell.” Hopefully, this brief post can act as a professional mentor to you in your quest to find not only a brave leader but also a trusted adviser.

Featured photo credit: morguefile via mrg.bz

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