Archive | March, 2012

Why I Am Happy I Am Not Managed By A Woman

27 Mar

These past few weeks I have found myself buried beneath the back-breaking and agonizing problem we call “drama.” We have all experienced it, but when it happens to us and we find ourselves in the middle of a never-ending black hole, we wonder how on earth we got here and what we can do to get out of it. To put it simply, my husband and I had a falling out with some “friends.” Since the falling out, our lives have been a big pile of drama. And trust me, “drama” is putting it lightly.  Ok, ok, you are probably wondering what my point is, right?

Well, these past few weeks have taught me many things, most of which I won’t express here. One of the most eye-opening things I have realized is that women are so much more prone to cattiness, vindictiveness, and rumor spreading. Women tend to take things to a whole other level than men and they tend to become more emotionally invested in their problems. Yes, I have known this my entire life, but these past few weeks really solidified it for me.

While the drama has been exhausting and debilitating at times, I come to one conclusion: I am happy that I am not managed by a woman! According to a survey conducted by my favorite, Emily Bennington, the top three reasons women prefer male bosses are as follows:

(1) Men Tend to be More Direct. According to women, men are easier to read and set clearer expectations than women bosses. I know that I, myself, am hard to read, so I can see how this could be true. Men tend to be more black and white, often saying what they actually mean. Women, on the other hand, tend to use fluff or hidden messages when trying to communicate with others. As most of us know, a woman and a man could say the exact same thing, but both will have a different meaning or interpretation for the words they have used. Because of this, I can see how having a woman boss would be very difficult at times, especially if you were upset with one another.

(2) Women Are Too Competitive. As we all know, women are constantly observing other women and (sometimes) judging the other women or comparing themselves to other women. As Emily says, “There is only misery behind the door of comparison.” Women either think they are not good enough, which makes them insecure and hateful of women they perceive to have it all, or they think they are better, which makes them egotistical and stuck up. Working for a female may make it harder for you to move up the career ladder or stand out to others. Of course this depends upon whether the woman you are working for is confident or is comparing herself to you. Either way, I feel that I can make the statement that men are much less competitive (at least noticeably) with one another than women are.

(3) Women Are Too Emotional. According to Emily’s study, one response stated that “Women seem to bring emotions to the table no matter what . . . . ” Let’s take the drama situation I was talking about above. It is clear from what I have seen over the past few weeks that men and women react completely differently to the same situation. While men may be upset, they don’t tend to be as emotionally consumed as women. While I hate the stereotype that women are more emotional than men, I tend to agree with it and am thankful that I have a male boss.

So, what do you think? Do you think working for a man is easier than working for a woman? Do you agree with Emily’s statistics?

How to Connect With Your Boss

26 Mar

Sometimes we get the pleasure of working for people who make us feel comfortable, who completely understand us, and who do everything we need them to do to make us more productive workers. But sometimes we end up with a boss that you have nothing in common with, making it all the more difficult to work together and really connect. Sure, you don’t need to be best friends with your boss, but you need to be able to understand each other’s needs and work habits. For example, when your boss gets irritated and short, should you take this personal or should you know that they are acting that way because they haven’t been able to work out this week? When your boss doesn’t respond to your emails is it because your boss is mad at you or because your boss had something that night that he/she had to attend, making them unavailable by email. Knowing more than just the basics about your boss can help you both foster a relationship that will enhance your work life and your work product.

Recently I left a job where my boss was amazingly wonderful. I only saw him upset one time during my year and a half of working and we knew how to communicate with one another. I felt comfortable walking into his office and asking him how he thought I was performing or just talking to him about his weekend. I have been working at my new job for a little over 3 months and I still feel as if I don’t know my new boss very well. It doesn’t help that I am more of the shy/reserved type of person. A lot of times he does things and I wonder what they mean – like when I do a project for him and he doesn’t give me feedback, does no news mean good news? Although I feel as if I don’t know my boss as well as I could, I definitely feel fortunate that I don’t dislike him. Working for someone 9-5 (or longer) can be insanely difficult when you are working for someone whom you despise and you have nothing in common with.

No matter your situation, it is always important to know your boss. In an effort to protect your career and build a relationship with the one person you work the closest with, here are some tips:

If You Don’t Like Your Boss, Keep It To Yourself

As I have said many, many times, workplace gossip spreads like wildfire. There is nothing more juicy than someone telling their co-workers that they don’t like their boss. If you want to keep your job and continue to grow in your career, keep your mouth shut. If you really need to talk to someone or vent about your boss, talk to those people you 100% know you can trust – like your significant other or your parents.

Try To Find Common Ground

While you may not have all of the same interests, it is important to find something that you can both connect on. For example, my husband and I are big Michigan State basketball fans and my boss is a huge North Carolina fan. While I don’t follow college basketball super closely, this interest gives us something to talk about every once in a while. A colleague at my firm used to live in the same town that my husband went to college in, and this definitely provides us with some common ground and has led to him trusting me far faster than I think he would trust someone normally. Finding the smallest connection with your boss can help you foster a relationship and can help give you a topic when you two are at lunch or when you just want to stop by their office to talk about something other than work. The more you learn about your boss the more you will appreciate them as a person. Being able to understand that your boss is human is important to your working relationship.

Try To Find Bonding Opportunities

If you feel that you want to foster a closer relationship with your boss try finding things that you can both do together. If there is a group that he/she is involved in ask if you can attend the events with them. If your boss goes to networking events regularly, tell your boss that you want to get involved. If your boss is really into bike riding, tell your boss that you want to meet up one Saturday and go riding with him/her. It doesn’t matter if you share the same passions as your boss, it is just the thought that you are trying to build a relationship that matters. If you try to become more involved in your boss’s life, your boss will take this to heart and. Trust me, that will definitely help your working relationship.

Talk To Your Boss About Their Expectations

If yo do all of the above and still feel like you are getting no where, have a sit down talk with your boss about what he/she expects from you at work. This doesn’t need to be a formal conversation, but it should be in a private atmosphere where your boss can open up about your performance and their expectations if they want to. Be prepared that they may say something you don’t like. They may tell you that they don’t like the way you are doing something, and you have to understand that they are just trying to give you the feedback that you asked for. Try to leave that meeting with a better understanding of how your relationship works and what role you play in that relationship.

Building a relationship of trust and confidence with your boss is one of the most important parts of having a successful career and a smooth day-to-day life. If you feel like you are having problems connecting with your boss or that your personalities are not meshing, talk to your HR department confidentially and see if they have some advice or insight into your boss’s personality.

Fixing Those Bad Money Habits

23 Mar

Although my mother is a CPA, I am absolutely horrible when it comes to managing my finances. If it weren’t for my husband’s constant nagging I probably would never pay my credit card bills on time, I would forget to make my monthly loan payments, and I would continue getting charged for things I don’t even use any more. Yes, I am what my husband likes to call the Queen of Bargains. I am the one that automatically signs up for anything when I see that I get one month for free, but then somehow forget that I gave them my credit card info and that they have been charging me for over a year. Oops. I often wonder how someone who is educated and driven can be so bad at managing their own finances, but at least I recognize it as a flaw, right?

Recently my husband and I have been trying as best we can to save money. We have dreams of buying a house, nice cars, and furniture that doesn’t look like it belongs in a frat house. While we are making some progress, I think we could be doing better in some areas. My mother recently sent me an article about how to manage your finances and break the bad money habits. After reading the article I realized that my husband and I (mostly me though) are making a lot of the mistakes the experts say we shouldn’t be making. After reading the article I began doing some research and compiled a list of the worst money habits out there. It is my goal to try and seriously tackle the things that I am bad at in an effort to be more financial conscientious and smart. Here are a few of my bad habits and ways to break those bad money habits:

Impulse Spending

I, unfortunately, am definitely a victim of impulse spending. Yes, I know I am not technically a “victim,” but every time I walk out of a store and hang up a clothing item that I know I won’t ever wear I feel like a victim. According to a study by the National Endowment for Financial Education, four out of five Americans that made impulse buys regretted at least one of those purchases. I know that I have definitely regretted certain impulse buys – from clothes to electronic gadgets. While impulse spending makes you feel guilty, it also wastes your money. When my husband and I combined our finances we came up with an amount that we could each spend without having to ask for the other person’s permission. While getting used to this idea was hard, and sometimes really pissed me off, I have come to learn that going shopping with a budget or price limit in mind really helps me from impulse buying. The best way to rid yourself of the impulse spending habit is to keep a number in mind and use cash for the purchase instead of credit card. Also, be cognizant of your needs vs. your wants and be true to yourself when you ask, “Will I really wear this or use this?”

Not Contributing Enough to Your 401(k)

I will admit, I only contribute 3% of my bi-weekly paycheck to my 401(k). My reasoning is that I am only in my second year of working and I have at least thirty more to go, right? Wrong. Who knows what the future holds for me and my husband. Who knows if one day I will have a child that needs me to stay home with him/her, who knows if I will get sick and need to quit work, who knows, who knows, who knows. According to Claire Emory, a financial planner in Arlington, VA, funding retirement is a critical issue for women because they tend to spend less years in the workforce, they live longer and they are not paid as much as men.

Recently my husband and I discovered that we would have to fork over a large amount of our savings to the federal government. Being the mom that she is, she lectured us about not putting enough non-taxable money into our 401(k) plans. According to her, the money that is put in there is not taxed by the government, so put as much as you can away each year. Now, for my husband and I, the idea of putting $10,000 + in our 401(k) each year seems like a LOT when we consider our loan payments. But the more I think about it the more I feel that it is smarter to save for retirement even if we are young, especially if that means paying less in taxes to the government each year. Emory says that contributing 10% of your bi-weekly salary to your 401(k) should be the goal.

Carrying a Balance on Your Credit Cards

My husband never lets me keep a balance on my credit cards, and I know that if it weren’t for him I probably would pay the minimum each month. According to CreditKarma.com, the average credit card balance in 2011 was $6,576. Yikes. Not only does such a high balance rack up a lot of unnecessary money in interest, but it is almost impossible to pay off (unless you are rich). It is important for credit purposes to make sure that you don’t have a million credit cards that you can never pay off. I have two credit cards and find that it helps because they have different payment dates. This allows me to plan which charges go on which cards according to their payment dates. But, no matter how tight money is that month, my husband and I always pay off all of our credit card balances when only the minimum payment is due.

Not Tracking Your Money

 Again, I grew up in a household where my mom tracked everything her and my dad spent. She was the type that kept all receipts and matched them up to the credit card statements at the end of the month. That is smart, but for me I often find myself avoiding doing the same thing. I am a spender who does not ever get a receipt and who never monitors my credit card statements. Yes, I know that sounds crazy, but I do just pay the statement at the end of each month without looking. This turns out bad for me when I am being charged for something I thought was free or later find that I am being double charged for things. Last year my husband started using Mint.com to track our money. He made me put all of my credit card information on the site and was able to literally see every single purchase I made. This, as many women can probably imagine, annoyed me and totally freaked him out. “One-hundred dollars for a hair cut?” Men do not understand what it takes to be a woman, and I am by no means needy or materialistic. But, while Mint.com made him gripe a lot about my purchases, it made me cognizant of what I was spending my money on and what he was spending his money on. We learned that I probably needed to cut back on the bookstore purchases and he probably needed to bring his lunch more often to work. The point I am trying to make is that while tracking your money can be a pain in the a**, it does help you realize what you need to cut back on.

 Not Putting Any Money Into Savings

 There are some adults I know that don’t save any money EVER. To me this is just insane. I mean, how can you not save money? Isn’t that everyone’s goal in life? What happens if tomorrow you lose your job or get cancer and need the money for treatments? What happens if your dog swallows your baby’s toy and needs surgery to remove the object from his stomach? So many things in life could happen at any given moment that, in my mind, a savings is an absolute necessity. My husband and I pay all of our bills for the month and then put whatever we have left over into our savings. We try never to touch our savings, except when necessary. Even if you don’t make very much money, putting just $50 in savings every two weeks will add up over time and give you some sort of cushion in case things go wrong.

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For some people, like me, managing money can seem like an arduous task. It is important to understand where your flaws and weaknesses are in order to make sure that you are financially healthy and stable. What are your worst money habits?

Forget The Gossipers And Move On

22 Mar

I will admit that I am often too concerned about what other people are saying about me behind my back or what I “think” they are saying about me. This concern has probably been a part of my life since junior high, as is the case with most people. Sometimes I meet someone who tells me, “I really don’t care what they think about me,” and maybe they really don’t, but my guess is that most people do care about pleasing others and having others like them. It is part of our human nature to want to be wanted and liked.

We have all felt the sting of rejection and let down before, and sometimes we have been the cause of it. So, as we get older we try to surround ourselves with people who don’t make us nervous or make us wonder what they are saying behind our backs. This is why you marry your best friend, why you see your family more often than you did when you were a teenager, and why you keep those few good girls on speed dial. But sometimes we find ourselves in situations where we feel as if we are right back in the middle of high school. You find out people whom you see every day are talking about you – like your co-workers, your neighbors, your friends. You discover that there are rumors floating around about you – some which may be partially true, but most of which are completely false. What hurts the most is that you find out that a person whom you thought you knew or were “friends” with or who respected you is the cause of these rumors that are attacking your character, your work ethic, or you in general.

I have always been told that people don’t hate you unless they are jealous of you in some way. While this is hard to understand, I do believe it to be true. While finding out that a co-worker, a boss, a friend, or anyone that you know is talking badly about you, especially about certain things very personal to you, is hard, you have to wonder why they are talking about you. Why would that person go out of his/her way to make you look bad? Is it because you are weak, stupid, and perform poorly at work? No, of course not. It is because they are jealous and wish they had something that you have.

Sure, dealing with backstabbing employees, or gossipers, or just the realization that people are not at all as you thought they were is hard, but there are ways to deal with it. Let’s face it, we are all usually too trusting of people we don’t know. The sad truth is, most people cannot be trusted at all. With this in mind, here are some tips to help you protect yourself from those backstabbing, gossiping, ruthless friends, co-workers, or people in general:

Don’t Stoop To Their Level

If you discover that someone is talking badly about you, let them talk. Sure, it may be hard to hear and they may be telling everyone things that are completely false, but let them talk. If you take part in their game and start talking badly about them you will only ignite the fire and encourage them to continue. Remember that being the better person always wins out, and people will eventually come to learn that the gossiping or badmouthing person is just that – a gossip and a bad person.

Keep Your Head Up

No matter how nasty the rumors or attacks, keeping your head held high is the most important thing. Sure, it may be hard to walk into the lunchroom when you know everyone is talking about you, but do it anyways. Not only will this show them that you don’t care, it will make whoever is talking about you mad that they are not getting to you. Eventually things will go back to normal and the gossip will die down. In the mean time, worry about yourself, your job and your family. Forget the nonsense.

Talk To Your Boss

If people at work are talking very badly about you or spreading nasty rumors, talk to your boss and let them know what is going on. Tell them that you want the conversation to remain confidential, but that you are notifying them so they are aware that what people are saying is not true. Your boss likely has your best interests at heart and will be a good person to confide in if you have a bad day. It is important to make sure your boss is aware of anything going on in your life that may make you act differently and more withdrawn at work.

If The Gossiping Or Rumors Continue, Confront The Gossiper

Remember that those who gossip or spread rumors do so because it makes them feel better or somehow advances their agenda. These types of people usually like to appear strong and tough at all times. If you do feel like it is time to confront this person, try to do so in front of a lot of people so that the person becomes uncomfortable and so the other people can see them fumble over their own words. Remember, in the end the truth always comes out. Even if you did something bad to your friend or co-worker, their lies are not justified and eventually people will see that they are all lies.

Move On And Forgive

The most important thing in life is forgiveness. If you hate people you will no doubt end up more hurt and with more problems in the end. While forgiving others for spreading rumors, being nasty to you, or lying about you may be hard, you will find that once you forgive that person a weight will be lifted off of your shoulder. Remember that you are the most important thing in your life (outside of your immediate family) and you have to do what is best for you. What is best for you in these types of situations is to understand that the person you thought you were friends with is not who you thought they were, understand that they are mean, cold-hearted and are lying to other about you, but also understand the need to forgive them so that you can move on with your own life and focus on bigger problems.

Dealing with drama in the workplace or in life is hard, but you can get past it and you can become a better person because of it. If you find yourself dealing with this type of situation try surrounding yourself with people who don’t gossip about others and who bring value to your life.

Feeling Overwhelmed At Work?

19 Mar

Recently I have found myself completely overwhelmed at work. One of my colleagues recently went on maternity leave and I was lucky enough to land all of her work. My use of “lucky” is by no means sarcastic. Prior to this woman leaving I found myself wishing I had more work to keep me busy the entire time I was at work. Now that she is gone, my wish has been granted. While I am not at all complaining about having work and being busy, I do find myself feeling overwhelmed and overworked at times. This in turn leads to me being cranky at home and on edge with everyone.

What I am going through at work is completely normal and something most working people go through at some point in their career. If you fail to take notice that you are overwhemled and fail to do anything to help yourself out, bad things could happen. It is important to keep yourself calm and be able to push through the pile of work with ease and confidence.  If you aren’t careful excessive work can catch up with you and literally make you crazy. Here are some ways to deal with feeling overwhelmed at work due to an increased work load:

Learn To Delegate Your Work

I have noticed that when I have a lot on my plate I feel like I am the one that has to do everything. While it is normal to feel that way, it is not always true. In fact, delegating tasks to people can be an efficient way to get two things done at the same time. Of course delegating to someone who is going to make more work for you in the end is not worth it, so make sure you delegate your work to someone who is capable of performing and who can take direction from you.

Learn To Kindly Say No

A lot of people feel that saying No to more work means that they have in some way failed. This is not true. Learning to say No when you are completely overloaded is better in the end for everyone. While you cannot say No to tasks that you, in your position, are required to complete, you can politely say No to those tasks that someone else can handle. In an effort to determine which assignments are more important, reach out to your boss or manager to discuss which projects take priority over others. Tell your boss or manager how much you have on your plate and how you plan to tackle each assignment. Obviously if your assumption as to the importance of a particular project is wrong your boss or manager will likely tell you.

Find Time For Yourself

You may be wondering how in the hell you are supposed to find time for yourself when you can barely breathe, but there is always time in the day for yourself. This could be taking a ten minutes break to read a book outside or taking thirty minutes at lunch to go to that Pilates class you love. Whatever you love to do, finding just a little bit of time in each day for that thing will recharge your batteries, ease your stress, and allow you to concentrate on your work.

Create a Plan

If you have so many projects on your plate that you are finding it hard to decipher the difference between them, maybe you need to set up a time management plan where you dedicate 60 minute intervals to certain projects. Working on one project at a time, rather than trying to multi-task, may make it easier to concentrate and do the work correctly.

Focus On The Small Goals

Sure, you may have a large project due in four months, but thinking about the fact that you will be working on that project for four more months may drive you completely crazy. Rather than focusing on the big task at hand, focus on the smaller goals. For example, if you have a big presentation next week and have to do a lot of research, prepare a Power Point presentation, and write your speech, set out to accomplish one task at a time. When you have finished one task and move on to the next you will feel more accomplished and more at ease. 

Try To Remain Level-Headed And Calm

Oftentimes when people become stressed they freak out and have emotional outbursts at work. This is something that you really need to try to avoid. Sure, everyone has mental breakdowns sometimes, but that doesn’t mean it is ok to do so at work. You don’t want to be the reason everyone is whispering at work, do you? If you find yourself becoming completely overwhelmed by a situation, take yourself out of that situation and think of something that will calm you down – like your vacation to Mexico in three months. Keeping a hold of your emotions at work will make everyone’s life easier, including yours.

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Having an increased work load can drive you crazy and throw your emotions off balance. It is important to take care of youself and remember that your work is not your life.

Do Successful Women Have a Harder Time Staying Married?

15 Mar

We have all heard of the Oscar curse, right? It is the curse that women who have won an Academy Award for Best Actress get divorced soon after winning the award. While this curse may sound silly, the evidence is hard to refute. Just look at the recent Oscar winners for Best Actress and how their relationships have broken down post-win – Sandra Bullock, Kate Winslet, Reese Witherspoon, Halle Berry and Hillary Swank. Apparently last year researchers found that of the 265 married women who have been nominated for Best Actress, 60% had gotten divorced. And get this, the winners were far more likely to divorce than the losers.  Why is this?

Sadly, the theory behind the Oscar curse is that the woman’s sudden success hurts her marriage. Ouch. This got me thinking, does a woman’s success in an ordinary job (not a Hollywood job) affect her marriage? Thinking about this reminded me of the Sex and the City episode where Miranda goes speed dating. Remember how she tells the first three men she meets that she is a corporate lawyer? Do you remember how they were not interested in her at all? Then Miranda tells guys number four that she is a stewardess. Suddenly the guy is interested and asks her out on a date.  Interesting, right? Does this mean that guys are somehow scared of women in high-power jobs?

Here is what I think. We all know that women are breaking into the workforce and are even becoming more educated than men (meaning that more women than men go to college). Because of this, women are taking more challenging jobs that lead to higher paychecks. This then results, in some circumstances, in relationships in which the woman out earns the man. Some men have a hard time dealing with this.

While I think it is natural for a man to want to provide for his family more so than the wife, I don’t think that is the reality any more. So, in those marriages where a woman’s success results in divorce, I believe it is the man’s lack of confidence, not the woman’s success, the tears the marriage apart. Some men are too stuck in gender roles and the idea that they need to appear to be the bread-winner. For those men who are dating successful women, the marriage may just be a rocky one.

What do you think? Are you in a relationship where you out earn your man? Do you think women that are more successful than their man have a hard time staying in relationships? Do you think men should care less about the amount of money their woman makes and worry about the relationship itself?

Top 10 Reasons Employers Fire Their Employees

14 Mar

I have talked many times about how hard it is to get a job and how to put yourself in a better position to land the job you want. Today I was listening to a co-worker tell me a story about a friend that recently got fired for stealing money from the company. This got me thinking, what are the top reasons employers fire employees? Most of us out there are worried about getting jobs and making money, but what about when you get the job? What do you have to worry about and what things should you not be doing?

Now, I must admit that I have never really been fired from a job or laid off (not yet at least). And by “never really” I mean from any “real” job. There was one time when I worked in a small office position in college that I came in late to work because my class was let out late, and was let go as a result of not being on time. Sure, I guess you could say that was me being fired, but I don’t really count it because it was not a “real” job. Anyways, from that experience I can tell you that getting told not to come into work the next day sucks and is a major shot to your ego. So, I think I am 100% right  in saying that no one ever wants to get fired.

Most employees are considered to be employees-at-will, which basically means that they can be terminated for any reason so long as that reason is not illegal. What does this mean? It means that you cannot be fired for your race, gender, national origin, or sexual orientation. It does mean that you can be fired because you don’t dress appropriately, because you showed up late, or simply because they don’t like you.

Here are the top ten reasons people get fired:

  1. Consistently Being Late Or Calling In Sick.  When an employer hires you they do so because they want you at work. They are not paying you those six figures so you can sit at home and watch T.V. A lot of jobs have flexible hours and allow employees to come and go as they please as long as they get their work done, but there are other jobs and certain circumstances where punctuality is important. Imagine if you are a teacher and show up an hour late to work or if you are an executive but completely miss a big meeting. Surely none of those things would go over well with your boss. In addition to constantly being late, calling in sick all of the time when you really are not sick is a bad habit to get into. Employers are counting on you to be there every day, so calling in sick all of the time and at the last minute gives you a bad name and is a sure-fire way to make your employer mad.
  2. Lying On Your Job Application Or Resume. Generally employers require individuals to submit job applications and resumes so the employer can make sure that the employee is qualified for the position. Finding out that you lied on your application/resume and that you are not qualified to perform your job functions can definitely get you fired. While every beefs up their resume to look better, they do this with fluff words not actual lies. For example, you cannot state on your resume that you are a CPA when you took all the study courses but never took the test. Remember, honesty is always the best policy.
  3. Have Bad Personal Hygiene.  While it is sort of sad to say, those who don’t take care of themselves have a significantly higher chance of getting fired. Just imagine sitting next to someone who always smells like body odor, has greasy hair, and dresses poorly. Sure, not everyone has a lot of money, but most people can afford showers and decent clothes (even if they are from Kmart).
  4. Not Respecting The Chain of Command. The chain of command is there for a reason – so people have bosses who can give them advice and help them along and so there is order in the office. Trust that when you start working at a company that the chain of command has probably been in place for quite some time. While you may feel entitled to an opinion or smarter than your boss, it is never a good idea to overstep someone who is higher in the chain of command then you. Just as you are supposed to respect your elders you need to respect those in higher positions. When your manager runs to the CEO to tell him/her that you went above his head and did something, do you really think the CEO is going to pat you on the back?
  5. Saying Bad Things About Your Company/Co-Workers On Facebook/Twitter/Myspace.  Too often I see people use Facebook as a way to express their anger, feelings and opinions on certain situations. Sure, sometimes I use Facebook for those things too, but there is a time and a place for everything and posting something about your awful boss or company on Facebook is not a good thing to do EVER. Not only does this make you look like a complainer, but it will get around to those in your company (even if you aren’t friends with anyone from work on Facebook).
  6. Engaging in Unethical Conduct. Unethical conduct could mean a number of things. The best way to know if you are doing something “unethical” is to think about whether or not your mother would condone what you are doing. This may sound silly, but it works. Would your mother like that you are stealing money from your company, stealing clients and opening your own business, dating your subordinate, or being dishonest about something? I bet not. I am sure your mother raised you better than that. I have found that when people trust you and later find out that you were engaging in unethical conduct behind their backs, things will not go well for you in the end. At one of my old jobs, one of the higher-ups was caught dating his subordinate and when he left the company we found out about lies he had told and bad things he had done that ultimately hurt the company’s reputation. This resulted in friendships being broken and feelings getting hurt. From that experience I learned that it is always better to do the right thing.
  7. Personality Issues.  Many people often complain about that annoying co-worker who needs constant reassurance or who yells all of the time. The reason these people are complaining is because their personality does not mix well with the other’s. Sometimes this happens and it ultimately means that the working relationship, just as any other relationship, will not work out. (If I had to be fired for something I probably would rather this be the reason).
  8. Not Performing.  When you are hired and are given certain job duties, the employer expects you to perform those duties. If you slack off, produce bad work, or don’t meet expectations you can most certainly expect to get fired. In my opinion, it is always important to ask for feedback and to get a sense of how your employer thinks you are performing. Yes, the employer should be giving you periodic reviews, but if they don’t then you need to speak up and make sure everything is ok.
  9. Drug/Alcohol Use.  Most employers have a drug and alcohol policy. The reason for this is to ensure that you are not engaging in any sort of conduct that could ultimately get the company in trouble. Just as drinking and driving is not legal and permissible, drinking and negotiating and signing a contract is not permissible and your company most certainly won’t stand for it. If you have a substance abuse problem your best bet is to be open and honest with your employer and seek rehab.  
  10. Engaging In Sexual Harassment. Now-a-days people have different meanings for the term “sexual harassment” and that can cause problems. At my old job there were complaints from some women about a boss who commented on the fact that their hair looked nice one day and their jewelry was pretty. To me that is just silly, but there are a lot of different things that make different people uncomfortable. So, my policy is to never say anything too personal to anyone of the opposite sex, especially if you are a man talking to a woman and are in a higher position than the woman. Sexual harassment is serious and no employer wants to take a chance of being sued by the EEOC.