So I graduate in about two weeks; Thursday I got my first "big boy" job. Really excited about it, but I hear the boss is a bit of a jerk and likes to fire people for no real reason. Any tips for a young chap like myself on how to deal with a guy like this? I know not to go in there all cocky and full of myself, and to be respectful, but is there anything else I should know?
I suppose it depends on your job and your boss. If it is an entry-level job that doesnt require a lot of training, keep your head down and just avoid him. No one likes a suck-up. However, if it is a job that requires specialization, try to observe this boss covertly. Find out what might motivate him. I used to have a boss like that. He used to run bars and coffee shops, then decided he wanted to go into the private ambulance business (i guess he wasnt losing money fast enough). He used to hire and fire EMT's and Paramedics like fast food fry-cooks, and when my head came on the block i stared him down and told him that that model of employment doesnt work when your employees need specialized training and experience, as well as the fact that emergency services is a very small, insular community. Word gets around what he's doing, he wont be able to hire anyone. But, the moral is, don't compromise your own integrity, and keep an eye open for better opportunities. Keep in mind, it's just a stepping stone.
A word of warning...if you are looking for other opportunities, keep absolutely quiet until you are offered another job. Many bosses see it as disloyalty when you're looking. If you get an interview with a different employer, try to work with the prospective employer to schedule your interview on your day off. If you get another job offer, THEN you can give the customary two-weeks notice. And depending on the type of job you're currently doing (that might require some training), your current employer might give you a counteroffer. Never take a counteroffer. He's only buying himself more than the two weeks notice to find your replacement.
It is quite possible that what is described as being a "jerk" is merely a combination of high performance standards and a short fuze.
If this is your "first 'big boy' job," don't make the error of assuming the guy who approves your paycheck is a jerk, especially before you actually have worked for him. Also don't get yourself so wound up in your self-esteem that your ego is insulted by bluntness by the boss.
Thanks fella's. I start tomorrow. Wish me luck!
Here’s a book you might find worthwhile: Give and Take by Adam Grant (you can probably get it at your local library.) Below is the blurb from the front inside flyleaf:
“For generations we have focused on the individual drivers of success: passion, hard work, talent, and luck. But in today’s dramatically reconfigured world, success is increasingly dependent on how we interact with others. Give and Take illuminates what effective networking, collaboration, influence, negotiation, and leadership skills have in common.
Adam Grant, an award-winning researcher and Wharton’s highest-rated professor, examines the surprising forces that shape why some people rise to the top of the success ladder while others sink to the bottom. In professional interactions, it turns out that most people operate as either takers, matchers, or givers. Whereas takers strive to get as much as possible from others and matchers aim to trade evenly, givers are the rare breed of people who contribute to others without expecting anything in return.
Using his own groundbreaking studies, Grant reveals that these styles have a dramatic impact on success. Although some givers get exploited and burn out, the rest achieve extraordinary results across a wide range of industries. Combining cutting-edge evidence with captivating stories, this landmark book shows how one of America’s best networkers developed his connections: why the creative genius behind one of the most popular shows in television history toiled for years in anonymity; how a basketball executive responsible for multiple draft bursts transformed his franchise into a winner; and how we could have anticipated Enron’s demise four years before the company collapsed- without ever looking at a single number.
Praised by social scientists, business theorists, and corporate leaders, Give and Take opens up an approach to work, interactions, and productivity that is nothing short of revolutionary. This visionary approach to success has the power to transform not just individuals and groups but entire organizations and communities.”
Hope this helps Dylan, and good luck on the new job.
I'll have to keep an eye out for that!
Today was my first day, and I think it went okay. Everyone seemed pretty nice; and even though they through me in head first and I didn't really know what was going on, I still feel comfortable doing what I was doing.
No boss I've ever heard of can get away with firing people for no reason.
Their businesses would rapidly fail having to pay for severance packages for terminated personnel.
No, when bosses fire people, it is after specific behaviors, attitudes, actions and performances that are either thoroughly documented, or solidly witnessed by other employees.
So, when you hear reports of a boss firing people for 'no real reason', ask yourself who is giving you this report. They may just be a disgruntled employee who is under performing and may have received a "get your act together or your gone" speech.
Additionally, if you are receiving these reports from many employees, you may wish to seek other opportunities as it doesn't sound like a very good community to be part of.