Surviving the workplace isn’t rocket science, but there are a few tips to keep in mind that will save you a lot of trouble and frustration in the future. The workplace is probably one of the most important environments in our lives. We’re there most of the day and we need it for money.
- Be assertive. Learn to say “no” when you have to and stand your ground
- Perform well at your job, but avoid doing any extra work or any favors
- There is no room for emotional decisions and personal disputes
- Don’t be afraid to speak up and voice your opinion if you feel you have a good idea
- You don’t work for the manager or the boss. You all work for the company, together
I think ‘Dilbert’ will remain popular as long as employees are frustrated and they fear the consequences of complaining too loudly. ‘Dilbert’ is the designated voice of discontent for the workplace. I never planned it that way. It just happened.
– Scott Adams
Being assertive means taking responsibility and learning to say “no” when necessary. For example, if the boss asks you to come in tomorrow and you don’t want to, just say “no”. An explanation as to why you don’t want to is irrelevant. You don’t owe anyone an explanation for anything. Of course some people may get offended since they’re use to 90% of the employees being passive, but at the end of the day, you’ll gain respect. Chances are, they’ll begin to ask someone else other than you to come in early or stay late.
Most people feel uncomfortable flat out saying “no”. If you feel uncomfortable doing so, you can say “I’m not interested” or “you can count me out”. Never say something like “I can’t” because you’re not taking responsibility, you’re implying that an outside force is restricting you.
Avoid Extra Work
You were hired at your job under an agreement. You were offered a certain amount of money for a specific set of responsibilities. If more work if piled onto your load, that’s a violation of that agreement. You should not just passively accept that shi’t. Go ask for more money. If more money isn’t put on the table, then you have no obligations to do anything extra.
You are responsible however of making sure you don’t do any favors or work outside your title. Once that begins to happen, you will be expected to continue that behavior. If you suddenly stop doing the extra work, people will not like it. Remember, you work there to make money, not do any favors.
Truthfully. There isn’t any room for emotions in the workplace. If my manager asks me “how long until you get here” and I say “I don’t know”, chances are, they will not like my answer. Unfortunately, their question has no relevance. If I’m on my way there and they ask that, it won’t change the time of my arrival. People take things personally sometimes and look to get under your skin. Avoid that. Leave your personal life out of your work tasks.
Don’t purposely antagonize anyone because your mood changed based on their behavior. That doesn’t help anyone at the workplace, nor does it help your situation. Doing anything for your own personal psychological jollies gives no reward, but leaves room for risk. Think about that next time someone pisses you off at the workplace!
Voicing Your Opinion
Make sure you’re taken seriously. Establish firm communication. Make sure you make you’re clear and as direct as possible. Let your workplace know how you feel if there are any undesirable changes. Don’t go out of your way to complain, but voice a productive opinion when changes that effect you (directly or indirectly) happen. Don’t just passively agree with whatever the common consensus in the workplace is.
If you are a push over, no one will respect you in the workplace. If you voice out when you feel it’s necessary, people will think twice about their decisions that will effect you.
The Business is Boss
Under the current work ethics, there are managers, vice presidents, etc who believe in authority in the workforce. Unfortunately, that’s a dangerous mentality. No matter what position someone has, if they’re getting paid by the company in any way, they WORK for the company. Janitors, managers, assistants, vice presidents are all the same. They all work FOR the system with a different set of responsibilities.
The goal is for the business to run as efficiently as possible. In order for that to happen, there needs to be an understanding that EVERYONE needs to work together, not where the higher authority is. Once the ego gets involved, now it’s personal and has nothing to do with the success of the entity that pays everyone. The end is more important than the means.