"piss off your boss"

3 Ways to Piss Your Boss Off

In their career, nearly everyone answers to someone.   Many things are changeable in the working world, but having a boss isn’t one of them.  If you must have a boss, it is recommended that you don’t piss them off.

Though, it’s easier said than done. From the first time you clock in to your last day of work, someone, somewhere has oversight of you.

Looking at a traditional employee-manager relationship, what are some common mistakes that prevent you from getting along with your boss?

Below are three common habits to avoid.

"piss off your boss"

1. Do Someone Else’s Job.  We hear and see a lot of words about going the extra mile, being part of a team, capitalizing on our strengths, etc.

But in practice, if you frequently come to your boss with “here’s how I would do this better,” you risk appearing puffed up or back-stabbing.

You also risk your boss wondering how much time and thought you’re putting into your own actual job.

  • If you are the social media manager, read the room before taking it upon yourself to write a better draft of an internal communication you think your MarComm colleague could’ve done better.
  • If your management peer is hiring for a role that will not report to you, it may be best to refrain from pushing your own candidate into the mix if signals from HR say “back off.”

If your boss asks you to assist on a project, contribute an idea or piece of expertise, or support a struggling co-worker, great. If you volunteer such things unasked and your boss takes you up on it, even better.

But don’t fall into the trap of appearing to constantly step on others’ toes or into their territory. It may leave your boss wondering about your career motivations.

Also, it will have them question your time management skills.

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2. Be Defensive Towards Feedback Instead of Receptive.  If you’ve ever had a restaurant kitchen mess up your order, you may know the itching irritation of an excuse rather than a straightforward, “I’ll get that taken care of.” Just as for an overdone steak, so for your relationship with your boss.

Whether your boss is bringing an oversight to your attention, or asking you to work on a difficult skill, one of the best habits you can learn is to hear them out.

Take in the information in an open-minded manner.  Regardless of whether you’re offended, don’t fight fire with fire.

In most cases, pushing back to justifying yourself is ineffective for your long-term career success.

Why?  Doing so challenges authority and pisses off any boss.

This is not to say be a doormat or yes your boss to death. On the contrary: deciding when and how to justify yourself is one of the main hallmarks of assertive communication at work.

Try to assume positive intent.  When your boss mentions an area of work improvement, you put yourself in a stronger place when you appear receptive to the feedback rather than defensive.

pissed off worker

3. Resist Change at Work.  Reliability is good. Complacency is bad. If you’re hired because you were the job candidate with the strongest consultative sales track record, you don’t suddenly change your entire sales style on day one of the job. If it ain’t broke…

But staying stuck in one way of doing something, or being resistant to a new way your team is taught to handle something (client communications, perhaps) wins you no friends.

When your boss implements a change, the surest way to piss them off is to resist change.  That includes giving it a half-hearted stab, then throwing your hands in the air in frustration.

Learn to change or your career will suffer from a pissed off boss.  The ability to learn and change has been an asset since the first time an ancient human ancestor decided to try coming down out of the trees.

You don’t want to be the one on your team who’s stuck in the high branches because it seems to daunting to find a way down.  You’ll just get left behind.

This is not an apology or an excuse of an ineffective, unprofessional boss. If your boss aggressively attacks you as a person, no amount of receptiveness on your end is going to make that right.

If your boss constantly saddles you with others’ work to the point that you can’t do your job, the problem isn’t you.

But in a context of professional behavior and positive intentions, you will always do yourself a favor by cutting down on the above-three tendencies, if you have them. Your boss, and your work quality, will thank you.

interviewing

3 Things I Suggest You Do While Interviewing

3 Things I Suggest You Do While Interviewing

1.) Slow Down Your Interviewing 

When you’re interviewing, you may feel as though every statement out of your mouth is being judged and criticized to the highest extent, leaving you to talk a mile a minute, hoping that if your last sentence wouldn’t win an Emmy nomination, the next one will make up for it.

The truth is, when interviewing and in life, it’s about what you say, not how much you can fit into a 30 minute conversation.

While filling the discussion with small talk about your dog or the weather won’t convince the interviewer you’re right for the job, a few solid, relevant points will show you’re a capable, confident candidate.

Also, from a behavioral interviewing standpoint, it will show you are a job seeker who isn’t intimidated by a simple conversation.

2.) Tell The Truth

Words that are written on your resume can act as a metaphorical “gatekeeper.” While those words can allow you to get to the first round of interviews, it’s really only about 25% of what makes an interview process successful.

Culture fit plays a huge role in not only interviewing, but whether you’d be happy at the company once you get the job.

You may think an interview should consist of feeding the interviewer what they want to hear.   In reality, being your natural self and having a mutual discussion will allow the company to understand your true strengths and weaknesses.

Then, if you do meet enough criteria and they do want to bring you on, it will allow them to assess how they can provide career training in an effective, mutually beneficial way.

career applicants interviewing

3.) Listen (It’s Harder Than You Think)

It’s very common to have been raised by the notion that you should always think about what you’re going to say before you say it.

Obviously, in a lot of cases this is true and can keep us all out of trouble, but it often leads people to forfeit active listening in order to plan their next move.

There’s nothing wrong with taking a few seconds after a question to think of a natural, thoughtful response.

In fact, I bet the interviewer with be thankful to receive a relevant response, as opposed to another cookie cutter answer that sounds good out of context, but in the end leaves both parties a little bit lost.