Career Advice

The 8 Rude “Animal” Types of Bosses

hippo eating food with teeth exposed

Ever work with someone who hogs all the credit? Or a parrot who never seems to have an original idea? I bet you can think of a few people who act more like zoo animals than the professionals they are supposed to be. And if you work in an environment with these types of characters, then you know that rudeness spreads like a contagion.

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You Are An Executive (You Just Don’t Know It Yet)

She said I had an “executive presence.” This was coming from the VP of a product team I worked on early in my career. And she told me I only needed to speak up a bit more and earn a few gray hairs — then, I could become a real executive. Was this a back-handed compliment?

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Sorry, Boss — But Your Apology Stinks

bad dog made a mess in the kitchen

It should be simple. But there are many ways to screw up a perfectly good apology. There is the over-apology — as if saying “I’m really, really sorry” carries more weight. There is the knee-jerk, insincere “sorry!” that does not ring true. Perhaps the worst is the non-apology, which begins “I’m sorry, but….” and ends with a finger pointing at someone else.

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12 Questions Smart Marketers Ask to Find the Perfect Job

sheep looking up from the herd

Corporate. In one word that was my workplace culture three years ago. I was working at a top 10 SaaS company, supporting $400 million in annual revenue. We were big in every sense of the word. I should have been happy, right?
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Please Do Not Send a Cover Letter Like This

fish swimming upstream

I am often surprised by what people choose to send as cover letters. Typos, broken links, and rambling emails. I also see messages like this one: “I was looking for work-from-home opportunities and I came across your company. Below is a copy of my resume. Please let me know if you have anything available.”

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You Are Bored at Work — Go Ahead and Admit It

giant panda eating bamboo shoots

Are you allergic to boredom? If you like achieving I will bet you are. There is always something new to learn and do. But no matter how busy you are sometimes the boredom lingers. It is a real feeling, even though we do not always express it. Sound familiar?

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Is “Good Enough” Really Good Enough for You?

Orangutan-sitting-near-log-thinking

Think back to your high school years. Remember that one kid who just seemed to have “it”? The classmate who everyone was sure would be a great success. Mine was smart and well-liked. He was a great athlete too. Let’s call him Stan to protect his identity. Stan talked a lot about his big plans.

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What Is Your Career Sentence?

Person-with-red-umbrella-walking-in-snow

What do you want out of your career? Think beyond job titles and salary. Focus on the overarching vision for your professional life — the work that is going to make you happy and fulfilled. Now, describe that vision in just a few words. Not so easy, right? 

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There Is a Bear Hibernating in Your Office

Bear laying in snow with paws over eyes

Let me set the scene. It is sometime after noon. The hypnotic hum of fluorescent lights, the drone of hushed conversations, the rhythmic tapping of keys. The thermostat nudged up to a cozy 75 degrees. Row after row of glowing screens. ZZZzzzzz……

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Hey Boss: You Are Wasting My Time

frustrated product manager reacting to email

I once worked for a boss who had a Ph.D. in time-wasting. This person’s signature move? Pointless meetings. I would spend my days shuffling from one to the next. Few were productive. Most made me feel frustrated. And the more invites I received, the longer my to-do list grew. I finally realized that we were doing his work at the meetings and with the follow-up tasks. 

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4 Words That Make Hiring Managers Cringe

foosball game table with rusted bars

I really cannot think of a company that wants to hire a jack-of-all-trades. I learned this the hard way early in my career when I was speaking with the VP of the group at a company where I was interviewing. I told him that I had done a bit of everything at the marketing consulting firm I worked at in Chicago. He smiled a sly smile.

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Your Toxic Boss Gets Promoted — What About You?

squirrels fighting in a field

Ever had a bad boss who seemed to fool everybody? I am sure you have. You know the type. They fire off indiscernible last-minute requests. Play favorites. And take sole credit for the team’s efforts. But here is the most frustrating part — they keep getting promoted. And that hurts. 

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I Never Had a Boss Who Said “I Am Sorry”

dog licking orange cat

There was the boss who yelled at me for doing what she asked. There was the CEO who threatened my career when I told him that I was leaving for a new company and a major promotion. If you work long enough, at some point you will encounter people who treat you poorly — out of malice or just plain ignorance.

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How to Outsmart the Snake in Your Office

corn snake coiled on rock

Do you suffer from ophidiophobia? It is a common phobia — the fear of snakes. Before you answer “no” take a moment to think. Because although you might not be afraid of a harmless garter variety, you may be alarmed by an unusual specimen found in many workplaces: the office snake.

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You Are Not “Human Capital”

row of mannequins

There is probably no workplace department more maligned in popular culture than human resources. Remember Catbert from the Dilbert cartoons? What about the laughably dull corporate trainings given by Toby Flenderson from “The Office”? It seems HR is an easy target for comedy.
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