Thursday, May 16, 2013

Do you suck to work with?

By: Amanda Barrell, Graphic Design and PR Assistant, CU Boulder Career Services

Do you have problems with working consistently for bad bosses or coworkers?  You’ve gone from job to job and yet, every position was poorly managed, unfairly biased, micromanaged, etc.  A bad boss can ruin your work experience, and you might have horrendous luck with your career. 

But if you’ve noticed a pattern of poor supervisors or experiences, maybe look beyond those possibilities and consider what you’re doing and how you can improve your attitude and your situation.  Taking some time to think about how you interact with your peers and superiors may lead you to an easier solution than getting fired or changing jobs. 

Learn to communicate (with everyone)!  Communication plays a huge role in any office setting, and aptly so, because it covers many different facets of work life. 

Don’t be passive-aggressive.  If you have a problem with your coworkers or your boss, talk to them about what’s bothering you.  Don’t assume they’re mind readers. If you don’t know how to express your frustrations, try writing out what your issue is, keeping in mind both sides of the conflict.  Or consult a third (unrelated) party to help you with phrasing. 

Don’t engage in office gossip.  Gossip is a nasty thing; it festers and gets under your skin, especially if you’re the subject of those rumors.  No one likes to be talked about behind their back, so even if you’re mad, or those rumors about Jill’s family life at home are true, stay out of it.  Gossipers will be seen as rude, catty and unprofessional.

Do offer to help out with tasks around the office.  If you notice Ben is swamped with incoming calls and you’re “busy” covertly Snapchatting with your BFF Jamie, lend a hand.  You’d be surprised how good deeds like that come back four-fold to you, whether it’s later in the job when YOU need help or as a reference when you’re being considered for a new position. 

Whether you’re starting a new job or working with a new group of coworkers, you’ll probably have to interact with people in some shape or another.  Team dynamics can get tricky to maneuver, especially when there are a lot of (sometimes polar opposite) personalities converging into one, relatively small space.  Above all, remember that it takes time to adjust to each person’s quirks and pet peeves in any new environment, so be forgiving.