1. Say NO when your boss asks you to clean the toilet We’ve all been there right? You’ve been desperately looking for work for over a year and you realize that you need a stop gap, something that won’t go on your resume but will bring in a few bucks, help pay the bills and almost as important : give you a place to go. So you take a low paying job as a server at a local coffee place down the road from your apartment. And you discover that low pay doesn’t mean less work or fewer hours. You are on your feet your entire shift and you quickly find out that lulls are not times for you to take the load off. In fact, you get savy and act super busy during lulls even if that means cleaning counters that are irreproachable and polishing sparkling glass. Low pay also means no defined job responsibilities. The owner of the place, who has left his cushy middle manager job with a big company, lured by the glam of entrepreneurship, asks you to clean the toilets. After all he’s paying you by the hour and if there are no customers in the shop, why can’t you clean the toilet?
Stand up for junior colleagues After you’ve been in the work force for – let’s say a while – and you’ve become the oldest person in the office, a sure way to get fired is to start questioning ethics when new or young colleagues are given the run around. When the job description is expanded and new hires now do work that two people used to, feeling compelled to speak up is a great way to get your boss upset with you. And get you fired.
3.Suggest that a cleaning lady be hired so that you can focus on your own work Yes, times are lean but surely its better for program staff to focus on program management and clients? After all, besides running the programs and meeting with a full load of clients, you have to plan and manage an event a month, meet with funders, monitor fiscal stability by maintaining and growing grant revenue, represent the organization at policy roundtables, be the press spokesperson – you get the picture. So its amply clear that you can’t be expected to take a bi-weekly shift to clean the kitchen and empty trash during your lunch hour. Right?
4. Encourage staff to eat during their lunch hour Call me old fashioned but I think its important to eat every so often. Yes, we often skip lunch when facing deadlines or when an important or new client can only meet at lunch time. But when internal staff meetings are regularly scheduled at lunch time without lunch being provided, that’s just plain bad management. And when staff are afraid of going out during their lunch break but surreptitiously swallow their lunch at their desks in ten minutes….
5. Wonder why there is no down time I’m not sure why but I’m under the impression that every job has busy periods, some crazy busy periods and then some lulls when you get a minute to clear your desk, catch a breath or make a phone call. Ha, ha…ha, ha, ha.
6. Assume you will get a second chance when you make a mistake I know, I know, this is America! Get things right the first time. There are no dress rehearsals here! It doesn’t matter that 90 % of the time your work is amazing and you go above and beyond. Because that one slip up, is your last.
7. Expect to do the job you were hired for This I’m told is a really common scenario. You read about a job that you’ve always wanted at a company that you are dying to work at. Say its advertised as Financial Officer. At the interview, you are told the role and responsibilities include book keeping, budgeting and financial management. You are so excited and can’t wait for your first day. You show up bright eyed, big smile on your face in your best suit and you find out that your title is Office manager and your first task is to order the office off supplies.