Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Work Hard And Hope Your Boss Is A Good Mountain Climber

Last week I had writers block and I asked the people who follow me on Twitter to help with some questions about networking, marketing, sales, career development, etc....

I received a lot questions via Twitter, Twitter DM and email. Thus writers block is now gone and I have plenty of topics.

The second question is below. As I write these posts over the next week I am not going to site the persons who asked the questions, as some many not want their identity exposed (a few came by direct message with a request not to use their name):

With the problems in the economy I am worried about my job, and I have a co-worker I feel is undermining me in the eyes of my boss. What can I do?

Ouch. This is a tough one.

I think that many people are worried about job security in the current economic situation. Many whom I talk to feel like their future is out of their control and their fear of the "what if's" are center stage right now.

All anyone can do is to work hard and do the best job that they can, and hope that their co-workers and superiors respect the efforts they make to advance the company's cause. The person who sent me the above question did not specify the type of role they play in their company, but regardless of job description, she should make sure that she is supporting the common good of the company.

Hard work is no guarantee against getting laid off, but if you do the best you can, then no matter what happens you will always feel good about yourself.

As for believing a co-worker is harming her reputation, I have seen this happen before in companies where I worked earlier in my career. Some people react to the touch economic situation by trying to "mark their territory". Often they do this by attempting to make themselves appear more important to the company by marginalizing the contributions of others.

Again, all you can do is work hard at what you do best for your company. I believe most people are not taken in by such tactics if they are engaged in the running of their departments. They understand the contributions that their people make, and frown on those who do not support their co-workers efforts.

Consider this (I love this analogy, but do not remember where I heard it):

Is you boss in the valley, on the hillside, or on the hilltop? Where they stand on the mountain will effect their perception when asked if the sun has risen. A boss in the valley will say "no". A boss on the hillside will say "I think the sun will be up soon". But a manager who is standing firmly on top of the mountain will say "yes, the sun is shining very brightly!!!"

An individual's perception is their reality. I hope her boss has reached the top of the mountain!

Have A Great Day.


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