Hello SOTGC community,
If the title of this post sounds a bit familiar, it’s because it was inspired by two things. Obviously one of them being Emily Bennington’s book “Who Says It’s A Man’s World” and the other being the movie “How To Lose A Guy In 10 Dates” staring Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey where she picks a total catch (played by McConaughey) and in 10 dates she does EVERYTHING that a girl is NOT supposed to do (on purpose) during the beginning stages of a relationship. My favorite part was where she gives him a love fern on like their second or third date.
As I was reading the 7 things that you’re not supposed to do in the corporate environment (in the book it’s titled: “Seven ways to royally screw up your reputation”) I started thinking about funny situations that I’ve seen, been part of, or heard about, that go with each of these things…and if anyone has ever done them on purpose to try and get let go…kind of like Office Space style (yes…another movie reference).
Making Stupid Excuses: “But no one told me,” “But I never received guidance,” “But that’s not my job responsibility.” How many of us have heard co-workers (or even said these ourselves) to explain why a job or project wasn’t completed correctly or on time? In a world where everyone has computers with interoffice instant messaging, emails, cell phones, or even Twitter, if you don’t know the answer or are confused about a certain specification, then ASK. Asking for more information than maybe needed (as long as it’s pertinent and in line with the project or job at hand) is always preferable then assuming from the onset, and making excuses later. I’ve definitely seen a good amount of this, and some of the excuses I’ve heard regarding “after the fact actions” have made me think “HOW could you NOT know you couldn’t do that?”
Missing Deadlines: If you have aspirations to be promoted, or even entertain that idea as a possible career option, then don’t be the person that needs a reminder email, text, voicemail, and Facebook message about the deadline that is fast approaching, that you are no where near making on time. When I was an intern in a media department at an advertising agency they had classifications of “due dates” and “drop dead dates”…I’m guessing your career with that agency “dropped dead” if you missed that latter date…
Poor Meeting Prep: In the book the one sentence next to this is “Can we all quit sending review docs and slide decks 60 seconds before the meeting starts? Thanks.” HAHAHAHA!!! The opposite is just as annoying as well. I once found myself on a conference call PURELY for the purpose of talking about the NEXT call we were going to be having on this same topic.
Being Tit-For-Tat on Time and Money: There is no 9 – 5 job if you have hopes to get a promotion, or if you have a demanding career that deals with deadlines and client requests. If you look closely at the people in your company that have been promoted or are fast tracking themselves towards a promotion, it’s because they always put the “big picture” ahead of the “clock” and go above and beyond what is expected to ensure that the clients’ needs and deadlines at hand are always met. In sales you don’t really get “holidays” that others seem to get. I once drove up to an account where the parking lot was empty and texted some of my buddies that were doing their rotation through there. They responded with, “Um…it’s MLK Day!!” Oh…I guess that means I have to come back tomorrow then…and since that day I started keeping track of government holidays so I make sure not to waste time going to certain accounts on those days.
Unresponsiveness: Oftentimes people will email you regarding a request that has been sent in already, or that they are sending in for the first time. Once again, over communication is better than no response at all. So take the time to send something back, even if it’s just to let the sender know that you or your team received the request and it is being worked on. I do not, however, recommend sending said person a “minute by minute” update on every single step of the process…that might get annoying and the last thing you want is for your emails to start suddenly being filtered into the “spam” box.
Being the Center of Your Own Jokes: While having a good sense of humor and being able to laugh at certain situations is a positive in business, if you make yourself the brunt of the jokes, you cannot expect others to take you seriously when it’s time to request that promotion. There is a difference between “telling a joke” and being the “subject of the joke.” I also don’t suggest making your co-workers and the events in their lives the brunt of your jokes. I’ve found the hard way that there is a thin line between lighthearted fun, and just seeming to be mean.
Missing the Small Stuff: Have you ever head that expression “the devil’s in the details”…? If you think the small things don’t matter, then you’re missing out on some great opportunities to set yourself apart from your competition when going for that promotion, landing that big client, or showing your current clients what a high level of customer service you uphold. One the best ways to show this is when something goes wrong, that was not your doing and might not even fall in the realm of “your job responsibilities,” and yet you take ownership of working with the client and your internal office to make it right.
So there you have it folks. Some great advice from “Who Says It’s A Man’s World” about what NOT to do if you want to move up in your company.