When it comes to workplace sexual harassment, no one should seek to be a harasshole. But there is something harassholes often do that betches should make a practice—that is, documenting all workplace sexual harassment and how your employer handles it.
Harassholes keep score on who gets passes for inappropriate behavior because the information may give them leverage when an employer tries to hold them accountable for sexual harassment while allowing other harassholes to run amuck.
Case in point: the audacious lawsuit hockey analyst Jeremy Roenick filed in New York on Friday against his former employer, NBC.
Here’s the gist: Way back in December 2019, before COVID terrorized us all, Roenick went on a “cheeky” Barstool Sports podcast as a guest. While on the podcast, the 50-year-old offered off-color commentary on his NBC co-host’s “ass and boobs” before explaining how he led strangers to believe he was having a threesome with his wife and co-host. Real professional, right?
After suspending Roenick for a few months, NBC fired him in February 2020. Now the hockey star is suing the network, claiming NBC discriminated against him as a heterosexual man.
According to Roenick, NBC didn’t punish a gay figure-skating analyst who made sexualized—albeit scripted—comments about his co-host while the two were acting together in a parody promotional video. Roenick says, when he brought the matter to an NBC exec, he was told that the analyst “is gay and can say whatever.”
Yes, there’s a lot to unpack there, but don’t get distracted. Roenick’s basically saying NBC should have given him a pass on his filthy remarks about his co-host because the network gave another man a pass.
When you’re done rolling your eyes at Roenick’s audacity, let’s discuss the ever-so important takeaway from his case: when it comes to workplace sexual harassment, betches need to document, document, document.
Documenting sexual harassment you and your colleagues experience, and your employer’s response to the harassment, is among the most effective ways you can maintain the upper hand should things go south and you need to fight your employer for failing to enforce the rules.
Let me explain.
Employers say they’re anti-discrimination, claiming they consistently enforce the rules by punishing harassholes, their popularity or your unpopularity notwithstanding. In reality, employers also give passes to people they like, creating a host of problems for everyone. The unfairness of it all gives rise to discrimination lawsuits—that is, if there’s documentation showing the employer is not enforcing its rules.
By “documentation” I mean “What is written down, printed, recorded, photocopied, saved? What do you have to support your account about your experiences?”
Sure, you may remember details well and never lose your car keys. But when it comes to workplace sexual harassment, it’s still best to have documentation because memories fade and documents are harder to manipulate. Also, while your word may be good enough for your mom, the patriarchy makes a woman’s word a hard sell more than half the time.
That’s why you document your version of the events with notes about encounters, dated-diary entries about conversations, text message chains and photos saved to the clou,; PDF copies of emails, papers, and websites, and so on. You hold onto anything that provides enough detail to refresh your recollection of the events should things go off the rails down the line and you need to back up your word should it be put to the test.
Harassholes and shady employers unapologetically lie and suddenly lose documents. You must be prepared.
…much like Roenick, whose ten-year tenure at NBC is over, to his complete and utter surprise. That’s right—the former hockey gawd never saw it coming, as he insists his firing is one of the “biggest raw deals of all time.” (Who knew you could lose your job for gratuitously sexualizing your co-worker’s anatomy on a popular podcast and bragging about misleading others into thinking you’re intimately throupled with her and your spouse?)
Despite the supposed blindsiding, Roenick had the wherewithal to document how his employer treated him and others who acted up, giving him fodder for a lawsuit that may or may not end with Roenick taking home a settlement check.
You, too, should be boldly protecting your professional interests should your employer act up or let harassholes run amok, as documentation can make or break your future.
Adrienne Lawrence is an on-air legal analyst and the author of Staying in the Game: The Playbook for Beating Workplace Sexual Harassment (TarcherPerigee, 2020). Lawrence has contributed her insight on workplace sexual harassment for outlets such as the Harvard Business Review and NPR. Follow her on Twitter @AdrienneLaw and IG @AdrienneLawrence.
Images: Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
In addition to dealing with a global pandemic and basically having to buy toilet paper and Clorox wipes off the black market, millions of people are currently filing for unemployment. As much as I’m thrilled that non-essential employees are staying home and know it’s beyond necessary right now, it means mass layoffs and furloughs. Depressing, right? And I thought the saddest thing I was going to see this week was Peter Weber’s TikToks.
If you are out of a job due to the pandemic—for one, I’m SO sorry. But, you’ve come to the right place. As much as I want everyone’s quarantine “job” to be watching Netflix and eating Ben & Jerry’s, rent and bills are, unfortunately, still a thing. And if you live in San Francisco like me, rent is a very big thing even though you would never guess from the size of my apartment.
I am the first one to acknowledge that what’s going on in the world right now is freaking hard. I mean, it’s a literal pandemic. And as much as I’m hoping I make you laugh with my (attempt at) jokes while giving sound career advice throughout this post, I know that if you lost your job, that must be super hard. I can’t imagine the stress and anxiety that this situation is causing millions. That being said, I don’t want a situation that we cannot control to stop anyone from getting their next career opportunity, if that’s where your head is at.
Just because we’re all pulling a full-on Rapunzel and locking ourselves away in our houses for the foreseeable future, does not mean that you cannot make moves to work towards getting a job. And lucky for you, your biggest decision today would have probably been whether to watch TV in the bedroom or the living room—so you’ve got some time on your hands. Here’s what you can do right now if you were just laid off.
Update Your Resume
You’ll hear any career experts say it time and time again: update your resume! I know it seems like a chore to write down your accomplishments, but you never know how soon you’ll get your next job interview. (And, again, what else are you doing?) So take off the quarantine goggles that are telling you to simply drink wine and watch Real Housewives all day and get to work.
You might be thinking, “I was never laid off before, how do I frame that in my resume?!” Well, look—I’m sure there are a ton of correct answers to how you could put this in your resume, but I think you could handle this in two different ways. I’m of the belief that when applying for a job, it’s actually a positive when a company realizes you are unemployed for a reason out of your control. That indicates that your performance is still great.
So I don’t think it hurts to put a small italic note at the bottom of your most current experience that says *Laid off due to COVID-19 or however you want to phrase it, and then secondly, when you do apply (yes, surprise, I’m recommending still applying for jobs), you can follow up in your cover letter reiterating this.
File For Unemployment
If you are out of work due to the pandemic, don’t forget to try and file for unemployment. I’ve seen on the news lately that it is extremely difficult to get through to unemployment offices right now, so even though the millions of Americans who are out of work should get this benefit, it doesn’t sound as easy as it should be.
In doing a few quick Google searches about how to file for unemployment, I learned that the benefit is provided by the state. So, when you Google to find out more, make sure you’re checking directions for your state specifically. It looks like each state has their own website, where you can see how you can file (ie phone, online, fax—but who has a fax anymore?!).
When you do decide to file, make sure you have the appropriate documentation and information ready. I’ve heard it’s hard to get through (either with the website crashing, or not getting through to the phone lines), so I don’t want you to miss your chance when you finally do get someone on the phone.
Good luck on this one. It sounds like a super difficult (and potentially frustrating) process, but despite that, it absolutely doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. You might even want to come up with a strategy to try to get through faster, like setting alarms and logging onto websites at off hours. The outcome is some income, and it is definitely worth the wait for that (and some states, like New York, will pay out retroactively to account for how difficult it is to get through to the unemployment office).
Learn A New Skill
From Zoom happy hours to trying to figure out how to actually cook myself meals, I know quarantine can seem busy. But wouldn’t it be cool if you came out of it with a new skill you could market to employers? Lots of colleges and other places are offering free online classes, and it’s the perfect time to get that certification you’ve had your eye on for years. When else will so many digital things be free? Probably never, that’s when.
This might not only pass the time—it could also beef up your resume. Especially if there’s some sort of skill or course you need for the new type of job you want—this could be a good time. Maybe you’ll even discover a new passion and turn into one of those people you see in commercials who started a tiny business out of their kitchen and is now a millionaire. Don’t forget about me when you’re famous, ok!?
Regardless of the pandemic, I’ll always vouch for networking. You never know when someone will refer you directly to their company, which is a whole lot more powerful than applying online.
As we said before, it seems like, over everything, many people (not all, but many) have time right now! Also, I imagine a lot of people would be open to talking about something other than the world falling apart right now. You could probably find a lot of people who are open to a phone conversation nowadays. I’m always a big fan of reaching out via LinkedIn, or even guessing someone’s email address at a company. Who knows, maybe they’ll be a great contact.
When you are networking, remember, this layoff is not about you or your performance, so don’t let it seep into your confidence.
One tip: Be mindful of how you network. Maybe do a quick Google search of the company before you reach out to make sure there weren’t mass layoffs there too. The last thing you want to do is come off tone-deaf, but I think if you phrase it in a respectful way, you’ll be gucci.
Apply For Jobs
When I’ve seen people online talk about getting laid off during this time, it’s usually paired with something like, “and I can’t apply for new jobs right now”. It probably is an extremely competitive time to try and find a new job, since so many people became unemployed all at the same time and many companies are not hiring.
The notion I want to clear up, though, is there are still some companies that are hiring. Not all, but some. Some industries are absolutely struggling right now, that’s no secret, but there’s a whole slew that aren’t.
I’m going to tell you a little secret. There’s a website (it’s all user-generated, so take it with a grain of salt): Candor.co/hiring-freezes/ that has listed over four thousand companies’ hiring statuses. You can use this site as a starting point for those who still have job open to whittle some down.
Most importantly, I don’t think it hurts to apply and try to interview—because what’s the risk at that point? You’ll watch one less episode of Gossip Girl today? Worst-case scenario, you practice interviewing for when this is all over. Best-case? You’re employed.
That’s all folks, thanks for coming to my TedTalk. If anything, I hope this post inspires you to take your career into your own hands and start taking action before the pandemic is over, because honestly, I’m not good for much else right now.
Images: Emma Matthews Digital Content Production / Unsplash
For millennials and Gen-Zers, the COVID-19 pandemic is the most intense economic and social crisis we have faced in our lifetime. At first not everyone was taking it seriously (and some spring breakers in Florida still aren’t) but as things have gotten exponentially worse in such a short time, we are all faced with a new reality. And that reality looks a hell of lot like working from home for an undefined time period, if you are lucky enough to be able to do so.
Working from home for a couple days here or there is completely different from WFH indefinitely, which is sadly what the future holds right now. That fact in and of itself can be demotivating, so here are a few tips of how to stay motivated and productive when you’re stuck working from home.
Since you can’t go over to someone’s desk to talk to them like in the good old days, chances are you’re relying on a chat service like Slack to interact with your coworkers, or at a bare minimum, email. Think of all those little convos you have at work that aren’t necessarily meetings, but still are about projects you’re working on, like the quick unplanned touch base you and your work wife have as you make avocado toast in the office kitchen. Keep those convos alive—emails or Slack messages don’t all have to be super formal requests. Letting people know what you are working on and just providing status updates also helps motivate others because let’s be real, even in the office we can’t help but to think sometimes “WTF is that person even doing?” is they’re not Slacking you back immediately. But don’t just limit this to some people—keep your team and your manager informed.
Be Empathetic To Your Coworkers
If there was a time to be good f*cking coworker, this is it. Everyone deals with stress and anxiety differently, and this is a highly stressful time. There also tons of different work from home situations that make things even stressful, like parents who are now home with their children, someone who lives alone and is struggling, or those people who now find themselves trying to have a conference call at the same time as their S.O. Now more than ever, you don’t know what people are dealing with, so before you send that aggressive Slack, think for an extra second.
Encourage Non-Working Ways Of Staying Connected
If you’re lucky enough to consider (some of) your coworkers your friends, that means you just went from seeing them all day every day to literally not at all. In the time of WFH, not everything has to be strictly business—get a virtual happy hour going through programs like Airtime, Zoom, or House Party, because let’s be real, you’re all looking for an excuse to start drinking at 4:30pm anyway.
Conduct Business As Usual
Don’t operate under the assumption that projects or conversations can wait until you’re back at work, since we legit have no idea when that will be. You don’t want to be the one person slacking off only to realize your entire team is operating status quo. Stay on top of your sh*t, create and maintain deadlines, and keep projects flowing. Despite this being a beyond hectic time, business as usual must continue to keep operations carrying on as seamlessly as possible.
Create Structure Around Your Day
If you used to work out before work, keep it up. If you used to work out after work, don’t stop just because you’ve spent all day inside. We all know it’s a hell of lot less motivating working out in the same space you’re spending all of your time in, so encourage yourself by taking an at-home workout class. We put together a list of 16 fitness apps and studios that are offering their home workout services online for free—check them out here. You’re welcome.
Take A Damn Shower & Change Out Of Your Pajamas
We’re not saying to take this as far as wearing jeans, but take a shower and put on some real clothes (and by real clothes we mean leggings and maybe a bra). We’ll take whatever hack we can to stay focused and feel like a real person during this extended WFH period and we guarantee the better you feel, the better you’re going to do at your job.
Images: Sincerely Media / Unsplash; @betches (2), @fatcarriebradshaw, @sarafcarter / Instagram
With the amount of time we spend at work each day, it’s no wonder that a boss can make or break the experience. It’s been said that people leave bosses rather than jobs, and the statistics back this up. According to a recent study, 60% of employees surveyed left or were considering leaving a job because of their direct supervisor. While it’s rare to have a perfectly ideal manager, there are certain characteristics that may indicate you are dealing with a truly toxic boss . As someone who has had experience with more than one veritable nightmare of a human being challenging boss, I can personally attest to how all-consuming such a negative experience can be. Because I’m such a selfless person, I’ve come up with a list of common toxic boss traits as well as strategies to survive these monsters while deciding on next steps.
Sign #1: The Work Environment Palpably Shifts
Before your new boss, work was a sort of bearable pleasant place to be. But now the environment has changed sharply and suddenly. The way this change takes effect can differ, ranging from more overt behavior like yelling and disparaging employees, to more subtle behavior like an intensity that causes the whole department to feel stressed where they once felt comfortable and at ease. The key is that the environment has changed for the negative.
Sign #2: Micromanaging Becomes The Rule
This one can be infuriating. Despite all of your efforts to date, your boss can’t help but insert themself into tasks that you’re more than capable of completing and feels compelled to tell you how to do them. No matter how glowing your track record, a micromanager won’t be able to rise above their own insecurity and trust you to do your job, because they need to feel like they aren’t an insecure shell of a person important and call the shots.
Sign #3: Admitting They’re Wrong Is An Allergy
A toxic boss is incapable of acknowledging they are a human being who, like the rest of us, makes mistakes. Instead, he or she will gloss over their own errors, despite practically foaming at the mouth when it’s time to point out yours. The rules don’t seem to apply to them and they present themselves as almighty and infallible. In other words, they’re really fun at parties.
Sign #4: They Only Look Out for Number One
Instead of cultivating a respectful and mutually beneficial relationship with those who report to them, toxic bosses are only interested in making themselves look good. You only exist as an extension of them, and they treat you like a minion rather than a colleague. They’re only interested in having you validate their existence rather than help you with your career. Hierarchy is very important to this kind of boss and they won’t let you forget it. Some may even go so far as to take credit for your work.
Sign #5: Resistance Is Futile
A good boss can take constructive feedback and internalize it. A toxic boss is incapable of doing this. No matter how articulately you express yourself, any criticism or pushback, however valid, is viewed as an attack and this kind of boss can’t hear it. In fact, when you do try and share a differing view, they may punish you later in an attempt to reassert their power. Reasoning with this type of boss is about as fruitful as reasoning with a toddler. Now, let’s get on to some useful strategies for dealing with these toxic bosses.
Strategy #1: Attempt An Honest Conversation
Admittedly, this might not be possible with certain bosses, especially those who shut down in the face of feedback. But if your boss has a glimmer of humanity, it might be worth trying to suss out the root of the disconnect, if only to bolster your argument later that you tried everything in your power to address the issue professionally and without outside intervention. It may even take several conversations, but if you can get an open dialogue going and your boss is willing to try to improve the relationship, it can pay dividends down the road.
Strategy #2: Mind The Patterns & Play The Game
After enough frustrating interactions, you will likely be able to see patterns in the way your boss likes things done or reacts to certain behaviors. For example, if you’re dealing with a typical narcissist, you can make them feel needed and validated and, therefore, less threatened by you, allowing you more space to do your job. It can be a tough pill to swallow at first, especially if you’re anything like me and hate being superficial with people. But think of it as something you are doing for yourself and your own well-being, rather than for your boss.
Strategy #3. Seek Out A Support Network
Unless you’re dealing with a true psychopath, there’s a good chance you are not the sole target of your boss’ treacherous behavior. Don’t be afraid to confide in coworkers that you trust and rally around your colleagues when things are difficult. The camaraderie reminds you that you are not alone, making you less likely to spiral into a dark place. This can even be an opportunity to bond with coworkers you weren’t as close with before the toxic boss. Nothing unites people more than a common enemy and you may even be able to find some humor in your boss’ fugly haircut the situation as a means of relief.
Strategy #4: Go Outside Of Your Department
If the previous methods aren’t working or are simply impossible, it’s time to look to outside resources for support. In most cases, this will be the company’s HR department. While very few HR departments operate swiftly and effectively, the company should be aware and on notice of what is going on with your boss so it can be dealt with appropriately. It’s also good to have a record in the event you are terminated and believe it was retaliatory. If your company doesn’t have an HR department, confide in a colleague you trust who is at a comparable or higher level than your boss. He or she may have some insight or can serve as an ally later on if needed.
Strategy #5: Start Looking Elsewhere
A toxic boss can wreak havoc on your mental health, and no job is worth paying that price. If the situation is untenable, leaving may be the only option. Of course, most of us are not Kylie Jenner and can’t afford to just up and quit our jobs. Put a plan in place that allows you to work toward leaving as soon as it’s feasible—start looking at other opportunities and networking, set a reasonable deadline, and see what other levers you may be able to pull in the meantime. If the situation is really dire and you have to get out, assess your finances to see if you can rely on savings for a while and/or talk to your parents, partner, or other loved ones to see if some interim financial support is possible while you look for a new job.
If you’re currently saddled with a toxic boss, you’re far from alone. Know your value, never waver from it and don’t allow an insecure and likely deeply unhappy person to make you feel less than capable. At the very least, navigating this situation will teach you some valuable lessons about how to be a leader and show you what you should not do when you are a manager. Because evil comes in many forms, I know I didn’t touch on every toxic trait and coping strategy. Share your horror stories and solutions in the comments!
Images: Shutterstock; Giphy (5); whenshappyhr (3) / Instagram
Writing emails at work is probably one of those things you do every day without even thinking about it. Yet, if you’ve ever had a coworker say something embarrassing on an accidental “reply all”, you can quickly be reminded that the everyday act of emailing can quickly end your career.
Professional emails can be serious business. As much as you might want to fill your email with gifs, memes, and anything that reminds your office that yes, you are a millennial, having a job also means to need to show some sort of resemblance of professionalism. (If only your coworkers saw what you are planning on wearing to Coachella.)
Now, all office cultures are certainly different. I still believe that as a whole, if us boss betches want to be taken seriously (which we do, and we should be), we NEED to stay professional at work. I’m not saying don’t get a little loosey-goosey at your company’s holiday party. Go to town. Do some karaoke with your CEO at a happy hour. I support you.
But all in all, we should follow some basic rules to work emails. Here are five things you should never put in a professional email.
I have a problem where I abbreviate literally everything in my life. Just ask my boyfriend. He can hardly understand what I’m saying.
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At work, limit those amazing abbreviations that keep your hands from getting carpal tunnel to a minimum. Your boss probably isn’t writing you notes that say, “SOS, TBH I need HH”, so you shouldn’t either. Write for the job you want, not the job you have, amiright!?
2. Sh*t Tons of Exclamation Points
I’ll be totally honest, my text messages to my friends look like I am yelling at all times. I use more exclamation points and emojis than I can count. What can I say, I am an excitable person.
But at work, keep your exclamations to a minimum. It comes off junior and unprofessional. It may seem totally foreign to literally put a period at the end of a sentence (because if we texted, “Okay.” everyone would think we were pissed), but it’s the reality. If you do want to put an exclamation point in an email, because it’s something REALLY exciting, put one. Just one.
3. Long-Winded Explanations
I heard the best piece of advice: pretend every email you write is being read on a phone. So fit your content into what someone could read in the screen of their phone.
If you have a lot to say, try holding a meeting. I know the idea of face-to-face communication is probably a horrifying suggestion at this point in our tech-savvy world, but do it. It’ll make a huge difference. You’ll lose any opportunity for miscommunication and probably get more done.
Look, I love a little office gossip as much as the next person, but if you are going to talk sh*t at work…KEEP IT OUT OF WRITING. Even a ping.
I’m going to tell you a little secret. Most companies (not all, but a lot) will track your keystrokes. If you are using a work computer, they probably know all of the crap you are saying. So if you are complaining, writing an email (even to a friend) with something you wouldn’t want your boss to read—don’t do it. Go get a drink and tell your friends all your juicy news then.
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There’s also the reply-all issue. Have you ever gotten an email about you, to you? I have. It f*cking sucks. But it’s also unprofessional AF. Make your life easier and keep the gossip out of anything that can be read later on. You’ll thank me later.
Similar to gossip, your work email is not the place to complain to your boss, bitch about your job to your friend, or talk about how overworked you are. Remember that whole reply-all thing? Or the little keystroke monitoring? If you are in a company email, the company PROBABLY has access to your email. Don’t put yourself at risk just because you are dying to complain.
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Although emails are something we are probably doing day in and day out, take these tips into consideration next time you are emailing at work. And if you don’t believe me, just look at how your boss emails. Or your CEO. I want you all to be in their position one day, so stay profesh in emails, K?!
There are only a few things that can make a 9-5 day at work seem longer than it already is, like not being able to check Instagram during the day, Kanye West being off Twitter, oh, and a boss that makes you want to claw your eyes out.
We’ve all been there. You’re wondering if the pit in your stomach was caused by the tequila shots you had last weekend, or the manager breathing down your neck. Or you’re day dreaming that you could be starring in Horrible Bosses, and even though murder is totally against your moral compass (it is…right?!). you’re highly considering it. Because you literally can’t stand the sight of the person that signs your paycheck, which could be a real issue if you have a shopping problem…I mean, habit.
It’s not expected that you get along perfectly with everyone in your work life, but I do believe that people work for people, not companies. Because it feels like we are spending literally all our time at work (if you’re like me and go to bed at 9 pm, you literally are), you need to find a way to survive that boss you hate. So what the f*ck is a boss betch supposed to do? Here are three things to do when you hate your boss.
1. Make Sure Their Attitude Has NOTHING To Do With You
As much as you might want to crawl up in a ball and beg for a cake of rainbows and sunshine every time your boss talks to you, this person still ultimately pays your bills. Before you go full-on 2007 Brittany Spears, take a quick look in the mirror. Now that you’ve confirmed your Kylie lip kit looks great, REALLY look in the mirror (AKA, the expression that means…check yourself). Are you doing everything in your power to make sure that you and your boss are getting along? As much as you might hate this person in your life, you still need to ensure that YOU are being a good employee.
If you feel like you are respectful, do things the first time you’re asked, and are not making your manager’s life harder, try doing something proactive for your boss. Do they ask for the same report every week? Pull it for them without them having to ask for it. Do they like things done a very specific way? Make sure everything you do follows those guidelines without being reminded.
If you feel like you’re an absolutely perfect employee (I’m SURE you are), know that managers are under a looooooot of pressure. At least for me, if I can identify a source for someone being a jerk, it’s a little easier to understand why they are acting this way, and what I can do to help.
2. Have A Calm, Constructive Conversation
If your boss specifically does something that completely irks you, and therefore, makes it more difficult to work, you should definitely consider providing feedback. Caveat: DON’T ever initiate this kind of conversation if you are in any kind of emotional state. You don’t want to say something you’ll regret, and it’s important you get your message across.
If you can identify the specific things your manager could be doing to make your life less miserable, it’s never bad to ask for these things. I’ve had managers before that LITERALLY expected me to read their minds (cool, thanks, glad they thought I had super powers). Once I started asking for them to be more explicit in their directions, and asking the questions until I fully understood the assignment, the problems vanished.
You can even say something like, “I want to ensure I always understand what you are looking for in an assignment. Could we set up a process for directions so I can get it right the first time? It will save both of us time to never have to go back and edit!” Now, this is just one example, but the point is, if you can provide feedback in a way that sounds more constructive and positive than critical, you’ll likely get a positive response.
If your boss is still continually a bully, consider asking them what’s up. I would set up a meeting time (so you aren’t catching anyone off guard), and say that you’ve noticed you don’t have the most productive relationship. Ask if there’s anything you can do to make their life easier, because you want to be the best employee possible, blah blah blah. Whatever you do, make it about making THEIR life easier and in turn, hopefully it’ll positively affect yours too.
3. Assess: Is It Worth It?
In an ideal world, you are spending 8+ hours a day in a somewhat tolerable situation. You aren’t crying yourself to sleep every night because of something your boss said to you, or thinking that The Devil Wears Prada was actually modeled after your work situation.
If that’s not the case, you have some decisions to make. If you’re in the perfect job that’s completely going to elevate your career in some way, then it’s often worth it just to suck it up for a certain amount of time. Find a way to block out the noise, put your head down and get to f*cking work.
If your job situation is so-so in the first place AND you can’t stand your boss, keep in mind that you probably won’t get promoted or get a raise, because your manager doesn’t have your back. Maybe it’s time to start looking for a new job. If you do choose this, I would *highly* advise not to up and leave in a fit of rage. LOL. Find a new job, leave on good terms, and put this jerk you’re dealing with behind you!
When you do look for a job in the future, make sure you get to know who will be your manager. Make sure you get all sorts of good vibes, their employees aren’t secretly bawling in the bathroom, and you hopefully won’t get yourself into a sh*tty situation again.
…And that concludes my TED talk. Have you ever had a boss you hated? Comment below and share how you dealt with it!
It’s that time of year. No, I’m not talking the time that we all have Mariah Carey runs on repeat or the fact that we vomit a little bit in our mouths at the thought of *actually* drinking eggnog. Even though this is my literal reality after October 31, I’m actually talking about performance reviews season. Which could also be called, “is this time where I need to look for a new job?!?!” season. The conversation we’re forced to have with our bosses about blacking out at this year’s holiday party regarding how we’re doing with our jobs is about as awkward as I’m expecting Colton to be in fantasy suites. The awkward conversation detailed what we’re doing great,…and not so great (as if there should be anything on that list!) at work actually could give me hives.
The worst part? If you don’t prepare for performance reviews, your boss probably will have no idea that one time you checked your work email while at brunch, or like, stopped watching Riverdale to finish an assignment. Because your work is probably asking to have this conversation faster than you can say, “Santa Claus is coming to town”, we’ve detailed the five things you need to know to survive and prepare for performance reviews. So stop trying to GTFO. You got this (*she says while looking at inspirational quotes on Pinterest*).
1. Nothing You Hear In A Review Should Be A Surprise
So here’s the deal, if you ask any manager, they’ll tell you performance reviews are a time for professional development and blah blah blah. But here’s the thing—IMO, you should be asking your manager for feedback consistently. Like, at least every 3-4 months. Performance reviews are just the structured time where HR or whoever is forcing your manager to have that conversation.
So if you don’t already, make sure you have a one-on-one with your manager on the calendar. Even though you’re the employee, set an agenda if you don’t already and consistently ask for feedback. This way, you can start sprinkling your little tidbits of the amazing work you’re doing all the time, so you don’t have to hope your manager remembers during your review. The bottom line is, nothing in a performance review should be like, a total shock. If your boss has something negative to say feedback, embrace the feedback and even add in that you’d like that feedback more often in the future. So you can work on your development and sh*t.
2. You’ll Have To Share Your Own Thoughts, Too
At least in my experience, I usually have had to rate myself during performance reviews. And as much as this reminds me of elementary school where we had to give ourselves the grades we *thought* we deserved (A+, DUH, what’s wrong with thinking you’re GREAT!?), it’s no longer nap time so we have to change our strategy a bit here.
Here’s the deal: if you show up for work on time, do all the right sh*t and don’t get totally wasted at company happy hour, there’s nothing wrong with explaining how well you think are you doing. If you really want to look like a boss betch, prepare a few things you’ve done *really* well before the conversation to use as examples. If there are areas you’d like to “grow” (a corporate-slang term for “improve”), state those areas as well. Maybe you’d like to work on your public speaking or leadership—whatever it is, phrase it as a growth opportunity rather than something you feel under-confident in.
3. You Will Get Feedback
Alrighty, this part’s important. I’ll be the first one to admit, getting feedback is hard. I mean, one time at summer camp I got broken up with a letter and the feedback was f*cking brutal, so I get it.
But srlsy, the best thing you can do when getting feedback is to not fight it. Regardless of whether or not you agree with what’s being said, embrace it. It doesn’t matter what YOU think, this is what someone else thinks, and that someone pays you your pretty little paycheck.
If the feedback seems totally out of left field, ask for examples and clarification. Make it clear you want to WORK on the feedback, rather than just brushing it out.
And then have a glass of wine. Or three.
4. It’s A Great Time To Ask For A Raise
If you’ve been kicking ass at your job and you believe it’s time to ask for more money (which I APPLAUD you for, f*cking get it, girl), this is also the perfect time to ask for a raise. Here’s why: budgets are being decided for the following year. If you are asking for a raise, don’t forget to tell your manager *why* you are asking.
Saying you *deserve* it isn’t good enough (even though I’m sure you do deserve it). Instead, share some of the projects you’ve taken on, some of your accomplishments and say that you’d like to be compensated for your achievements. If you need more in-depth advice on how to ask for a raise, check out this article on what *not* to say.
5. The Time After Your Review Is Important, Too
The time after your performance review is an amazing time to reconnect with your boss and show your team the boss babe you truly are. If you got any feedback, embrace that feedback, schedule check-ins and really show your team how you’ve grown from the internal conversations. Maybe you’re even to have a career growth conversation and start working towards your next step. If you’d didn’t originally have those regularly aforementioned one-on-ones with your boss, now is the perfect time to schedule the heck out of them. In my humble opinion, part of working for a company (rather than just for yourself) is embracing things like performance reviews with an open mind.
So there you have it. Everything you need to know to survive that time of year where you have to awkwardly sit 1:1 with your boss and hope to f*ck you’re not getting fired. Follow these steps and you’ll be good to go, I promise. Go get em, tiger.
How do you prepare for performance reviews?! Comment below!
Images: Tim Gouw / Unsplash
The following is an excerpt from our new book, When’s Happy Hour? Work Hard So You Can Hardly Work, on sale NOW.
If you’re trying to get promoted or advance in any significant way in your career, one of the most important qualities to cultivate is self-awareness, and the ability to self-evaluate and figure out where you need improvement. And then actually do those things, obviously. One of the hardest things in life is seeing your own flaws, but you have to see them before you can admit to them, and you have to admit to them in order to change them. Here are some ways to go about finding your flaws and really understanding what they are:
Actually pay attention at your employee evals: If you want to know what your boss thinks of you, unshockingly, all you have to do is just pay attention at your yearly (or whatever) evaluation. Your boss is literally forced to formally rate your strengths and weaknesses on paper, so like, don’t just let that be a wasted half hour. If they say you take too long to answer emails and it pisses clients off, just like…respond faster. Most of the time, the answers to fixing your shortcomings will be spelled out for you if you’re willing to be open enough to listen to feedback and change habits.
Ask a coworker who isn’t catty and whose opinion you respect for honest feedback: This is pretty hard because it requires being a bit vulnerable, and we’re not saying you should definitely do this unless you’re sure that the person you’re asking will give worthwhile feedback. Otherwise you just put yourself out there for no gain, and we can hardly think of anything worse than that. The person you ask should be a little more experienced and higher up in the office, and they should be someone who is widely seen as hardworking and drama-avoidant. The last thing you need is someone gossiping about your vulnerable moments to the entire break room.
Ask your friends and family: As much as we want to think that we can put on a flawless act at work, that’s really not possible. Like we mentioned earlier, who we are in life is who we are at work, just with a little more polish. You might be a little better at faking it with your coworkers than with your boyfriend, but the fundamental flaws themselves will probably be the same. If you really can’t be organized enough to ever get to brunch on time, chances are that you’re also disorganized at work and tend to be late to meetings or whatever. Take some cues from your weekend self, as explained by loved ones, and ask yourself if any of that is reflected in your job. Then work on that sh*t and use your personal life to practice as well. Maybe if you started getting to the restaurant in a timely fashion, you would not only piss off your friends less but also the habit will spill over into your work life and benefit you on multiple fronts.
Pay attention to what you criticize other people for: The traits we notice and critique about other people are often—surprise—actually the things we do ourselves. It’s called projection, and it’s really easy to detect—thanks, Freud. For example, it bothers the sh*t out of you how Michelle is constantly sucking up to your mutual boss and trying to undermine you and your coworkers by subtly throwing shade about everyone else. Meanwhile, you just spent a half hour plotting how you’re going to make Michelle look like an idiot in the next meeting by criticizing her project and then offering to fix what she did. Sound familiar? Yeah, because you’re actually doing the exact same thing that you criticize Michelle for. Next time you hear yourself talking sh*t about a coworker, ask yourself if you might actually do the same thing you’re calling them out for. Once you’ve answered yourself, you can keep bitching about them, but then change your behavior after.
We’re not saying it’ll be easy. Getting to know yourself and admitting your faults is honestly kind of the worst. But if you value yourself, you’ll value your own self-improvement and you’ll be okay with suffering a little and making changes for the sake of a better future.
Want more amazing career advice? Order our new book, you won’t regret it.
Images: Giphy (4)