1. And... we're back. You'll notice that all of your images are back as well, as are our beloved emoticons, including the infamous :foo: We have also worked with our server folks and developers to fix the issues that were slowing down the site.

    There is still work to be done - the images in existing sigs are not yet linked, for example, and we are working on a way to get the images to load faster - which will improve the performance of the site, especially on the pages with a ton of images, and we will continue to work diligently on that and keep you updated.

    Cheers,

    Fok on behalf of the entire Styleforum team
    Dismiss Notice

What Skills Give You an Edge in the Workplace?

Discussion in 'Business, Careers & Education' started by Blackhood, Apr 12, 2011.

  1. sinnedk

    sinnedk Senior member

    Messages:
    12,068
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2010
    Location:
    San Francisco
    Not a fair assessment. I'm quite positive, I just don't lie and I don't try to suck up to anyone. But not everyone likes the truth, just because a cited an example of when my answer was a negative one doesn't mean I'm negative.
    The only good thing that comes from being honest is that people know they can trust that I'm being genuine. When the boss was looking for new staff members, he had me sit in on interviews and give him feedback about what I thought. Because he knew that I wasn't going to pull punches when they were bad and I wasn't going to try to discredit them when they were good, and he especially liked that I didn't just give him a useless, "yeah, so and so sounds fine" answer.
    So there's a positive example. But at the same time, I'm not his go to person.
    Two of my female co-workers come in every morning, go stand in his doorway, bring him donuts and coffee and chat about his family with him. Both of them are not what I would consider stellar employees, one is an outright liar and tries to avoid doing work as often as possible and has made us look bad on more than one occasion. The other (#2) is a gossip, a slow learner, and goes around trying to dig dirt on people. But to the boss, they can do no wrong.
    Here's a bittersweet example: Because the boss knows I'm capable and will give him real answers, he had me review multiple procedures in the office and come up with solutions to improve things. So I did. He then implements them and gives the credit to girl #2. I was happy that I helped bring about useful changes, but I got screwed in terms of recognition.
    I won't detail my entire working career, but it's not as simple as saying that I'm a stereotypical negative co-worker. I am really bad at office politics, completely inept. So put away your jump to conclusion mat, I'm not going to beat down a copier any time soon.


    Didn't mean to make assumptions, just sounded negative from previous post. But i think 2 things come to mind...
    1. your boss gives preferential treatment to women
    2. even if he doesn't give preferential treatment to women, the 2 co-workers have a connection with the guy, small talk and knowledge of one's family shows they care and make him feel important. which is what most people want.

    In effect what happens, those gals probably know they aren't the best, but they got the boss to trust them. thus, they also know that if emergencies happen they will need to come through and will avoid lay offs. Now i am not saying bring the guy coffee and donuts, screw that! But be honest and sincere, relate and get to know him, get him to trust you. But do this slowly not all in one day, just start being chatty. Also make sure it doenst slow down your work or performance. BTW these situations are in the book i mentioned earlier.

    A good way to get on the boss' good side and maybe get your recognition is to be a self starter. Ask him for an extra project or if you know there is something he is struggling with, no matter how small, find him a good solution. Basically make his job easier.

    And if its about money, go to a different firm that can recognize your skill.
     
  2. Milpool

    Milpool Senior member

    Messages:
    921
    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2010
    For a math geek, I write exceptionally well. I've drafted letters, proposals, reports, etc for management several levels above me. They request it.

    I'm also good at getting big diverse teams together to make big shit happen.

    Those are probably the two key skills that pay the bills. Everything else I can do is horribly undervalued.
     
  3. JoelF

    JoelF Senior member

    Messages:
    1,459
    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2007
    Location:
    MA & NYC
    ^ +1 Being able to get shit done is also key. It's amazing how many people cannot do that.
     
  4. tks02

    tks02 New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2011
  5. yjeezle

    yjeezle Senior member

    Messages:
    1,698
    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2010
    ^ +1 Being able to get shit done is also key. It's amazing how many people cannot do that.

    +1
     
  6. JesseJB

    JesseJB Senior member

    Messages:
    1,353
    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2006
    Location:
    Seattle
    Subscribing!

    This thread is gold.
     
  7. sinnedk

    sinnedk Senior member

    Messages:
    12,068
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2010
    Location:
    San Francisco
  8. JesseJB

    JesseJB Senior member

    Messages:
    1,353
    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2006
    Location:
    Seattle
    ^sarcastic?

    Nope. I'm in the same boat.
     
  9. sinnedk

    sinnedk Senior member

    Messages:
    12,068
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2010
    Location:
    San Francisco
    ^cool than welcome!

    I think we should make this a thread something where people can/should post work related questions and situations to help one another move up in this world.
     
  10. Blackhood

    Blackhood Senior member

    Messages:
    2,904
    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2010
    Location:
    Cambridge, UK
    Agree, something akin to "Quick Questions and Thoughts Thread"
     
  11. JoelF

    JoelF Senior member

    Messages:
    1,459
    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2007
    Location:
    MA & NYC
    On the "getting shit done" theme, so much of it is basic and really just common sense. Be the guy that steps up to write the meeting summary, include next steps and assign responsibility for each one. Boom, you're in charge.
     
  12. yeungjai

    yeungjai Senior member

    Messages:
    121
    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2010
    The best thing you can do at a junior/entry level is:

    Make yourself as indispensable as possible.
    Make an effort to be liked. I think being "respected" is for the bosses. If you can do both, congratulations but I think at a junior level it's more important to be liked than respected.
    Be competent.
    Be respectful.
    Look outside for yourself first and foremost but respect the needs of your workplace and those around you.


    I'd like to make a comment on that first point, because there's a lot of confusion here (whether people are aware of it or not).

    You want to make your job/position dispensable. You don't want to make yourself dispensable. You are not your job or your position, and the elimination of a position does not take away what you can bring to the table. What I have found personally to be most effective for myself is to do everything I can to eliminate my position. If you can do that and your managers are competent, then they will move you onto bigger and better things. If they aren't, then you probably don't want to stay there anyways.

    Call it process optimization, automation, continuous improvement, kaizen. Whatever your preferred term, there's always going to be a place for people who can put aside their concerns for their own jobs for the benefit of the organization.
     
  13. sinnedk

    sinnedk Senior member

    Messages:
    12,068
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2010
    Location:
    San Francisco
    Agree, something akin to "Quick Questions and Thoughts Thread"

    I'll start it... whats a good name for it?
    does this work:
    Official Work Situations Quick Questions and Thoughts Thread?
     
  14. sinnedk

    sinnedk Senior member

    Messages:
    12,068
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2010
    Location:
    San Francisco
    I'd like to make a comment on that first point, because there's a lot of confusion here (whether people are aware of it or not).

    You want to make your job/position dispensable. You don't want to make yourself dispensable. You are not your job or your position, and the elimination of a position does not take away what you can bring to the table. What I have found personally to be most effective for myself is to do everything I can to eliminate my position. If you can do that and your managers are competent, then they will move you onto bigger and better things. If they aren't, then you probably don't want to stay there anyways.

    Call it process optimization, automation, continuous improvement, kaizen. Whatever your preferred term, there's always going to be a place for people who can put aside their concerns for their own jobs for the benefit of the organization.


    i see what your saying but that can backfire sometimes, companies might just eliminate you
     
  15. Lord-Barrington

    Lord-Barrington Senior member

    Messages:
    2,811
    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2010
    i see what your saying but that can backfire sometimes, companies might just eliminate you

    Perhaps, but he makes a good point. The more things you can do and the more value you create the less likely you are to get the axe.
     
  16. otc

    otc Senior member

    Messages:
    14,213
    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2008
    Perhaps, but he makes a good point. The more things you can do and the more value you create the less likely you are to get the axe.

    The people who want to make themselves "irreplaceable" by not documenting anything or leaving bad obfuscated code and intermingled processes so that they "can't be fired" are usually pretty mediocre people. It can keep you from advancing (since you are now harder to replace) but it sure as hell won't stop them from firing you and replacing you with an employee that makes it easy for others to check their work.

    The people who make themselves "irreplaceable" by being better able to add value than any potential replacement are the winners. I would much rather be given a task, figure out a process to turn that task into "anybody can do this" and find my own replacement (who can be a lower-skilled worker) and move on to something new than try to cling to my job by using secret voodoo tricks.
     
  17. Lord-Barrington

    Lord-Barrington Senior member

    Messages:
    2,811
    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2010
    The people who want to make themselves "irreplaceable" by not documenting anything or leaving bad obfuscated code and intermingled processes so that they "can't be fired" are usually pretty mediocre people. It can keep you from advancing (since you are now harder to replace) but it sure as hell won't stop them from firing you and replacing you with an employee that makes it easy for others to check their work. The people who make themselves "irreplaceable" by being better able to add value than any potential replacement are the winners. I would much rather be given a task, figure out a process to turn that task into "anybody can do this" and find my own replacement (who can be a lower-skilled worker) and move on to something new than try to cling to my job by using secret voodoo tricks.
    Of course. I think that's fairly self evident and most of us are probably aiming to be the second employee in your example. For awhile now at my office I've asked the support staff if they want to be given more complex tasks (basically the basic stuff I do in my job) and then I've asked management to allow them to get their feet wet. I think everyone wins in a case like this: I show initiative, more work gets done, and the support staff aren't doing mind numbing stuff all day, every day. /Self congratulations.
     
  18. fredfred

    fredfred Senior member

    Messages:
    1,138
    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2008
    Location:
    New York City
    1) Make money for the company
    2) Save time for the company or your department
    3) Be able to do something that nobody else can do (that is important). Essentially this is "make yourself indespensible"

    If you do the above, you do not have to be as good at office politics. Celery, apparently some people (on this board) perceive you as negative. I don't. BUT the recommendations (the Carnegie book, and the specific response to the offsite mtg question from your boss) given here are things you should follow up on. It's a necessary evil type thing.

    Being excited about some offsite thing? Hahaha. Not likely. But part of your boss's job is to motivate people. So "hey, this is going to be great, right?" is him trying to make things more exciting. Yes, it's extremely lame. But you gotta play along (or you gotta be indispensible and make the company lots of money)

    I make $$$ per hour 'cause I can do things others can't do. So at the moment I work a few hours then screw around at cafes, look at girls, and on scour the internet and see if I can find Berlutti shoes to by for cheap.
     
  19. HEARTLESS-531

    HEARTLESS-531 Senior member

    Messages:
    532
    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2010
    Location:
    San diego
    Dude, tell us where you're buying Berluttis on the cheap.
    Cool thread. I like fredfred's advise.
    Not sure if I saw someone mentioning the absolute importance of technical skills. Check this out - I'm in healthcare but got an MBA. During my program, I got to know an Indian professor who consulted on corporate boards. He was telling me how sooo many of these people couldn't even read a frickin' balance sheet!! OMG. I've just come to the conclusion - and I am not cynical or arrogant - that most people are not very good at what they do. If we can just be a few percent better across the board, the results will be impressive. Another skill - present well and dress like you own the place.
     
  20. ConcernedParent

    ConcernedParent Senior member

    Messages:
    4,234
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2009
    Location:
    West Coast is back for all you suckas
    Any tips on networking and kissing ass without blatantly looking like you are doing so?
     

Share This Page

Styleforum is proudly sponsored by