Here’s an article about the 10 Habits that Bosses Love. Yahoo writes,
Every boss wants employees who do their jobs well. But even among highly competent employees, there are distinctions.
In my mind, there are distinctions between competent employees and extraordinary colleagues. There are those colleagues who bring it, and those colleagues who don’t. It’s not rocket science — and it’s not hard to tell the two apart.
Unfortunately, Yahoo dispenses outmoded career advice — with the hopes of making you into an extraordinary employee — but gets it wrong on so many levels. There is nothing worse than ponderously trite advice, and this article gives it out in spades.
Here’s a sampling of Yahoo’s bad advice and why I think it stinks.
Yahoo says — Communicate, communicate, communicate. Especially at the beginning of your relationship — that is, when either you or the boss is new to the job — err on the side of giving your boss too much information and asking too many questions.
“There’s no such thing as a dumb question,” says Marianne Adoradio, a Silicon Valley recruiter and career counselor. “Look at it as information gathering.”
Why It’s Wrong: There are such things as dumb questions. As a human resources assistant, I once asked my boss if I should use a clear or frosted plastic cover on a report for our CEO. She said, “Laurie, I don’t give a shit. Be a big girl and use your best judgment.”
Thank you for the soft landing on my ass, universe.
Asking a dumb question will set a precedent with your boss, and it diminishes future 1:1 sessions with your supervisor. When you do have questions or important information to share, no one will know because the default assumption is that you’re talking out of your ass.
My advice is simple: speak in a thoughtful and concise manner. Always turn to your ‘personal network’ and do your research before you waste your boss’s time and ask questions.
Also, take some initiative. Go ahead and pick the clear report cover.
Yahoo says — Think one level up. You still need to do your own job, of course. But when managers consider who deserves a promotion, they look for people who understand the issues that their bosses face.
Why It’s Wrong: Your boss hates it when you’re focused on a future promotion instead of doing your current job. Unfortunately, you weren’t hired because of some master talent plan and you wont’ be the next CFO in five years. You were hired to accomplish a specific set of goals in a short amount of time. Talent management is important, but you should know that most organizations strive to become flatter and more agile, thus making a ‘traditional promotion’ obsolete in most companies.
Instead of focusing on a promotion and an expansion of your job title, focus on expanding your responsibilities in your current job. You’re more likely to earn a salary increase in your current role if you are taking on additional work or exceeding expectations.
If my advice doesn’t pay off, take your expanded skill set and apply for a job at a competitor.
Yahoo says — Open yourself to new ways of doing things. When your boss comes to you with a new idea, don’t simply dismiss it. If you don’t think it will work, offer to discuss it further in “a mature, responsible, adult-like way,” Beasley says.
Why It’s Wrong: This is poorly worded advice, yo. My advice? Do what your boss tells you to do. If you don’t agree with your boss, please don’t engage in a long conversation and try to change his mind. It won’t happen, and it’s kind of frustrating.
When you disagree with your supervisor, you have three options: you can STFU and assume that your boss might know something more than you do; you can do it your way and demonstrate to the boss — through actions & accomplishments — that he was wrong; or you can find a new job and a new boss.
Yahoo & HotJobs have great articles and offer interesting insights into the world of management; however, this career-related article on Yahoo seems to be written by someone who doesn’t have a real job*. Take my advice and apply common sense to your relationship with your boss. You don’t need some impersonal website steering you in the wrong direction and telling you to over-communicate with your supervisor.
*Oh snap, come to think of it, the career advice on my blog comes from a woman without a real job.