I'm Ready Now Book, Positive Motivation

How to stay positive when your boss is crazy AF

Ok, I know that ‘crazy’ is the most misused word against women but sometimes we do just have a CRAZY boss to deal with.  One of the biggest challenges in my career has been dealing with bosses that are unpredictable, irrational, angry and explosive.  This has crossed genders.  Almost all people who have come to me for coaching have been experiencing a ‘crazy’ boss. The impact is loss of confidence, feeling confused, dissatisfaction in job role and industry – leading to questioning everything career wise. Questions that came up for me at this point are:

–          Am I any good at my job anymore? I used to be but now I’m not so sure.
–          Do I want to stay in IT?
–          Is this company the right place for me?
–          How long can I put up with this stress for?

Other feelings are:  not wanting to go to work, closing down and becoming perpetually exhausted.  Negative thinking often took over as well further brining me down. I have seen this with friends, colleagues and coaching clients.   Having a boss that regularly puts you down is a confidence crusher.

So I thought I’d put together my top strategies that I use for managing my mindset during such a stressful period and keeping my energy levels up.  This has made it easier for me to move on, find a new role and get out of there.

  1. Tell someone about it
  2. Get Support
  3. Exercise
  4. Work out an exit plan
  5. Focus on what’s next

These tips could easily fall under an umbrella of stay positive but really having been through this, this is not always possible.  Taking positive action will create space to take a breath and maintain your perspective.  At least aim to buffer the negativity at work, so you can boost your energy enough to move on.

1. Tell Someone about it (who will believe you)

  • Reaching out and validating that you’re not the crazy one is important. Find a friend, partner, family member or mentor to talk through what you are experiencing.  Just being heard will make you feel better

2. Get Support

  • One of my big lessons is that no woman is an island and sometimes I am not my best guru (sadly).  Find a counsellor or some level of professional support to help you through it.  From my experience doing this, is that the recovery period afterwards is always quicker if I’ve had this support during the traumatic event.  Don’t downplay your experience.  Dreading getting out of bed every day is not normal.  There’s a reason you don’t want to go to work, don’t let it impact you years down the track.  Dealing with it as much as possible in the now will mean less of a stress hangover  once you’re in your new role.

3. Exercise

  • Now is the time to maintain or create rituals that keep you balanced. Cardio and resistance exercise is the best.   Commit to doing 30 minutes everyday (yoga, weights, gym, cycling, running, ballet.)
  • Add in or up your meditation practice if you can or something that helps your mental discipline (one of my friends loves running to clear her head). Work out an exit plan

4. Create an exit plan

  • Write down a plan of how you are going to get yourself out of this situation.  Create 2 or 3 options and start pursuing them.  Get out quickly.  Look for internal and external roles, network more, keep engaged in industry events.
  • In the exit plan, write down what you want to be happening in your career  and life in 12 months time. Frame your next step by this vision.
  • Accept that you may need to move laterally and find  a life raft out.  This can be hard if like me, you’re super ambition. Focus on safety first and then get back to climbing that career ladder.

5. Focus on what’s next

  • Focus on that 12 month goal.  If you’re looking at study, start investigating options.  If you want to travel, start subscribing to ticket price alerts and turn your desktop screen saver into a shrine for your dream destination.  Start listening to podcasts, music, tedtalks that will keep you focussed on NEXT.
  • Make NEXT your NOW.

Most of all remember, you don’t deserve crazy. It is not normal to be yelled at every day, to have your boss call you 15 times in 2 minutes at 11pm, to have your boss turn up at your front door on the weekend, to rate you down because they’re jealous of your looks, to publicly humiliate you in front of your team or threaten you in any way.  It is NOT NORMAL.  You deserve normal, to be liked, to look forward to work, to enjoy friendship at work, to be praised, to be rewarded and to feel appreciated.

You are WORTH it.
 
You are enough. 
 
Good luck!

 

Extra resources and  links
Previous Blog Posts
Getting support
Information on Employee Entitlements
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Interview Series, Lead Your Pack Series, Positive Motivation

Just Believe In Yourself

Annick Inna Interview – Book Doula

“Just believe in yourself.” Annick Ina is a Book Doula, Business Strategist and Project Catalyst. We met via Marie Forleo‘s B-School community and Annick gave me some amazing advice when I was in the early stages of writing my book ‘I’m Ready Now – A Guide To Getting a Promotion‘.

Annick is always generous with her time and I offer this interview to you as an insight into career flexibility, creativity, living a purposeful life and just going for it!

Now, I would love to hear from you by leaving a comment right here on this page.

What is you biggest takeaway from this interview?  

What would happen if you chose to believe in yourself everyday?

 

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I'm Ready Now Book

Kindness is Free

Always assume some one is trying their best.   

This post is inspired by Brene Brown’s work on vulnerability – I love all of her books!!

Would love to hear your thoughts….

How would your perception of your boss, direct reports and colleagues change if you assumed they were trying their best ?

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Get a promotion, I'm Ready Now Book

How to get a YES when you ask for promotion

I used to wait to be asked, now I ask to be promoted.  This has taken a huge mental and skill shift to take this approach. Some people around you may say this lacks integrity but how is waiting to be ‘discovered’ and holding yourself back, lacking integrity ?

People who want a recording contract – perform, compete on a talent show, run YouTube channels and busk.

People wanting a promotion do not wait, they stand out and they ask.

Timing

Ask when promotion, new jobs and opportunities are available. If there is a lull in available jobs, practice the following skills and techniques to boost your chance of the being no. 1 pick when jobs do come up again.

Credibility

Know your business case and know your ask  and work on making this visible to the ‘powers that be’.

Be the Obvious Choice

The right role is the easiest role – apply for and show interest in the roles that most easily match your ambition, skill sets and connections.

Visibility

Make your work visible and in demand (I will write more on this next month but for now, I have included some tips at the end of this post).

We want you!

Make your future leadership team and peers want you on their team!!

You know the ‘vibe’ is good when you start hearing things from senior management like:

“How do I find the right role for you, so you say yes”

“I NEED you on my team”

“We’re so glad you’re here”

“You’re wasted in that role, you should be doing XYZ role”

“They really have great THINGS to say about you”

Advocate

Find someone to advocate for you who is on hiring and promotion panels. This person could be influential with a potential sponsor or may hire directly as well.

In a hiring decision, who will recommend you if asked to provide an opinion on you?

Sponsor

Find someone that you would like to work for and talk to them about your ambitions. Apply for roles working with them and keep yourself and your work visible to this potential sponsor.

Who wants you on their team right now?

Influence

Make your ambition visible and known to people who are influential with hiring managers but may not be in formal positions of power. Talk through your business case and pitch and ask them for advice. Ask for help to gain a promotion.

What role do people see you in next?

Increase your visibility through celebration!

Celebrate successes and draw people into your success.

Celebrate team successes frequently and invite advocates and sponsors to these events.

Create a winning vibe !

Persevere!

Keep asking.

Keep asking.

Keep asking.

Repeat until you have it! (And then start working towards your next one!!)

 

Now I’d love to hear from you, how have you got a YES when you’ve asked for promotion ?

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Confidence Builders, Get a promotion, I'm Ready Now Book

One bad chapter does not mean your story is over

Don’t let a bad boss, a bad role or bad employer make you give up on your ambition!
Go for it anyway!
PS – and move on as quickly as possible, don’t linger in a bad role so long you lose your ambition or will to live.
PPS –  and if you have a bully for a boss, colleague or your direct reports are ganging up on you, just get the hell out of there and don’t look back!!
Now, I’d love to hear from you!
Have you ever had a ‘bad’ work experience and how did you overcome this?
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Get a promotion, I'm Ready Now Book

Do you want to get a promotion ? Here’s how…

Asking for a promotion can be super scary.

Why?

Because you will be making it very clear and very public that you are ambitious, have career goals and are prepared to go for them.

This can feel and be very exposing.

This is your opportunity to showcase your skills and lay the foundation for career progression at your current employer.

Got for it!

And, to help you go for it, here is my tried and very personally tested advice for getting that promotion time and time again!

Be Clear On Your Ask

  • Know which roles you are interested in
  • Know how much money you want in the form of salary and incentives
  • Know your why – why are you the right person to be promoted, what are your skills and what do you have to offer (have your sales pitch ready)
  • Know what you want to achieve in the new role for your company, business area and yourself
  • Know how you would achieve these things
  • Also, have a list of any working arrangements that you need considered and accomodated in the new role (i.e.: work from home, start times, limits on travel, if any etc)

Know Who To Ask

In I’m Ready Now! I wrote about how to identify and influence the key decision makers.
Make sure you know who can make decisions on promotion (this is not always your boss) and when they can make these decisions.

Know When to Ask

Ask for promotion when :

  1. You have already talked through your business case with your immediate boss and any key decision makers
  2. Achieved any action items that were asked for as part of your business case discussion
  3. Have held a discussion on the value you can bring to the new role
  4. You have spoken and gained advice from at least 30% of the leadership team you want to belong to, and
  5. Made your work visible to that leadership team

Other great times to ask are :

  • when you’ve delivered a big win for your company
  • when a new job becomes available due to a re-org
  • when someone departs a role unexpectedly

What will you do if you get a YES?

Have a celebration plan in place and, have a business plan in place that you can pick up and run with in your new role.

Always make sure to celebrate a promotion (even it feels like something that should have happened ages ago) and appreciate yourself for the increase wealth, autonomy and freedom a new role will bring you both professionally and personally.

What will you do if you get a NO?

Have a ‘No’ plan in place and a timeframe for getting to YES already determined.

Don’t stay too long in a role going no where.

Only you can determine how long is ‘too long’.

By having a plan in place BEFORE your discussion you won’t get sidetracked by the knock to confidence that a NO can have.

This plan will increase your chances of keeping your career on track and seeing knock backs as bumps a long the road not road blocks

Now I’d love to hear from you!
What is the best tip you’ve ever received for getting ahead and getting that promotion ?
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Breathe it all in, love it all out

Breathe it all in, love it all out

I was once at a student conference where during a heated vote someone said “In with ANGER out with LOVE!!” in an exasperated slightly huffy manner, complete with eyeroll.  I’m not sure if she was trying to calm herself down or order the others around us to do so.  Anyway, it didn’t work! The vote was tight and there’s nothing like being 21 years old and ‘believing’ to make for a tense night on the floor of a national students conference.

Ahh memories, back in the ‘real world’ of work, I find myself sometimes thinking of this moment (ok, often a lot), when everyone around me is ‘battling’ hard and arguing their case on what a process document should be called or how to describe a ‘problem’ without using the word problem itself (challenge/opportunity/moment of clarity etc) when it all seems a bit ridiculous.  But I’m a fan of passion and I have definitely fought hard on getting directives re-worded from ‘you have to do this’ to ‘lets all work together on this’. Language is important after all.  So I get it, mostly.

There are of course moments when we (I) lose complete perspective.

Sometimes its that feeling you get when you are talked over again for the 1000th time that day, or when you talk through a presentation and get asked to make it ‘pretty’, or when you provide a report and get asked to add in sentences that are already in it (grrrr).

No one is perfect. Bosses aren’t perfect, colleagues aren’t perfect, you and I are not perfect.  So sometimes I think of the quote above and think today I’m just going to love everyone and everything because its better than hating, picking and moaning.

Now I’d love to hear from you!

How do you deal with perfectionism?

Do you expect everyone around you and yourself to be perfect?

And, how do you find ways to dial down the impact of this thinking on your life?

I'm Ready Now Book

Breathe it all in, love it all out

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