Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Top 10 ways to get fired or get a raise

It looks like the economy is in an official slowdown and some might even call it a recession (but it isn't officially that yet). Whatever it is, Companies are looking to tighten the old belt even further. Back when I worked in corporate Amerika, I noticed that there was a definite pattern to both the people that were getting let go (myself included) and the people that were getting raises. Some people are looking to climb that corporate ladder, while others are looking to survive in corporate cultures that at best could be characterized as the RAT RACE.

For both of you I offer the top 10 ways to get fired/Pastureized/Overtime OR given a promotion/raise/Bonus. Someone asked what pastureized meant. I'm refering to the pasture mentioned in the phrase 'put out to pasture' which of course means you're not particularly productive, but you're kept around anyway. You have not chance of promotion and are probably forgotten for raises, but at least you have a job. Bear in mind that I give you these elements with the assumption that your boss is a good boss that knows what he's doing, and not a self serving Id monkey. Also understand that I'm not going to mention breaking specific company rules but you'll get sacked if you are making out with your bosses secretary while embezzling funds from the company coffers.

To be clear Fired for my list is the same as Layed off . Besides, it feels exactly the same. There will also be Pastured meaning no chance of advancement or raise, and Overtime. If you work a salary position, that's called free work. On the good end, we have Promotion, Raise or Bonus. They are all pretty much self evident.

10. FIRED - Don't do your job. While this one seems obvious, it really isn't always true. In fact, sometimes you will see people that NEVER do their job and still thrive within the company, but lets put it this way. If you don't do your job, they have a REASON to fire you and you never want that. The sad thing is that you are sometimes not given the tools to DO your job. This won't change things. If you can't do it, you won't be there long.

9. PROMOTION - Do your job well - I've never quite understood this one. You are hired to do a job and if you do it well, you get promoted. Quite possibly to a job that you don't do well. This is called the Peter Principle. Originated because Christ (who was perfect) told Peter (who is decidedly NOT perfect) that he would be the Rock upon which he would build his chruch. Talk about high expectations. Giving a person a promotion to a different job because they did the one they are good at well, is a lot like asking a fish to fly because it swims so well.

8. PASTURIZED - Start trashing your fellow employees to your boss - If and when you get some face time with the boss. it is NEVER a good idea to start trashing your co-workers. Some people actually do this and think it will get them a lift by cutting down those around them. The truth is, it's not a good idea to do it with your fellow co-workers either. It will always come back to bite you. It may not get you fired by itself. But when layoffs come around it seems like the complainers are always the first to be 'encouraged to seek other opportunities

7. PROMOTION - Build up your fellow employees - The opposite can tend to be true as well. People that build up their fellow employees are viewed as team players and people willing to compliment others instead of looking for compliments themselves. These people are also the favorites of people to work with.

6. FIRED - Openly display that you don't have anything better to do - This is the opposite of #9. You do your job so well that you have oodles of free time on your hands, so you start wandering around the company causing trouble. I myself have been guilty of this one. You don't really want more WORK, but you are bored to tears. If you couple this one with one of the other fired elements, you can see yourself on the out list really fast.

5. RAISE - Volunteer - Once again, obvious, and yet so many people don't realize it is possible. Sometimes through one or another events there is a whole other job that needs to be done becomes available. sometimes that job will be better than the one you have, and sometimes it will be worse, but puts you on track for a better position.

4. FIRED - Bug people - Hey! they can't fire me just because they are a bunch of morons! I do my job! All this might be true, but the fact is, you're kind of a jerk and people don't like you. If you are not liked by your co-workers, you are likely in for a slow death. If you bug your boss, you can probably speed up this process. Here is a truth of business. Company rules are for people that break them openly and for people you don't like. Otherwise, if you are liked and work well with others, low end rule infractions will be overlooked. If you aren't liked, mind your P's and Q's, because only following the rules to a T will save you.

3. BONUS - Save the Day! - While it is not actually smart for a manger to be rewarding company hero's It happens more often than not. Why shouldn't they reward the hero? Because usually the hero holds back until he can save the day and rewarding THAT effort with anything but manditory time off will only reinforce that behavior. But usually it will result in a low grade bonus of some sort.

2. OVERTIME - Just be around close to a deadline - It's interesting that business seems to think that you should work overtime in the case of an emergency by virtue of it's need. Some companies will pay you for this overtime, other companies think that you should give the company the gift of your time in exchange for nothing. After all, they employ you, you should be on your knees thanking your maker for such a generous institution as to take your free time with their 'emergencies'.

1. RAISE - Work for a different company - I've always gotten my best raises by changing jobs. I've never understood this about companies. Once you work for a company, they will have a company policy (read EXCUSE) that says you can only have a maximum percentage of a raise. I'd be willing to buy that company policy if they agreed that they would only hire new people based on the salaries of the current employees, but then they wouldn't be able to hire anyone would they. The fact is, many companies have this interesting self view that they are in fact the best place to work in the known universe and you would be crazy to leave for more money. Which is why you can leave for more money. Remember, a company is ultimately only as loyal to you as much as they need you. The instant they don't need you, you become redundant and layed off. You are the safest if you ALWAYS think in terms of what skills you have that you are not being compensated for. When you find the job that will appreciate those skills. Jump. It's that simple.

As always thanks for reading! Tell your friends!


Scoops Mangum said...

As someone that just started a new job after a lengthy layoff, I will take these to heart. :)

Larisa said...

Interesting that we were chatting employment boredom a few days ago. I will try to remember to look busier.