What To Do When You Dislike Your Job

 

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I’m going back to work in less than a month, my maternity leave is over and I really wish it wasn’t ending. Though it would be nice to earn real money again, short term disability and paid family leave is really nothing in terms of compensation.

During my time of just being at home with family, I realized why I’m always so on edge and why I’ve been so unhappy with my career. I finally have the job that I’ve been looking for for so long, but it’s the people that make it miserable.

You see, I thought I would be happy doing challenging work with competitive pay but I was wrong.

There’s not a single one of my bosses that I’ve liked. You can follow all my blog posts and see just how miserable this job has made me. Yet I stay because of the benefits; because I have to put food on the table.

  • I’m Beginning To Realize It’s Just Me.

I’m not a team player and organizations don’t like that. They want someone who’s going to do what they’re told, follow the pack, play fair and be nice, all while being trampled on. And I don’t know how to be a team player in that kind of environment.

Ever noticed whenever you question something at work or you you realize that you’re taking on more work than you should, they always throw out “be a team player?” Like that propaganda is going to make me forget that I am being used beyond my compensation. If I already know that I have no chance of being promoted mainly due to the culture of the company, why would I do more and why would I want to be a team player on a team that doesn’t recognize hard work and excellence?

The truth is I work better on my own. I like to solve my own problems, have my own system and have autonomy over the quality of my work. With team environments, generally, jobs want a systematic approach that’s not necessarily most efficient, consistency across the board and groupthink where everyone has the same opinion. And that’s just not me and that’s not going to change, I’ve tried.

So here I am, a black sheep in a white flock, trying to stay inconspicuous.

I Haven’t Met A Manager I Respect

I honestly have rarely met a manager I can respect. Just because you’re above me in rank or in compensation doesn’t mean you own me; the corporate world kind of forgets that.

The only manager that I have ever been able to respect was one that looked out for their employees, mentored them and wanted to see them succeed. Plenty of managers will pay lip service to that kind of idea but actions always speak louder than words with me. And someone who doesn’t walk the walk is less than a manager in my eyes.

So right now my manager is someone who complains a lot, wants to get things his way, a brown noser and someone who pretends to be nice but really isn’t. I’ve worked with him for about a year and a half now so I have low hopes that things will get better. I just can’t get myself to respect him.

So what do I do? When I’m working at a job that has no growth with a manager I don’t respect?

My goal for when I come back to work is to just keep my head down and take it day by day.

I’m not going to pretend like I love my job or that I respect my manager or that I’m even friends with my coworkers, because I’m not. What I can do is control my attitude and realize that I’m at this job for a reason. I can quit any day I want. But I don’t. And that’s because I still need to keep this job for whatever reason whether it’s benefits or pay.

A lot of career advice will tell you to just talk it out with your boss or change directions at work or put everything in emails, but sometimes that advice is just full of shit.

I’m giving real world advice here and that is: work’s not fair and work’s not always right. You have to keep a long-term goal in mind even when you’re doing something you hate because you’re not going to be at that job forever. And I want to say that there’s nothing wrong with you just because you can’t fit into corporate culture; it’s really not for everyone. It’s not for me either but you need to use it as an opportunity even if it’s only a short-lived one.

Worst than being at a job that you dislike is being the person who’s constantly jobhunting for the perfect job, which I don’t believe exists unless you’re your own boss and can control your work environment.

So my main point is to make an exit plan, find out what you love and find a way to monetize that. Then make a deadline on how you’re going to make that your full-time job and do it. Your day job can just be a steppingstone, something that can get you to the next place in life.

Maybe I’m not corporate made, it’s not who I am but somehow I’m going to find a way to make my job work for me and help me grow into a career that I can be proud of and love.

It’s OK if you’re failing at work or just getting by, as long as you treat it like an opportunity and a stepping stone to help get you the kind of work you love.

How To Find An Attorney For Civil Suits And What To Expect

It looks like my mold saga is coming to an end. We seriously considered finding an attorney to help us negotiate with our landlord. It was a frustrating process, but my eyes are definitely more open to the reality of what it’s like to work with an attorney.

Last month I was at a kindergarten graduation and I was talking to one of the moms. The topic of lawyers came up because she had been through a divorce. She said, “all they want to do is bill you.” I didn’t think much of it but after looking for representation of my own I realized she was right.

I Learned A Few Things About Lawyers And The Law This Week:

  • The Purpose Of Tort Law

Tort law, according to Wikipedia, is a civil wrong that causes a claimant to suffer loss or harm resulting in legal liability for the person who commits the tortious act. Its purpose is to right a wrong that has been made and put that person who was harmed back as if they were whole again.

So if someone negligently drives under the influence and ran someone on the sidewalk over and then that person lost their legs, tort law tries to find a monetary amount that would be equivalent to losing your legs. In other words, how much are that man’s legs worth?

So even though we were exposed to mold in our apt, which could have dangerous health effects on us and our 2 month old baby, the fact that we weren’t dead or dying didn’t give us much of a case.

  • Lawyers Aren’t Going To Do All The Work.

I don’t know why I have this image in my mind of lawyers wanting to jump at the opportunity of righting some injustice, but that’s not even close to how they work.

They don’t want to have to prove you have a case. YOU have to go to them and prove that you have a case under the law. That means you have to do a bit of digging on what laws apply to your issue.

From there you might get a consultation and if the attorney feels you have a good enough case, then he’ll take you on and start the process of the lawsuit.

  • It’s All About The Benjamins

Even if you have a case, that still doesn’t mean you have a case worth taking on. Because attorneys need to get paid one way or another. It’s going to be either hourly billing or contingency.

For contingency fees, they usually run 33% if you settle and 40% if it goes to trial. Zilch if the case doesn’t settle or win. So what they’re really looking for are cases that can settle or win.

For most attorneys, the question on their mind is, “If I take this case, how likely will it be to win and how much will I make.”

If they can’t make money off the case, they won’t take it.

  • Personal Injury Attorneys

Our first attempt to resolve this was to find a personal injury attorney. And they are the worst. I could not get a hold of a single one of them. They all had these bulldog secretaries that just took information and messages. Whether the attorneys actually got the messages, we don’t know, but I never heard back from anyone.

I thought it was really ridiculous that they spent all this money on advertising, to bring clients in, but they couldn’t be bothered to meet with us or respond. I guess we just weren’t dead or dying enough to make a case that was worth the money.

  • Find An Attorney That Specializes On What You Need.

At first it felt like we were taking shots in the dark. I would call personal injury attorney’s and ask, “Do you do mold litigation?” I didn’t have any referral attorneys that I could turn to. If someone said no, I would ask for a referral. It seems no one wants to give another attorney a referral.

None of the lawyers would help me so I had to rely on information from the legal secretaries. One straight out told me I would have to be severely injured for them to take me. Another referred me to the state bar association. The state bar can refer me for a $35 fee. Another secretary was more helpful and told me I would need a landlord/tenant attorney and to check AVVO.

AVVO is basically like the Yelp for attorneys, they sort by area and specialty and can help you find an attorney that has the experience you need. There are also a lot of reviews, so you can choose a top rated attorney.

  • Be Prepared To Drop Your Case Before It Even Started.

“I’ve always found the legal system to be disappointing” That’s what my dad said when I told him I wanted to sue over the mold.

Well, he was right. After I finally found a landlord/tenant attorney to meet with me for a $150 consultation, we learned we wouldn’t recoup much in damages. Maybe one months rent.

The attorney was very knowledgeable but basically laid it out for us that to pursue this in court would cost more than we could get and that basically we need to negotiate with our landlord to fix the problem permanently or to allow us to break the lease. I felt a little jipped, of course I can negotiate with my landlord directly and they already told us we could break the lease. What we wanted were damages for the costs of moving and furniture!

Our search for an attorney was long and stressful. In the end we did get enough information to make an educated decision on what to do about our apartment. I honestly hope I never have to consult a lawyer again or use an attorney’s services. Because at the end of the day, getting injured from mold or anything isn’t worth a large settlement.

We learned a lot from our situation. In case you ever need legal advice, here are the questions you’ll need to ask:

  1. Have you ever dealt with cases like this before?
  2. What is your success rate
  3. What is your retainer?
  4. Do you work hourly or by contingency basis?
  5. How will you keep me in the loop about the progress of my case?

Good luck and thanks for reading!

How To Interview Well: Tips & Tricks For The Perfect Interview

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I was always a terrible test-taker and on top of that, I’m terrible at interviewing. I just don’t have a gregarious personality. I’m introverted, I don’t smile enough but I know my stuff. Apparently, knowing my stuff doesn’t come across in my interviews if I’m not outgoing.

Personally, I feel like the interviews process is such a terrible way to hire people. There’s so much emphasis placed on interviews over resumes. How much can you really know about someone after 10 to 30 minutes of talking to them? Often times the smooth talkers and the more extroverted interviewees get preference just because they interview well. For me, I’ve gone as far as avoiding changing toxic jobs just because I don’t want to go through the interview process. It’s a nightmare. As I’m sure it is for a lot of people. But over the years I’ve gotten better. I’ve come to terms that it’s a necessary part of life like driving or Christmas with the in-laws, might as well get good at it.

Here Are The Things That I’ve Learned Along The Way:

1) Research The Company In Advance, Including Your Interviewer

Dig deep and find out everything you can about the company. Check the company website and look up the person who will be interviewing you. Google any news about them. This research will help you to come up with reasons as to why you’re a good fit for the position. Why is it important to research? Because you want to be prepared. One of the main questions interviewers ask is, “why do you want to work here?” Understanding the companies history, their current projects, what’s happening in the news will help you link your experience with why you want to work there. Since most candidates don’t put in this effort, this will separate you from the pack and help you be memorable.

2) Check Glass Door, Yelp, Linkedin and Indeed For Information.

This interview is also about finding out if this is the right position for you. Often times, people take jobs without thinking about the culture of the company, the work environment, or the benefits. It’s essential to find that out as early as possible so you could bring these questions to the interview. Glassdoor and Indeed are both great ways to get insider information on what it’s like to work at a company. Nearly every major company has a profile on Glassdoor or Indeed. There you can find out about benefits, interview questions, the salary and what current and former employees think about working there. Yelp is also a really great tool to find out more about what it would be like to work there. Customers play a major role in your work environment. What they think about the service or the product matters. With Yelp, you can find out if the company is organized or easy to deal with. I also recommend checking LinkedIn and looking at the profiles of the person interviewing and people who have similar positions as you. Low-key stalking. ?You want to know what kind of background they have. Maybe they have something in common with you that you can bring up casually in the interview. Or maybe they know mutual acquaintances and can help with networking and getting your foot in the door before the interview. These are all amazing ways to prepare for a successful interview.

3) Dress Business Formal.

No matter the culture of the company, the best thing to do is always dress business formal for an interview. I know that interview clothes can be expensive but getting one outfit that looks fantastic will help you win the job.

I’ve seen everything. I’ve seen women trying to pull off mini dresses as interview appropriate, I’ve seen women wearing weird patterned stockings, I’ve seen men wearing borrowed sports coats with khaki pants to an interview. And though some of these outfits you can get away with, you’re risking the chance that the person who’s interviewing is a very formal, traditional professional and will judge you poorly based on your attire. Always better to be overdressed than underdressed.

Women should wear either a pant suit or, preferably, a pencil skirt with a blouse and blazer. For men, all you need to do is invest in a $200 tailored suit and $100 dress shoes and that’ll be your interview outfit for years to come.

4) Prepare Mock Interview Answers And Questions.

The hardest question I’ve ever answered is “So tell me about yourself?” It’s such an open ended question! Where do you begin; how should I tell my story in a way that makes this person want to hire me?

Being able to answer that question and tie it into your experience and who you are is key. Give me questions about my qualifications and my previous experience anytime, it’s the open ended questions that can go anywhere that tend to be the most difficult.

Be prepared for behavioral questions. Things like, “tell me the last time you were challenged at work? Tell me about your weaknesses? Tell me about your strengths? How do you handle disgruntled clients?”

Of course you won’t know all the behavioral questions that could come your way, but preparing yourself to think about how you would react in a situation in relation to getting the job is important for your preparation.

5) What To Do The Day Of.

The day of the interview I like to abstain from coffee. For me, coffee or any caffeine makes me jittery and anxious if I’m already nervous about something. And I’m a nervous Nellie when it comes to interviewing.

I’ll also bring a bottle of water. I tend to get dry mouth when I’m nervous; a lot of people have that sort of reaction to nervousness. Nothing is the more distracting than hearing my own lips smack together while I’m trying to have a conversation, so I bring water to keep myself hydrated and even break up the conversation. Take a sip here and there if I need to think about an answer. I also make sure I have everything I need in terms of my resume. I’ll look it over one more time to make sure it’s flawless and doesn’t need an update.

Finally, I’ll just relax. You’ve already done the hardest part of preparing and if it doesn’t work out then it wasn’t a good fit. No need to torment yourself and cause more anxiety by worrying about how the interview will go. Just getting to the interview process is an accomplishment in itself.

6) Interview Etiquette.

This is really more of the basics of shaking hands when you meet someone, making a lot of eye contact and smiling.

I would also recommend using the interviewers name during the conversation. Using someone’s name frequently helps make the conversation feel familiar, friendlier, and casual.

Having a firm handshake is also important. A strong handshake is the first indicator of confidence. Don’t go with the limp or killer handshake. Practice in advance if you’re unsure of what kind of handshake you have.

7) After The Interview:

Send a thank you note. Recap what was discussed and just remind the interviewer why you’re a fit for the company. Thank you notes are professional, nice and a good reminder for an interviewer who has probably met with half a dozen people already.

Follow up on whether you received the position. Any more than once is considered desperate. If the person wanted to hire you, chances are there would be no need for a follow up. But the follow up is mainly to keep on their radar. If they tell you you haven’t received the job, you should express interest in any of future positions.

Let go. Sometimes you go on an interview, send follow up notes, send thank you notes and you never hear back. It’s hard, especially when it’s your dream job or you’ve been out of work for a while, but it’s important for you to keep a positive attitude. Sometimes that means letting go of negative feelings from past interviews.

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Interviews are nerve-wracking. It’s scary to go in front of a stranger knowing they’re judging you from what you look like, what you sound like to what’s on your resume. At the end of the day, you have to be positive and understand that it’s a numbers game. Eventually if you play your cards right with excellent interview skills, you’ll get a job that’s the right fit and the right pay. These tips will help you increase your odds to help you find the right position.

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Tags Interview question and answer, interview help, second interview, phone interview, how to face interview, how to get a great interview

20 Shocking Sales Stats That Will Change How You Sell

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I came across this post years ago on LinkedIn. I found that it really helped me to get a sense of where I was going and how I could make better sales. This was definitely something I needed during my brokering years, when I was only making commissions as my source of income.

Those were the good old days.  Nothing makes you a better sales person than when you’re forced to sell or not eat.  It’s a hard knock life out there and honestly most jobs require that you know how to sell, at least in some capacity.  The key is to be persistent, use follow-up, be creative and use all avenues to generate income.

So whether you are a novice, or are a seasoned sales person, this is a good cheat sheet to help you keep your priorities in line.

I’m leaving the link at the bottom, but here it is summed up:

  • 92% of all customer interactions happen over the phone.
    • Yes, making phone calls is probably the best and most efficient way to get new business.  I make an effort to call all my clients.
    • If I have bad news or if I have something urgent, I’ll make sure to do it over the phone.
    • I’m not sure if this includes text messages, but I’ve found text messages to be highly efficient for an immediate response.
  • It takes an average of 8 cold call attempts to reach a prospect.
    • Follow up, follow-up, follow up.
    • I take it a step further and follow-up via text, phone and email.
    • If someone isn’t ready to buy now, I always ask, “when will you foresee that you’ll be ready.”  I don’t let people go without a timeline of when to call next.
  • The best time to cold call is between 4:00 and 5:00 pm.
    • I personally find, 5:00pm-7:00pm is also pretty productive.  People are done with work or are finishing up and are more likely available to take calls.
  • 35-50% of sales go to the vendor that responds first
    • OMG, yes! This is probably the most annoying thing about sales.  When people are shopping to buy something, it’s usually very urgent, so they call everyone who sells what they’re looking for.  Being the first person contacted and responding WILL help your closing ratio.
    • My issue is that you always have to be available to cater to clients that need immediate attention.  Don’t forget about work-life balance.
  • 80% of sales require 5 follow-up calls after the meeting 44% of sales reps give up after 1 follow up.
    • If you were able to get a meeting, you should be able to do 5 follow ups minimum.  The effort to get a meeting is hard enough, quitting after 1 followup makes the meeting wasteful.
  • Thursday is the best day to prospect, Wednesday is the second best day.

 

  • Nearly 13% of all the jobs in the U.S are full-time sales positions.
    • Pretty much all the work I’ve ever done has been sales. Perfume sales, product sales, real estate sales.  Sales isn’t for the faint of heart.
  • Over one trillion dollars are spent annually on sales forces.

 

  • In a typical firm with 100-500 employees, an average of 7 people are involved in most buying decisions

 

  • 78% of salespeople using social media outsell their peers.

 

  • Email is almost 40X better at acquiring new customers than Facebook and Twitter.
    • Email is king in terms of converting sales.
    • Don’t forget the power of an email newsletter or subscription list.  I’ve gotten some really great clients from my subscription list.
    • Just remember you need a large email list before you can see it work its magic.  I think I had 1000 emails before I started getting people reaching out from the list.
  • Salespeople who actively seek out and exploit referrals earn 4 to 5 times more than those who don’t.
    • Hell, some of my best opportunities have been from referrals.
    • Don’t underestimate the power of “word of mouth”
  • 91% of customers say they’d give referrals.  Only 11% of sales people ask for referrals.
    • Referral clients are king!  It’s a free way to grow your business, I say why not!\
  • Only 13% of customers believe a sales person can understand their needs.
    • The client always thinks they know better. It’s our job to manage expectations and explain what we are selling.
  • 55% of the people making their living in sales don’t have the right skills to be successful
    • A lot of people do it part-time!  A lot of people don’t treat it like a job or assume they have the right personality.  You have to learn the skills first!
  • Continuous training gives 50% higher net sales per employee

 

  • The average company spending $10K-$15K hiring an individual and only $2K a year in sales training

 

  • It takes 10 months or more for a new sales rep to be fully productive.
    • So don’t change companies every time you go through a downturn, it just hinders you from being productive.  You need to work through it and find out how to make your business work for you.
  • Retaining current customers is 6-7X less costly than acquiring new ones.
    • Maybe you’re current customers are needy and time-consuming.  Giving them up, would mean putting 6-7X more effort to finding new ones.  Stay the course!
  • The average company loses between 10% and $30% of its customers each year.
    • Losing customers is normal.  That’s why it’s important to keep building your customer base through different avenues.
  • After a presentation, 63% of attendees remember stories. Only 5% remember statistics.

Here’s the link to the original website I found.  The general gist is that you have to be persistent as hell when you’re in sales.  Your sole job is to sell people products or services that they need or might not even realize they need yet.

Happy Selling!

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How To Make A Change in Your Life

I’ve been thinking a lot about change lately. There’s a lot of change I want to bring into my life.

I know so many other people who want to make changes in their life but can’t. I know people who are afraid of change and avoid it at all costs.

But why not just embrace change? I’ve realized that change is inevitable and something we can’t always control. Sometimes I’m sitting in my room thinking about the day my parents get too old to visit me or if me and K ever get sickly and one of us have to stay home full-time. I think about our retirement and whether we’ll have enough. I think about my daughter and that in 13 years she’ll be off to college.

Some of these are good changes and some of them are bad, but the reality is that some or ALL of these changes will happen at some point.

Right now I’m not so happy with how things are going. I have enough money now but not enough TIME. I’m always clawing for more time, with my husband, my daughter, our family, and for myself. I’m working or doing chores at home. Working a 40hr week plus commuting 12-15 hours a week plus a child plus a husband is a LOT. I’m trying to move away from that and maybe use this blog as an outlet to make that happen.

I’m ready to make a CHANGE.

I could be unhappy and take it out on the people around me. Kind of play the blame game. So many people do that when they feel helpless in their situation but that’s not the type of change you really want to make in your life. See, blaming others for changes that are or aren’t happening in your life makes you lose your sense of responsibility over yourself. It puts you in the hands of someone else to fix your problems. Almost all problems can be fixed by taking ownership of your problems, making a long-term plan to fix the problem, and then following through with action.

“If you always do what you did, you’ll always get what you’ve got.”

I heard this quote somewhere and it struck a cord with me.

Sometimes you have to do something different to get the result you want.

I have a handful of friend that are still doing to same things they used to do in their early 20s but are bemoaning that they can’t find a good guy. I’m sorry, if you sleep with a guy on the 1st or 2nd date and that hasn’t really worked for you in 5 years, shouldn’t it be time to, I don’t know, change things up? Maybe you can go with a different persona than fun, carefree and sexy girl, since that’s not getting the strong, serious and responsible guy you’re looking for.

Or the friend that complains that they don’t have the career they deserve yet, and no opportunities. Meanwhile, they spent their younger years high as hell, partying and having fun.

We all reap what we sow. We shouldn’t rely on chance or luck to get us what we want in life. The life we want can only come through conscious change.

My sister S loves to live in the past. She’s all about growth and finding herself so she looks to the past to understand herself and see what could be in her future. She said her biggest issues stem from her childhood, she doesn’t feel she got the right support from our parents.

I was like, “how does that help you change your life, by knowing that?”

She replied, it helps her to make good choices now and when she acts out, she can understand where it’s coming from.

I don’t know…it didn’t seem like she could really make a change in her life with that way of thinking. Yes, she understood what was holding her back but she wasn’t able to move past it.

Looking at the past is only half the story. You also have to look to the future too to make real change in your life.

People hate thinking about the future, it gives them so many bad thoughts about failure, shortcomings, mortality. But the future is HOPE, a part of your life that has not been written. It’s a part of your life that you can still alter and make right. So to make a real change in your life you need to look at the future too.

You need to envision the future you want and then stitch together how that’s going to happen.

Example: P wants to be able to move out of her parents house, they don’t have money to assist her, and she doesn’t have enough savings yet to make the move. P does have a job, summer is around the corner and she’s about to get more hours at the restaurant she waits at. P wants to move closer to the city so she can start a new career in fashion and meet the love of her life.

Scenario 1) P spends her whole summer hanging out with friends, going to the beach and enjoying herself. She could have picked up a few more shifts but decided she’d rather just take it easy this summer and have fun. She’s been talking to her parents about helping her move but together they still don’t have enough to make it happen.

Scenario 2) P sits down and thinks it over. She thinks about what she needs to do to make what she wants to happen.  First she’ll need money.  She’ll need to go out less and maybe take on a few extra shifts at work.  She also needs to find a roommate.  Sharing housing costs will make it easier to financially afford the move..  She thinks about all her friends who would need a roommate.  So she puts up a post on FB and finds an old friend that lives in the area that she wants to live in.  There’s going to be a spare room opening up in 2 months.  The deadline is tight but this gives P a goal.  After 2 months of grinding and saving, she’s able to put 95% of what she needs away.  Her parents, seeing her work so hard to meet her goal, decide to help her make the 5% difference so she can move.

Planning ahead and putting together steps to make positive change takes discipline.  And there will always be that voice in your head that says, “What if I can’t do this?”  A small seed of doubt.  My advice is to trust your gut on what steps you’ll need in your future.  You’ll never be able to predict the outcome of your choices or the changes you’ll make, but an educated guess is better than no change or action at all.

There are people who wait in life for luck to happen to them and there are those who take a stab in the dark, make things happen, and make their own luck.  It’s through change we’re able to do that.  Which person are you?

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