In an ideal scenario, you go into your year-end review prepared, after 12 months of regularly meeting with your boss and getting her feedback as she observes your behavior on the job. You know what you're going to get and you're ready for it. But quite often, this is not the case – your manager hardly has any time to stop, you're caught up between projects and putting out fires, and you're lucky if you can catch a breather. So what do you do when you're having your performance review discussion with your manager and it isn't really going so well?
Call it Secret Santa, or White Elephant, or Yankee Swap: no matter how your office structures its annual holiday gift-giving ritual, it's a potential opportunity to make enemies among your soon-to-be erstwhile office friends and resentful co-workers. Think we're being overly negative? Consider these horrible office holiday gifts, culled from Facebook users who will never cheerfully draw a name from a Santa hat again.
It's 5 o'clock. You've got your computer open, phone sitting next to it, and somehow an iPad has managed to find its way onto your desk. You're simultaneously trying to update your project manager, respond to three different slack chats, and make happy hour plans — which three hours from now you'll have to cancel because you'll still be in the office. Maybe it's time to re-prioritize your schedule.
The words "workplace" and "office" don't conjure up simple imagery quite the way they used to. Some people work for startups that grow and change faster than employees can adjust. Other folks are freelancers or work from home for their companies. Still others are working full-time while also pursuing degrees, and trying to find a way to make it all work. No matter the case, the office life of today is very different than it used to be. And, no matter which work situation you find yourself in, that particular environment has its benefits and its drawbacks. Let's take a closer look at a few of the nontraditional employment situations available to today's workers. There may be more to these arrangements than meets the eye.
As the holiday season approaches, so do the holiday parties. These events bring up mixed feelings for most of us. In a way, look forward to the parties, anticipating that they'll be at least a little bit fun, but there is also so much to do around this time of year, and extra social events can feel like a waste of time. But, holiday parties are actually rife with opportunity – not just to enjoy ourselves, but to do a little professional networking while we're at it.
If you've been approached to mentor someone, you've been given an amazing opportunity to guide your mentee's career, to impart your wisdom, to help them in their aspirations. In addition to being recognized for your achievements, and being valued for your experience, the opportunity to mentor someone relatively new in their career can be a mutually enriching association.
Even if you absolutely love your job, there's always going to be something about it that you wish you could change. That's the ideal scenario; if you're lucky, you have an issue or two that you'd like to resolve, but nothing that impacts your job satisfaction as a whole. On the other hand, if your problems are beyond minor complaints – if you feel threatened, suffocated, or compromised on your principles, work ethic, or professional and personal well-being – you may be working in a toxic environment.
Look around any office today and you will squint to find more than a handful of people without their ears plugged into headphones. With that said, most people would agree that music helps them work better throughout the day. But did you know that you can legitimately match your music tracks with your tasks, for optimal productivity?
Mistakes are pretty common in all areas of life. The workplace is no exception. The only difference is that the stakes might be higher. Depending on the severity of your goof, your job may be at risk. If you're fortunate enough to realize your mistake before it causes a major catastrophe and puts you and your manager in a tough situation, there are a few things you can do.