31 Mar 2015

How to impress important people

The way to the top is conquered not only, and I dare say almost nothing, by working, but most especially by impressing people that are above you in the pyramid of power.
Your boss, your boss’s boss and so on. This will grant you a prosper future in the company.

1.       Spot the key players: you need to impress people, so the most important thing to define first is whom to impress. Your boss. But maybe he’s not enough, he might not even be that powerful in the company. His boss? Maybe. The HR people who can easily move you around in the company. The CEO, in the end. You need to pay attention and figure out who is really dealing the cards in your company to set your target.
2.       Start giving small hints: after you set your target, you need to have him or her noticing you. You need to copy him/her in some emails. Not just some email of course. You need to choose carefully an email which will impress him. Maybe you’re working at home in the weekend. And he will know that. Maybe you are doing some extra work that is not part of your role. He will also like to know that. Or maybe just forward compliments that people give you.
3.       Do a good job. This is of course the best way to impress people. However it is usually not noticed as quickly as it should be. So maybe you must underline it to your colleagues and to your boss especially, to people from other department even. That customers love you and praise you, that you take care of things very quickly and efficiently. But be careful how you say it or they might think you don’t have enough stuff to do and award you with more stuff. Choose your words wisely.
4.       Dress elegantly. Even if you like to wear ripped jeans and loose shirts with army boots, that is not a good option to use as office apparel. You might do an excellent job, but with these outfits you will not earn respect. And who doesn’t earn respect, doesn’t earn promotions. Invest in good outfits. A well-tailored suit will boost your career more than 3 months of hard work. Buy good looking quality shoes. Leather purses. A nice trench coat will do millions for you. Go to the hairdresser and ask for a professional haircut. You will not get that raise if you plan on shaving you hair or dye it pink.
5.       If everything else fails, just seduce someone. I know it looks like a very extreme situation, but you don’t need to sleep with that person. Just work on some innuendo, nice but naughty smiles, some cleavage. If people feel desired, they will feel good. And if they feel good, they promote people.

The picture summary for busy people as usual:

22 Mar 2015

How to look busy

Everybody working in some company needs to look busy. For several reasons. If you don’t look busy, people will either ask you to do other things or fire you. In any of these cases, it’s something you want to avoid.

So you need to look busy at all times so people think you are being productive and can’t handle any more tasks.
Here are the tips to look like you give a damn:

1.       Always put that concentrated look on your face: even if you’re surfing the internet looking for some new Nike sneakers, you need to look like you are doing actual work. And you can concentrate in this task. Concentrate in prices, in colours, in shoe sizes, find where is the nearest shop…
2.       Surf the web carefully: you can go in the internet during working hours, of course. The lesson to learn is to always avoiding people from seeing it. In that sense, it’s always better to see pages with more text than image. And preferably with light background colours (reading text with pink as background colour, even if you look concentrated, will not fool anyone). Wikipedia is safe. Blogs depend on the interface. Pictures are very easy to spot. Avoid. Plus always keep one tab with some working related search in google. If you sense people are coming, you just need to switch tabs and you can argue that you were searching for Incoterms 2010.
3.       Move around papers and office supplies in your desk: even though you are not advised to have many papers lying around (cf. howto organize your desk), you should always have the necessary. That said, you should grab it, scribble something on it, put it down, clip the papers, grab a pen, switch by pencil, write, erase, etc.  You know. Just keep the rhythm. People will look at you and pity you. They will not have the courage to ask you for help.
4.       Complain to your colleagues/boss: of course the most easy way to look busy is to say it. If you talk to your mates and complaint about the emails that don’t stop coming, the customers that are always annoying you, the colleagues that don’t reply quick enough, you will be taken seriously. This is one of the most important points of how to look busy and one of the easiest ones. Say it.
5.       Take a moment to look desperate: given my experience with very busy people, I realized that there is always a moment where people break. A moment when they stop looking at the computer and look down, put their head in the hands and breath heavily. The common translation for this is that people are getting to their breaking point. They are so full of work, they need to stop to think (to think if they should quit and if it’s really worth it sometimes). So if you do this, people will for sure believe that you are reaching your limits. And you are. Your limits of boredom.

Below the usual picture summary for really busy people:

16 Mar 2015

How to organise your desk

Our desks are always a mess because we have too many things and too little space and time.
Don’t worry, I’m here to help. Here is my method:

1.       Eliminate everything that is useless: by useless, I really mean that doesn’t have a function. Pens write, staplers staple, phones ring. Nice pictures do nothing (cf. how to cope with dumb people – statue look), motivational sentences no nothing too unfortunately, nice little vases don’t cheer you up, they just take room for other stuff. Throw everything away.
2.       Choose good material: you need to look at your office supplies and throw away what you don’t need. You don’t need two blue pens, you just use one. Do you really use those scissors that much? Loose them. If you also feel that your stuff isn’t good enough or it’s too old or used, you can go the place where we keep the supplies at lunch time (when people are not around and you can take whatever you want unnoticed) and choose good and new material for you. This will also cheer you up.
3.       Reduce paper: the more stuff you print, the more stuff you have in your desk and the more you need to archive. Stop printing everything. Print just what it’s necessary for you. Not what you’re supposed to print ‘for legal reasons’. Do you really think a man from IRS will come here and check our every 65879 archive folders? Not gonna happen. Everything that is in the system can be printed later. Get used to just printing order confirmations and eventually other documents that you need to send to the customer. If customer doesn’t need, you don’t need to print – this should be your motto.
4.       Throw away office trays: these will only encourage you to keep more and more paper. The less places you have to put piles of paper the better. If you eventually feel the need to store extra paper, just try to do it on somebody else’s desk carefully without your colleagues noticing. If your look to the people next to you and he/she is dumb (cf. how to cope with dumb people – introduction), he/she probably will not even realise it and will archive it him/herself – this is, of course, the perfect situation.
5.       If everything else fails, ask for a bigger desk: if none of the above tips work, you need to ask you boss for a bigger desk. Eventually your own office (you know you deserve it!).

And as usual, here is the summary for the busy people:

8 Mar 2015

How to cope with dumb people

I’ve been thinking a lot on my free time and I think it’s useful to share some tips with you on how to deal with dumb people all the time.
We all go through that at some moment of our lives. Sometimes it just takes us to look at the person sitting right next to us.
This has been helping me deal with this problem:

1.       Invest in good mp3 player and/or headphones: if you have good music and good equipment that blocks any noise from the surroundings, you will be able to work without interruptions and listening to stupid remarks/questions. The added value of this tip is that besides blocking the noise, the headphones usually demotivate people from talking to you.
2.       Always put on your ‘statue look’: whatever you do, never show any interest on what these people talk or do. You need to keep your face frozen, with no emotions, at all times.
3.       Try to act like an asshole anytime you are asked something: if you give people stupid/asshole replies, they will probably try to avoid contact with you in the future.
4.       Use tranquilisers: if none of the above tips are effective, your only way to keep your sanity is to use prescription drugs. These will not do you any harm if prescribed by a certified physician and if it’s the correct dosage. They will in fact make your life a lot easier and working with dumb people will be much better, since you will not care about them at all.
5.       If everything else fails, just tell them they’re stupid and their dumbness is disturbing you: this will of course not solve any problem, but will make you feel a lot better with yourself!

If you don’t have the time to read the above instructions, here you can find the shorter picture version: