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Posted August 14, 2014 by

9 Ways To Add Happiness To Your Mood At Work

Portrait of a smiling worker in a factory

Portrait of a smiling worker in a factory. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

When the job is new, it usually seems refreshing and interesting. However, as your job gets old, it may start making you bored and tired all the time. No matter how happy-go-lucky you are, sometimes it becomes tough to stay positive and happy at work.

Work load, project deadlines, office politics and over-times are some of the few factors that may make you feel tired of your day to day job and thus add boredom to it. The only ways you can take that boredom out of your job and make it more interesting and engaging again are: (more…)

Posted December 31, 2013 by

7 Lessons from High School to Apply on Entry Level Jobs

Some high school students might think that what they learn won’t matter later in their careers.  However, once they get entry level jobs, some lessons from school might come in handy.  Learn seven of them in the following post.

High schools get a lot of criticism for the way graduates are prepared (or not) for the rigors of the real world. Nowhere does that lack of preparation get highlighted more than in the workplace. But you’d be surprised how much happens in your average high school that’s related to

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Posted September 18, 2012 by

5 Rules for Discussing Politics in the Office

John Challenger of Challenger, Gray & ChristmasWith the presidential election fast approaching and the polar platforms of the two contenders making headlines, the debate over each candidate’s strengths and weaknesses is undoubtedly spilling over into the nation’s workplaces.

As the line blurs between employees’ work and personal lives, coworkers often become members of one’s social circle and therefore a sounding board for one’s political views and opinions.  However, while political talk in the office should not be discouraged, it is important that certain ground rules be followed, according to global outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. (more…)

Posted September 01, 2012 by

3 Tips If You’re Being Bullied at Work

Rosemary Haefner of CareerbuilderA new study finds the number of workers encountering bullies at the office is on the rise. Thirty-five percent of workers said they have felt bullied at work, up from 27 percent last year. Sixteen percent of these workers reported they suffered health-related problems as a result of bullying and 17 percent decided to quit their jobs to escape the situation.

The study also found nearly half of workers don’t confront their bullies and the majority of incidents go unreported. The survey was conducted online by Harris Interactive© from May 14 to June 4, 2012 and included more than 3,800 workers nationwide.

Who Are the Bullies? (more…)

Posted September 04, 2008 by

Companies self-destruct when bullies run amok!

I have vivid memories of being bullied when I was in the fourth grade. Darrell would line me and other classmates up each morning and extort our lunch money under threat of beating us to a pulp! Darrell had already missed about two grades and towered over everyone. We were thoroughly intimidated. Growing tired of watching other kids enjoying their lunches I came up with an idea. I’ll tell my mom about it and she will get him off my back!

Wrong! She gave me one of the worst thrashings of my life and said, “Don’t you let that boy take your lunch money. I’m going to call your teacher tomorrow to make sure you eat lunch.” Now I was really in a jam, I had to decide who I was more afraid of Mom or Darrell! I didn’t get an inch of sleep that night and the next morning went off to school hoping to hide from Darrell. Unfortunately, he caught me before the homework bell and proceeded to pound me for refusing to cough up my lunch money.
During the course of the fight I remember being cheered on by other victims of Darrell’s tyranny. Mercifully, the teachers arrived and saved me from further punishment. I looked at Darrell and to my amazement; I had actually bloodied his nose! As we were marched to the principal’s office, I was cheered and patted on the back by my classmates. I also got a lot of attention from the girls in my class. I explained to the principal about Darrell’s extortion racket and mom’s response. He sent me back to class and Darrell was suspended for a week. After that, I never had any more problems with Darrell. We in fact became good friends.
Unfortunately there are “Darrells and Darrellettes” in the workplace who are just as intimidating to fellow employees. Standing up to workplace bullies can be just as frightening for the victims. Workplace bullying can take on different forms such as

  • psychological abuse
  • physical abuse
  • emotional abuse
  • verbal and non verbal abuse
  • sabotage of the victims work product

According to Wikipedia workplace bullying, “is the tendency of individuals or groups to use persistent aggressive or unreasonable behavior against a co-worker.” From my workplace experience, I have witnessed bullying of customers, vendors, visitors and other interested parties! Bullies in the workplace often take advantage of their power by…

  • humiliating
  • insulting
  • affronting and confronting
  • intimidating

…the “target” of their abuse. Many times this behavior is played out in front of witnesses to destroy the victim’s self esteem. When management allows bullying, trust in the workplace is nonexistent. Studies show that when there is an environment of distrust, employees tend to perform poorly. So bullying is bad for business. when employers are aware of bullying from employees and managers and do nothing to correct it, they share in the negative consequences. Workplace bullies come in all shapes, genders, races and sizes and have a great need for control. Here are the four basic types of workplace bullies.

  • Yellers, They always have to talk over the target(s).
  • Blockers, This type likes to undermine the reputation of the target and destroy work product.
  • Backstabbers, Self explanatory, they work in the shadows spreading ugly rumors and gossip aimed at the target.
  • Nitpickers, This bully lives to find fault with everything the victim does no matter how trivial. The bully will trash any suggestions by the target for improving workplace performance and efficiency as well.

A national poll conducted by the Workplace Bullying Institute says 37 percent or 54 million American employees have been or are bullied at work. Gary Namie, director of the Institute says, “It’s a silent epidemic”. Workplace bullying is also called “mobbing” when two or more managers or employees gang up on a victim. Co-workers who witness bullying have increased levels of low morale and stress. Employees who are the targets exhibit…

  • insomnia
  • stroke
  • depression
  • migraine headaches
  • low self esteem
  • high levels of stress disorder
  • suicidal tendencies
  • greater risk of heart disease

Because there are no laws protecting employees from bullying there is no clear definition for it. That makes it hard to distinguish from other behaviors such as sexual and racial harassment. To this point, the federal government has no workplace bully laws. Businesses and organizations by and large don’t have policies to prevent it. However, several states have proposed legislation to provide employees some protection. There are some things employees can do to protect themselves.

  • learn more about it
  • stay calm
  • promote your good work
  • inform management of the problem(if the bully is the manager go over his/her head)
  • understand the bully is the problem not you

Keep good records detailing the bullies behavior over a period on time. This includes names, dates, times, places, witnesses, etc. Try to get the bully to create a paper trail for you. You would be amazed at how easy it is to get people behaving badly in the workplace to email their negative intent toward you. I have successfully used email that required a response to accomplish this. Keep all the documentation you receive from the bully that helps you prove his/her accusations against you are false. Finally, if possible always try to have one or more witnesses who aren’t intimidated or a part of the bullies “mob” around as witnesses to what is said and done.
Raising awareness and making a stand like the one I did against Darrell are the most effective ways to discourage and prevent workplace bullying. Seeking legal guidance is always an option as well until specific laws are passed to protect employees.