Almost three years ago (could be more) after finishing Secondary School I was more than eager to find me a job. =) So in Trinidad there’s this organization called On The Job Training (OJT) where you do a two week Office Etiquette course and they find a job for you within a week of your training. After doing this course I didn’t just want to sit and wait for a call from them so I grabbed the local newspaper and began searching through the classifieds, found a suitable position and emailed my resume. Strange enough, within two days I received a call concerning my interest in the firm. Giddily, I agreed to go in for an interview and by no more than a week I started my very first office job.
Yes OJT did call me but I turned the position down thinking that I found something better. While I was extremely grateful that I was given this opportunity, it came with A LOT of lessons.
Because of me being frustrated and crying almost everyday, my hair began falling out and a red rash took over my body. I wouldn’t go into any more details about it but what I can say is that all this has helped me become a more patient, efficient and respectable person even though I didn’t think I could be any more respectful and I’ve also learned to bite my tongue in tongue-lashing situations. 😉
With that being said, here are some tips to deal with a difficult boss:
- Listen – It pays to listen, especially if you are new (like I was), pay attention and don’t go about wanting to do things your way because you think you ‘might’ have an idea.
- Ask questions – Questions ARE important. In a situation where you’re not sure about how to do the task or you may have forgotten…ASK. The last thing you want to get yelled at is for doing something you can’t undo.
- Be friendly – NOTHING works like getting you through that eight hour shift (in my case it was eight and a half) like co-workers who you can, soon enough, call friends. During my time there I made some really good friends who I still keep dear at heart! The snickering (because we couldn’t laugh loud), the lunch dates and the occasional after work lime really did good in getting through that what seemed like a 12 hour shift.
- Remain calm! – The worst thing you can do in life is to blow up on someone and regret it. Even if you are being insulted in a sarcastic way (like I was)…If your ‘bread and butter’ is the difficult workplace you’re at then remind yourself of that every day you wake up and when things get tough take a few deep breaths, say a prayer and think before you answer!
- Stay positive – There are MANY reasons for you to keep positive. Find one that works for you and dwell on this in the morning, during the day and even after work. Whether it be your little blessing/s at home, a screen saver of your dream vacation, a dish you love, the sight of nature as you walk the street or look out your window, or simply talking to God and asking Him to keep you positive works even better.
- Be respectful – Even if you are being disrespected. Someday you may need a job letter or your new job might request a recommendation from your previous workplace and God knows what they may put in those letters. Being disrespectful ruin chances in your future no matter how far you think you can make it.
- Show sympathy – Most times if someone is being hard on you it’s because someone was hard on them. Try to understand their current situation or their background (if you know it) and it would make things lighter.
I spent approximately 2 years there, just enough to build my resume. Of course during my time I sent applications to various companies in which I prayed and prayed for a good one to contact me. It took two years of much prayer to get a job I am highly satisfied at now. I thank God for it EVERY DAY. As I said before, I also thank God for taking me through that phase because I’ve learnt far more than I thought I would’ve! I hope this post brought some light to those out there who were blinded by the hardship of a difficult workplace. Tomorrow is Monday…step into your workplace with a fresh mindset! 🙂
Until next time!