Problems with a Coworker? Don’t Go to Your Boss First

Posted in Career Advice

In a recent blog post career coach and workplace expert Alexandra Levit recommended that talking to a troublesome co-worker before going to your boss is proper workplace etiquette. Levit suggested that “In general, you should reserve complaining to someone’s boss for cases in which that someone is not giving you what you need, and has been repeatedly forewarned.”  And, even then, you should proceed with caution.  After all, running to the  boss to solve problems or deal with difficult office politics is not going to endear you to your colleagues and fellow employees.

Levit recommends that the “boss card” should only be played when it is absolutely necessary and you have no other choice i.e. the co-worker’s behavior is affecting your work product, making you look bad or damaging the possibility of your year end bonus! Understandably,it takes a lot of courage to talk to a troublesome employee and to explain to them why their behavior is inappropriate, irritating or unprofessional. Nevertheless, this is a requisite first step that cannot be avoided before you schedule a meeting with your boss to diss your colleague.

Nobody likes a “rat” but sometimes it is necessary to go over someone else’s “head” to protect yourself.  And, in many cases, it is likely that you are not the only person who has problems with a  particular co-worker (every office has one or two). That said, before going to the boss, it is wise to be very mindful of prevailing office politics and whether or not the troublesome co-worker is allied with persons who can have a direct impact on your future employment with your organization.

Until next time….

Good Luck and Good Job Hunting!!!!!!!!

Everything You Need to Know About Hiring Contractors

Posted in BioEducation

While I spend most of my time as a freelancer, I sometimes will do contract work because the pay is good and the hours are reasonable. As many of you know by now, using contractors rather than hiring new employees has become the new way of controlling costs and keeping the full time headcount low. After all, paying someone an hour wage without covering insurance and other employee benefits costs can be huge savings to companies trying to maintain competitiveness and cut costs.

During my various stints as a contract employee, I learned that the rules governing the hiring of contractors vary widely from company to company and agency to agency. Consequently, there are a lot of myths, urban legends and misinformation regarding hiring contractors and the obligations of employers to them. Admittedly, I am a bit confused about the rules surrounding hiring and employing contractors despite the fact that I have been a contractor on more than three occasions. 

For those of you who may be confused as me or others who simply want to learn more about contracting, I highly recommend an article by Katherine Reynolds Lewis in the small business section of the NY Times entitled “Hiring Contractors Without Getting Into Trouble.”

The article offers a comprehensive overview of the Federal laws governing contractor hiring practices, the challenges of a contractor workforce and how to maximize the effectiveness of contract employees. Despite its obvious employer bias, it does paint a realistic view of what persons interested in contract work will likely encounter in the workplace.

Until next time….

Good Luck and Good Job Hunting!!!!!!!!!