6 Terrible Reasons Your Boss Might Love You

For anybody that works in a job where you have a boss, you want them to like you and be satisfied with you, right?  I know I always strive to be the best employee I can be, and while I know I’m not perfect, I have more often than not been considered an employee who contributes.

But, there are times when your boss might love you, for all the wrong reasons.  What does that mean?

Well, it’s simple.  You might be a sucker!

If your employer ‘loves you’ for any of the following reasons, then maybe it’s time to change your strategy a little bit

  1. You don’t take all of your time off – If you don’t take all of your time off that’s given to you in the course of a year, you’re essentially working for your employer for free for the time you leave on the table.  They calculate your salary as part of a total benefits package which includes time off.  Unless your employer pays you dollar for dollar for time that you don’t use, you’re essentially giving them back part of your compensation package.  Good for them.  Not so good for you.
  2. You work during your time off – Some people might take time off but how many people do you know still check their e-mail or call into meetings?  Even if you’re on a cruise ship, the fact that you’re still doing work makes it beneficial for your employer and not you.
  3. You don’t contribute to your 401(k) match level – I’ll admit, this one doesn’t apply to me, because we had our match cancelled and have yet to have it re-instated, but if your company offers a match, and you’re not contributing to the level, you’re leaving money right on the table.  Again, that’s all calculated as part of your total compensation, so take what is coming to you.
  4. You always say yes – If your boss is always giving you the extra tasks that pop up, you might be getting taken advantage of.  If you’re not overly busy, then by all means, say yes when asked to do something.  But, if you’re totally swamped, it’s OK to say no some times.  I say that with some stipulations.  First, make sure that you are legitimately busy with tasks that your boss is aware of.  Second, don’t say ‘no’ and just leave it.  Bosses don’t like that.  Instead, lay out (very high level) the tasks that you’re working on.  Third, present options.  Again, bosses don’t like when you simply say that you can’t do something.  If you lay it out like “I’m really tied up with this project for the rest of the week and the customer is expecting me, but how about I look at this on Monday?” you’ll end up in a situation where your boss will be given options to choose from, and if they’re any good at their job, they’ll appreciate your commitment to your current tasks.
  5. You never offer suggestions or input – Companies and bosses don’t like loudmouths, so if you’re constantly piping up about problems you have or things you would do different if you were in charge, then chances are your boss has tuned you out long ago.  But, on the opposite end, if you say nothing, you’re missing out on a great opportunity, and a good boss will appreciate your input.  In fact, one thing I’ve found is that bosses hate when employees don’t provide input about something, then leave their job, offering their ‘input’ during their resignation.  Bosses aren’t mind readers, and if it’s eating you up on the inside that you haven’t been sent to a training class in three years, then go talk to them about it before you up and jump ship.

A lot of these things depend on the style of your boss.  Some bosses want employees who don’t say anything, and if that’s the case, then these suggestions probably won’t make much difference.  Personally, though, I’ve never worked well with these types of individuals.  These suggestions tie with bosses who are leaders and who actually take the time to realize that their success and happiness is tied to that of their employees.  If you have a boss like that, make sure you’re working with them and not falling into any of the traps above.

7 Ways To Enjoy Guilt-Free Time Off

Time off is one of those things that has gotten a bad reputation.  Companies give you time off, but some will look down on you for using it.  Many people freely admit that they avoid taking all of their time off for fear of being seen as lazy or dispensable.

I try not to feel guilty about using my time off.  I feel that if the company gives employees time off, they are counting on you using it.  If companies actually give employees hassle about using it, then it seems silly to even be working for that company in the first place.

There are some tips you can follow so that you can take your time off without feeling guilty about it.

  1. Know your company / department – Taking a week off shouldn’t be a problem, but if you plan on taking more than that off at one time, you should make sure your company and department can handle that.  Most tasks can be put off a week or so, but if you’re handling important things that can’t be shifted around, it will start making people nervous if they get put off for too long.
  2. Get ahead of the game before you leave – If you’re heading out for a week, try to get some of the things you would normally do done before you leave.
  3. Transfer any responsibilities that have to be done – If there are things that need to get done that you have to transfer to someone else, make sure they understand completely what is being done.
  4. Send out a ‘reminder’ e-mail to anybody doing your work – If you ask someone else to do something, they agree to do it, and it doesn’t get done, guess who gets the blame?  You.  This can often be avoided by sending out an e-mail a couple of days before you leave.  A simple “Just want to confirm that you will be doing such and such task next week while I’m gone.  If you have any questions, please let me know before Friday afternoon.  Thanks so much!”  Copy your boss.  Trust me, the work will get done.
  5. Make sure to update your calendar, voice-mail, and out of office reply.  This should need no further explanation.
  6. Make sure to remind your boss that you’ll be off– If you plan your time off for July back in March and your boss approves it, that gives him/her four months to forget all about it.  Dropping by a few days before your time off saying ‘Hey, just a reminder that I’m off next week, do you need anything from me?’ can often avoid a messy situation for your boss (that will then unavoidably transfer to you).
  7. Follow up when you get back – The morning you get back you should run through your voice mails and e-mails, responding to anything urgent, and you should also stop by your bosses office (as well as any colleagues who were handling your tasks).  No matter how best you prepare, things will often blow up while you’re gone, and the best thing you can do is put out any fires as quickly as you can.

Do these things and you shouldn’t feel guilty about taking time off.

Any other tips you have to ensure relaxing time away?  Have you had any time-off horror stories?