And it’s the final post of my job hacks – for now! I plan to round these up in an orderly post and probably do them as a zine. “Bob” willing it might eventually turn into a book or something!
So here’s the final-for-now set of tips for you weirdoes, mutants, slackers, and people who want to survive and perhaps overthrow our job world. You can find more the rest in Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4.
Line Up Success Stories – Do something good? Get an email from them to your boss, get them to say thanks, get a LinkedIn testimonial. Line up things that make you look good, so mistakes get forgotten and you have ammo to deal with any critique. Plus you have references.
Line Up Certifications – Certifications look good on a resume, prove what you can do, and often your employer will pay for them. You might even get time off to study or take tests! Plus you might get some specialty skills that make you hard to fire and easy to get more pay.
Join Professional Organizations – Belonging to a professional organization looks good – but there’s more! These may sound stodgy, but a lot of them provide all sort of benefits and let you network and make friends with other people as disillusioned as you are!
Learn To Report – Organizations live and die by reporting, even if it’s a kind of talisman to pretend you know what’s going on. Learn how to deal with reports, file them “properly,” and make them work for you.
Reports Are A Break – If your job includes reports, this is a grand excuse to goof off. Get good at the reports (it’s easy if no one else wants to do it) then take more time than you need. Also you can run podcasts, music, sports while filling crap out.
Overreport . . . – Some people with bother you for updates a lot. Learn how to craft fast, insanely detailed reports, so they just go “uh, fine” and give up. Be sure to use these updates to call for help, so they either do their job or get blamed when they ignore you.
. . . Underreport – Some people say they want updates but really don’t want a lot of detail. Use this to give them quick updates, ask for help, and otherwise leave them alone. A good way to quickly drop hot potatoes in their lap as “they want to know about it.”
Pay Attention – Doing reports tells you what’s going on at work. From accurate data to seeing obviously “adjusted” data, you’ll get heads-ups or warnings of the future. Take it from me, that might let you escape a layoff or reorg.
Learn The System – Your job is going to teach you A LOT about the world and what’s wrong with it. Learn from this – don’t despair, get active. It’s fine to get really cynical then apply it.
Get Politically Active – Your job taught you what’s good and bad about it. Let that direct your politics, learn from this and get goddamn active. You might make a change.
Some Employers Don’t Suck That Much – It’s true. You might be able to actually make a difference! But it doesn’t hurt to start assuming the worst. If things really are great, then figure out how to stay and load the place with friends, allies, and minions.
Change From Within – Maybe, just maybe, you can change your employer from inside. What kind of change depends on you and your own imagination. If nothing else the hope to change can give you goals and a sense of mission.