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Improve your work situation

I’m going to be perfectly honest. I don’t think my boss liked me very much when I first started working. Unfortunately, I can’t really blame him. I was pretty arrogant. I had done well in college, and felt it was now time to kick a$$ at work. I don’t think I was a total douche bag, but I probably did carry a slight douche-tastic scent.

Fortunately, I have been pretty good at most things I work hard at. Probably because if I suck at it, I just give up and never do it (aka swimming and chess). I’m a Type-A kind of guy and have done some pretty cool things for my relatively young age. Why would I think work was going to be any different? I started my first day ready to climb to the top and be the highest performer/most valued employee.

Fast forward one year after my start date. It’s annual review time and I anticipated hearing praise and worship from my boss, let’s just say that’s not exactly what happened. I sit down with him and am told that I’m not really a team player and I have put too much focus on trying to be the best.

I was devastated. I’ve never really received a negative review before, on anything! At first I was offended and wanted to argue all the negative points my boss brought up, but then I had an epiphany. Instead of argue why I’m a valuable employee, why don’t I just do more to show him I’m valuable

During my second year of employment I started volunteering for less than desirable assignments. I’ve increased my productivity to be one of the top performers on my team. I check in with my boss every couple of months and ask if he has any advice on things I can do to further increase value to the agency. Essentially, I started being a team player. I had to swallow my pride, and rely on my boss and coworkers to nurture my success.

Luckily I think it has worked. I have a better relationship with the boss now. I don’t think he sees me as an arrogant young punk, but instead as someone that has a genuine desire to work hard and be among the best. I guess the moral of the story is this. The best way to improve your work situation, is to be flexible and willing to adapt to the needs and/or recommendations of those more superior to you. Having a pleasant relationship with your boss is absolutely crucial to having an enjoyable work experience. Even if you think your supervisor is a total tool; shut up, smile, and say “Yes sir, thank you sir, anything else I can do for you?”



  1. Great post. But remember not to do it to your own detriment. You can only take so much as an employee.

  2. I have realized more and more that your performance at work is derived from (1) the quality of work and (2) your relationships with other people.

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