Thanks, but no thanks: Finding clarity in the workplace by saying no

business, people, fail, paperwork and technology concept - businessman with laptop computer and papers working in office

Yes, ma’am. Yes, sir. Yes, boss. We say yes all the time. Now it’s time to work up the courage to say no. No to that last day-to-day task that will send you over the edge. No to the change in work hours. No to the decisions being made in a process that works just fine. No to the new promotion if it’s not quite right. No to hiring a new employee who doesn’t fit the bill. And no to the new job if it doesn’t scream yes.

We’re not suggesting you say no to anything and everything you’re asked to do in the workplace. We are, however, suggesting that you express your opinion when it comes to major decisions that will affect the workplace, the outcome of the product or service you create or provide and your personal life.

Take it personal. Saying yes to everything is good for people pleasing but it’s not always so great for end results. Oftentimes, the big yes or no questions actually affect our personal lives. A yes may keep us at work an extra hour each day or keep us so busy that we’re unable to concentrate on everything else we’ve said yes to over the years. Saying no doesn’t mean you’re not a team player. It means you’re taking the lead to call the shots because if you’re being asked a question the ball is in your court, after all.

Plan b. If you’re a good employee, the reason you’re saying no in the first place isn’t because you’re lazy. It’s because of the impact saying yes will have on your ability to perform in the workplace or on the company as a whole. If you say no because you don’t have time to take on a new project, give an alternative suggestion as to how you can still be of help. If you say no to a promotion because you see the new position as a step in the wrong direction, consider and speak out about the reasoning behind the no while providing answers as to how you could grow into a different area in the department. If you say no to hiring a particular new employee, throw out the names of other people who you feel do fit the bill. Providing reasoning behind the no and suggesting a plan b is key to legitimizing your answer.

Express yourself. You were hired for a reason. Your decision-making skills and authority in the field are part of that reason. So choose to give an honest answer when being asked a question. If there is any fear that your thoughts could be misconstrued, make time for an open, honest and in-person conversation. Emails and texts all too often go misinterpreted due to the lack of tone. Also, be sure to express gratitude for the opportunity to be heard. Thanks can go a long way.

Say it like you mean it. Going against the grain can be a challenge. Accept it. There is a fine balance between being inappropriately demanding or bossy and expressing an opinion in a manner that demands consideration. Choose your words and tone wisely. Speak calmly rather than out of spite, anger or fear. Look your boss, peer or employee in the eye. Demand to be heard. Call for a discussion. See what happens when you ask for clarity and careful consideration rather than just being a yes-man or woman.

Finding yourself in a position where your opinions and decisions aren’t being valued or considered? Take a look at our current job openings to see if there’s a fit for you here.

The pursuit of happiness: How to find your dream job

How to find your dream job

To say that most people are unhappy with their jobs is an understatement. According to an 2013 article by the New York Daily News, 70% of Americans are dissatisfied with their current careers. And many statistics show that number is, unfortunately, on the incline. Whether you’re underpaid, overworked, not loving what you’re doing or all of the aforementioned, there are ways to turn that frown upside down.

If you’re looking for the next door to open, first, you must prepare for what’s behind it. There’s a smart way to go about finding that perfect job. After all, there are bills to pay. So play it safe with these four ways to find your dream job.

1. Who are you? Aside from meeting basic monetary means, sense of purpose is the single most important factor in defining your job as one of your dreams or just another means to exist. Think way back to the good old days when your parents used to read you bedtime stories. In one of the classics by Lewis Carroll, the main character Alice is asked by a very fictional character, “Who are you?” Even today, as adults, this question has it’s value. The first place to start when on the pursuit of happiness, is within. Ask yourself what it is that you love most and what it is you are most qualified to do. If you’re not totally sure, ask your husband, wife or partner, ask your co-workers and peers. Oftentimes, an outside perspective helps us to understand who we really are. Know your aspirations as well as your qualifications. Now, think about what career might enable you to pair the two. Start here. When you follow your heart, finances oftentimes fall into place too.

2. Build yourself up. Your dreams may stay in the clouds if you don’t work for them. As our Motivation Monday quotes say, you can’t just dream. You must do. Your idea of ultimate success may be far-fetched for now, so do your research. Find out what it takes to get there and make a plan. Do you need another degree? Do you need to work a few years here and another few years there to qualify for your dream job? Once you know what will be required for you to reach your ultimate career heights, create an achievable timeline and make strides towards your first goal. Oftentimes, to get to our peak we must take the appropriate stepping stones to get where we need to go.

3. You gotta catch them all. Pokemon Go is all the craze. 2016 is as close as it gets to The Jetsons. We are literally and virtually everywhere. If there isn’t someone physically, in front of us, we tend to look down directly into the depths of the cyber space found in our handheld devices. And we can’t pretend that those who are looking for their next hire, aren’t looking there too, because they are. Go ahead, Google yourself. What pops up? How you appear virtually could factor in greatly as to whether or not you get that next job or not. Revisit your LinkedIn profile and tailor it to fit your skill set with keywords that may help you fall into the hands of someone hiring for your desired position. (Need help? Find out how to build a better LinkedIn profile here.) Filter through each place you find yourself and be sure all content associated with your name is appropriate for your higher ups to see you as a credible individual they’d want to hire as a part of their team.

4. Needle in a haystack. Good jobs can be nearly impossible to find, that is, if you aren’t sure where to look. So stop asking Craig. Do you know Craig (from Craig’s List)? Yeah, chances are, he doesn’t know you either. Personal connection is the easiest way to get your foot in the door. Do you know someone who already works in the facility you want to be a part of? Take them out for lunch. Ask them how they got their job and if they have any advice or ins for you. If you don’t personally know of someone with an in, find one! Recruiters like Phil Ellis Associates are here to help you find your dream jobs. We already have the much-important connection you’re looking for. Check out our current job openings here and let us know how we can help you find and land your dream job.