The Four Different Kinds of Employers
Employers can be divided into four categories. . .
Unfortunately, only one personality type is a winner. No wonder people have so many horrible experiences with bad bosses, so many businesses go under, and businesses are committing so many crimes . . .
In an effort trying to alleviate my tendencies to drift toward the path of cynicism, I will include a few paragraphs on how to somewhat deal with the three bad types of employers. This is by no means a cure, but it's a silver lining that will hopefully allow you to better cope.
The "I Must Always Be Right" Type
The "I must always be right": A lot of politicians, lawyers, and academics fall into this category as well, but it's certainly no stranger to employers. This is the type of employer who assumes because he/she runs a company, he/she must be a god incapable of no wrong so to speak. He/she is always in the business of berating his/her underlings. He/she is always in the business of bragging about their numerous accomplishments, education, profits, etc. He/she will talk endlessly about themselves. He/she believes they know everything. They won't take constructive suggestions and stifle creativity. They refuse to listen. Their attitude is "I'm running this place. I know how everything works. Don't question me, know your place, and that is that!"
How to deal: I would estimate most employers in my area fall into this category. At first, I was horrible at dealing with such employers. Because I'm a natural problem solver, I could spot problems that others can't always see, and this would infuriate such employers till the point I thought they could possibly get a heart attack. However, over time I found some methods to be effective.
1. They're easy to get a job from: Ironic, isn't it? The person who always believes they're right just may be the easiest person to get a job from in an interview. Just let them do all the talking. You must nod, smile, and when it's your turn to speak the whole 25% of the time, be sure to mention a few of those silly pet policies of theirs that you memorized.
2. They're easy on the job too: They love to do all the work, take all the credit, and make you feel inadequate. So why not let them? You see, self-righteous busy bodies hate someone who works harder, smarter, longer, and more competently than them. This means that you have to deliberately work under the level of your boss. If your boss is a complete moron, this means light weight work for you.
3. Always talk trash about their competitors to gain brownie points: Remember, they believe they're always right. This is an easy way to help feed their egos without degrading yourself to the level of complete ass kissing.
The "I'm Comfortable" Type
You know the expression, "why should we change anything? We've done this for 80 years!" Or how about, "let's leave it to the professionals. I’ll contact legal." Such an employer is comfortable with everything as it stands. He/she is averse to change at all costs. The company looks like a scene from a 1940s factory. He/she will not listen to suggestions. He/she is often a baby boomer who started up a business with his/her life savings as a "second career" as a method of "semi-retirement." Often such businesses are not competitive and go under quickly. This is why the majority of small businesses fail. They’re run by people in their 50's and 60's with sufficient capita but little skills. However, there's always the federal government that runs in this fashion and won't be going away.
How to deal: If you're under the age of 40, I recommend you avoid this type of employer like a plague. They will want substantial experience for even the most monotonous of jobs. You simply couldn't get hired by them even if you wanted to . . . Sometimes a younger person can get in if you study up on your nation's history the past 50 or so years.
1. They usually pay slightly better than average and have benefits: The good thing about a business stuck in the old ways, is that in many cases the old ways were much better than today for the average person. Such companies may have better benefits than most. They may even have pensions. The pay is often competitive as well.
2. They lack the courage to fire anyone: You literally can't get fired from such employers. They love comfort, firing and hiring makes them too uncomfortable. They would rather deal with a slacker employee than go through what they see as the painstaking process of hiring someone new.
3. You don't need any computer/technology skills to study up on: Can be a relief for those of us suffering from information overload.
The "I Must Be Liked" Type
I would say this is the second most popular employer type in my area. This is an employer that absolutely must be well liked by everyone in order to be satisfied. He/she is a social butterfly and will often engage in up to a dozen conversations with complete strangers just to reach his/her business. As such, he/she is often late and blames it on "meetings." He/she will go out of their way to talk to every employee and customer. He/she is a devout believer in the Myers-Briggs personality examinations, and you may get bombarded with such psychological tests during the interview process with this employer type. He/she is a people pleaser, and will base most of their evaluations on the opinions of others rather than your actual work. He/she loves to have their ass kissed. Sorry, there is no other way around it. If you suspect your boss is of this personality type and you never kiss butt, you'll be stuck at entry level for the rest of your life.
How to deal: This is the one type I have failed to grasp, mainly because the personality differences are so far out of reach, that I can't even adequately "fake it until I make it." While the "I'm comfortable type" segregates the young, I find this employer segregates the old. It's literally impossible to get a job from this employer unless you have a bubbly personality. However, if you're able to do so, I have some suggestions:
1. Attend all meetings, social gatherings, and company charitable/community events: I realize this is a lot of work, but you must blossom with the social butterfly that is your boss. By attending his/her gimmicky events, you send the message that what he/she does is important and that you like him/her.
2. Kiss ass, kiss ass, and kiss ass: I can't emphasize this enough.
3. Make sure you're on good terms with all your co-workers and customers: Because such a boss relies on perception rather than conception for evaluation, it's imperative that everyone thinks highly of you. That could mean doing lower quality work in order to keep everyone happy so you're not perceived as a threat, or refraining from telling a customer some bad news.
4. Make yourself as attractive as possible: Don't care how you do it. Get a nice haircut, get a nice suit, get a facelift or breast implant, whiten your teeth. I'm not kidding. This employer definitely puts weight on physical appearance.
The Result Orientated Type
And finally, we come across the only good type of employer. Result orientated employers are people who care for results and wish to be winners. Unfortunately, too few people fall into this category. If an employer cares for results, competency, and can tolerate some eccentricities in his/her staff he/she may not personally like, then a lot of the "office politics" problems should vanish. People's feelings shouldn't be an issue, because everyone would behave professionally and won't get hurt. Even the employees who are fired due to incompetence will probably thank such an employer in the long run for removing them from a job that they're not good at doing.
-Donovan D. Westhaver
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