Monday, February 11, 2008


I don't write about work here. People get fired for blogging about work. Potential employers scour the internet looking for your blogs and your social network pages and they google the hell out of your name. While I am current ly looking for work and potential employers are researching who I am and what I do, I am going to write about work anyway. For the first time...

I do not LIVE TO WORK. I am not going to lie. And I wouldn't say I simply WORK TO LIVE either. I fall somewhere in the middle. I am good at a lot of things and when I am doing those things, I am happy and excited and I can't wait to go to work every day.

The biggest part of my career satisfaction comes in the people. If I was digging ditches or running my own company, I would want to be surrounded by people that I look forward to seeing every day. In every job I have had, I have met at least one life-long friend and I have come away with a handful of people in mind that I hoped to cross paths with and work with again. (In a big, small town like St. Louis, that is altogether possible.)

I believe the success of any company lies in it's roster of employees. The ability to build a team that can set aside personal agendas and collaborate to acheive common goals is critical. Stepping back and letting good people do good work is an admirable quality for any owner or boss. Recognizing the undervalued, high-performance members of your staff and never over-valuing certain employees simply because you like them or because they have befriended you demonstrates your commitment to success and your loyalty to your people.

I think I know a lot, don't I? For someone who has never run her own company, I sure have a lot of opinions, huh? Yes... I do. I have been working among the ranks for ten years now. I see everything from the bottom up. And I have worked as a manager. Too often I have seen the failure of companies and have been trapped in the middle of it or I have gone down with the ship because nobody ever asked what I thought or how I felt or what I would do.

The seeming disdain that employers hold for employees with an opinion or with a voice is astounding. And the profound lack of integrity that exists in many companies today is disturbing to me. Dishonesty and underhandedness seems to run rampant. Owners and CEOs seem to lack a moral compass. The workplace is overrun by arrogance.

I have worked in companies where management is threatened by the experience and education of it's employees and because of that the revolving door is moving at the speed of light. I have been a part of startups that sink before they swim because ownership teams refuse to collaborate or consider the input of employees. I have witnessed the deterioration of firms who could have had a bright future had the executives kept their pants on and recognized that while youth is refreshing and invigorating in the bedroom, inexperience in the workplace can be stifling or worse yet, damaging.

So what's the point of all of this, other than to get a few things off my chest? I guess the point is, I don't want to work in these places any more.

If that hurts my chances of getting any one of the great jobs I have been interviewing for, that's fine. It probably wouldn't have been a good fit anyway. But the company who pulls me in, respects my opinion, hires me to be who I am and not merely who they want me to be and trusts me to do the job that I am really good at and to do it my way is going to hit the jackpot.

And someday, when I am the boss, so will my employees.

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