Penelope Trunk, best-selling author of The Brazen Careerist, offers 10 tips for the “new etiquette.” You can read them here
She drew a great deal of controversy – over 900 comments, mostly negative.
Some of these tips, with my comments:
“Forget the exit interview.”
She points out that an exit interview won’t help you but probably creates ill will. I would add, “In some companies, HR will insist on an exit interview. Just go through the motions. Tell them you loved everything about your job but you just couldn’t turn down X Company’s wonderful offer.”
If a lot of people start leaving and the company has trouble replacing them, then they may pay attention. But that’s their problem, not yours.
She wrote, “If you have ideas for how to improve the company, offer to consult.” I would add, “If they ask for extra help through the transition, charge market rates for consulting.”
And she is absolutely right when she says, “Your old boss is now part of your new network.” Build relationships.
“Don’t ask for time off, just take it.”
More controversial. Most people can’t take off more than a few hours without getting authorization. But telling rather than asking can be seen as more “grown-up” in some environments.
Incidentally, Trunk adds that this move will offend “older” people. Older than what? I think you have to study your own culture, not guess your boss’s reaction based on his or her age.
“Invite your CEO to be a friend on Facebook.
I would say, “Depends on your CEO.”
“Do reconnaissance on your probable boss.”
Nothing new here. Career consultants (and counselor and coaches) have been saying the same thing for at least 20 years. I agree completely.
“Don’t try to improve a coworker.”
Again, nothing new. I would add, “Don’t try to improve anybody.”
I make this point in several places. In fact, I would ignore all unsolicited advice, especially when someone says, “My intuition for you is…”
See my intuition book.
But as she adds, if your company has a tendency to keep and promote lots of jerks, time to move.
“Call people on the weekend for work.”
Come on: it’s a judgment call! If you’re both working to finish a project, sure.
Most self-employed people work on weekends, but for many of us there’s an unwritten rule. Don’t bother people and don’t feel bad if they don’t return your email on weekends.
I would say, “Check your office culture. If you don’t feel comfortable, leave.”
“Be nice like your job depends on it.”
Curious advice. She writes:
“The old days of office politics as a means of backstabbing are dead — young people are bringing their team-player, I’m-competing-against-my-best-self mentality from their self-esteem-centric homes into the workplace, and there’s nothing you can do except be nice back.”
I say, “Be nice back but also watch your back. The nastiest back-stabbers know how to act like nice team players.”
OK, what do you think? Post a comment. Click on the “0 comments” link. I am forced to moderate all comments due to the huge amount of spam comments we all get, but never fear: I want to hear from you!
Wesley of LifeTwo says
I like your commentary. I’m a big fan of Penelope’s and interviewed her for our site, LifeTwo.com. But like you I believe that the advice needs to be tailored for the specific circumstances of the office culture and in particular the boss.