Don't worry: I didn't put a picture on this blog article!

A few weeks ago, a dear friend posed a metaphorical question: How much douche could a douchebag douche if a douchebag could douche douche? And I texted her immediately, asking if she was responding to an email from our prior head honcho.

So...I posed the question to my loyal facebook fans: How do you know your manager is a "big fizzy douche" (to coin a musical number in Chuck Lorre's ingenious and always entertaining show, "Two and a Half Men"? The response was overwhelming, and emails are still coming in.

So, with no further ado, are you, or do you have, a DOUCHE BOSS? Here is a Top 10 Get Hired and Beyond Exclusive List!

10. You take no accountability for your team, point fingers, and blame others for your disinterest and inadequacy.
9. You treat your employees as objects, rather than humans. This is especially true and especially disgusting at termination time. 
8. You lie or make false promises, including (but not limited to): promises of raises and promotions which the company cannot back up (and you are well aware of the carrot you dangle.)
7. Instead of focusing on employee accomplishments, you nitpick the 3 minutes someone is late because they are stuck in traffic, commuting half an hour or more, to get to your stress-filled crap zone of despair. (Ok, maybe that's one of my personal contributions.)
6. You speak to your subordinates as though they were minions. Or small, stupid children. Or small, stupid minions. Being demeaning and demoralizing is a very douche way to talk to individuals you personally hired for skill and expertise.
5. You don't delegate work appropriate for the staff you hired because nobody will do it as well as you do, thereby making very intelligent people fixate on mediocre crap.
4. You devalue anything in your employees' lives besides work and expect them at your beck and call, at minimum wage, around the clock. (Right, Boss from #7?)
3. You are too self absorbed to notice that morale has gone down the toilet, faster than your team can say "Douche!"
2. You rule through a culture of intimidation, rather than a culture of respect. Yeah, that sucks on the receiving end!
1. You ask a minimum wage employee for a personal loan, then threaten to penalize the person since they did not provide you with said loan. (I actually heard that from someone this week, and think that takes the KING DOUCHE CROWN!)

Sorry to have offended anyone with the repeated usage of the word "douche'. Please feel free to take creative license when sharing with others, and change to ass-hat, crap-nozzle, jerkoff, or any other term that truly encompasses the ultimate douche-ness of a prior (or current) boss. 

Feel free to share in comments or privately how your boss has been a huge douche to you! Your anonymous quote may make it into an upcoming blog!

I shall now go burst into the musical number made famous by Walden Schmidt and Alan Harper! And...I can't sing!
 
 
Picture
Many of you may be wondering: what’s the deal with Sulley, the job search bulldog? Let me explain his back story, as well as why he is so relevant to job searching. His expertise and will resonate with many, and he already seems to be developing quite the fan club, wiggling his way into the hearts of many, as he did with our family.

We had recently lost my beloved pug, Cheechee, who I adopted at 5. He was 13, kicked cancer twice, and passed away of a variety of health complications, coupled with old age. Our house seemed very quiet without the old guy around, even though we have a few other animals. So, we began looking online to see who was available for adoption, and even started looking at breeders.

My heart was set on another pug (of course), and my husband wanted another bulldog to keep our elderly bully company. So, we looked and looked… and out of the blue found an ad for “This Dog” at Animal Control. They could have branded him better, making up any name as many shelters do, and chose not to. The photo was blurry and sad. The brief summary had explained that he was picked up as a stray, and gave no information about his personality or health condition.

Off we endeavor, on an hour journey, to meet this nameless English Bulldog. When we get to Animal Control, we find a sweet, loving bully, in quarantine for multiple health issues. His ears have terrible red wounds, the fur on his back is balding, he has an eye infection, and is on 2 antibiotics! This poor dog was wandering the streets, but was licking my husband and son through the jail cell, while I was on a line to prequalify to adopt him.

The guys fell in love right away, and I didn’t want another puppy, so he seemed like a good compromise. I agreed, and we were told that if nobody claimed him in 3 days, he was ours. I was cautiously excited, and ran down there again when I got the call that he was ready to come home. This mangy bulldog nearly bowled me over, never mind hugging my son. He was so happy to have owners again and couldn’t stop hugging us.      

We bought him a new collar with a bow tie on it and he was very proud, prancing in circles. When we brought him to the lobby, he hugged every single person there! (The lady in white slacks was the only one not pleased to formally meet him.) He jumped in the car, demanded pets, and kissed me the entire hour home! My son was cracking up, and by the time we got home, I was head over heels in love with this fat, farting dog!

Since he has been a member of the family, we found out he knows “sit” and “paw”. We feel terrible for the family who clearly lost this beautiful dog. After quite a bit of ointments, eye drops, and other medicines, his fur has grown in beautifully, and he is show dog quality! All for $20 and a lifetime commitment to the little guy. He is eternally grateful, and gives hugs and kisses all day. We affectionately call Sulley our shadow, since he follows us everywhere!

How many times has a manager looked over a resume because it was missing a minute detail, instead of seeing the incredible potential a candidate has, if “groomed” a little? How many candidates have passed on sending a resume because they didn’t have one little detail in the job description?

We have a lot to learn from Sulley, the bulldog with the worst presentation at the pound, but with the best attitude out there! Sulley will be sharing tips on Get Hired and Beyond’s facebook page regularly at www.facebook.com/gethiredandbeyond. He may even help me guest blog from time to time.

The moral of the story: there’s a home for every dog and a dog for every home! Don’t get down if you haven’t found the right next career move for yourself. It’s out there! Don’t think of yourself as the dog no one wants because then you really won’t find a home!!!

 
 
Some signs that you may have a toxic boss:
    -Are you so stressed when you leave work that you are shaking?
    -Are you concerned every day that your boss is going to fire you, even though you are highly productive?
    -Do you get panic attacks anticipating that you may see your boss early in the morning?
    -Are you looking over your shoulder and not sure why?
    -Are you scared of going to the bathroom because that's when the BIG KAHUNA does "rounds"?

Working this way can leave you stressed, sick, and depressed!

Toxic bosses are the grown up version of the playground bully. Since they have nothing valuable to contribute, they demean their employees and sap energy instead of stealing lunch change. That is not okay!

There are a lot of unstable people in the world. Some of them are in management positions. (I'm not sure how either, but they are.) The best you can do in a toxic boss scenario is ensure that you have a good work life balance. Whether you prefer to work out or veg in front of the TV, make sure you have time for yourself to de-stress and detoxify from your day. Furthermore, don't take it personally! If the boss is like this with everyone, and you know it's a sick environment, don't personalize the boss's anger/insanity/instability. We all know that will only get you worse. Commiserate with your colleagues, because they understand, and chances are: nobody who is not in your situation will get the intricacies. But, don't wallow with your colleagues. Encourage each other. And always keep your resume on standby and updated! You never know when toxic boss is going to snap!

Also, if it gets ugly enough, report the person to higher management or human resources. You don't want to be a victim of a losing battle involving harassment or retaliation. Know your rights within the law. And hang in there! There are great bosses out there too!
 
 
5. Splng ErRors/ERrors of Gram-r, or improper use of the English language.
4. You don't live a commutable distance from the job opening. Hint: Another country is NOT a commutable distance!
3. You applied to every advertisement the recruiter posted. We get that you need a job, any job, but for crying out loud, be selective! Desperation isn't attractive on anyone, including a job seeker!
2. Your resume does not showcase what you represent. It is bland, and not focused on contributions. Perhaps 2013 should bring a professionally written resume to your search.
1. Your email address is WAY to personal, showcasing either your age, sexual preferences, or something inappropriate that screams "Too Much Information!"
 
 
Student: Nobody seems to be hiring.
Me: How many applications have you sent out since I saw you a few months ago?
Student: 2

(I will withhold commentary!)

Student: I haven’t received leads recently.
Me: Where do you look for jobs?
Student: www.indeed.com, where you showed me to look.
Me: Wow! Me too! So why would I find something you aren’t able to find for yourself?

(Hmmm….)

Now for the commentary: Would you like me to send out your resume, write a targeted cover letter, interview for you, get the job, work for you, and just send you a paycheck???
 
 
Excuses I hear regularly about not doing a committed, 40-hour a week job search:

1.     I am babysitting/watching my kid. (OK, kids are expensive and they need to eat. Find a job!)

2.     The economy is really bad and no one is hiring. (I get people hired every day! They aren’t waiting for YOU to send a resume, but there are companies hiring every day. In fact, the economy picked up.)

3.     I will make more on unemployment after they take out taxes and I pay gas, childcare, etc. (Does unemployment promote you? Do you get benefits? Are you meeting people on your couch to take your career to the next level?)

4.     I haven’t worked in a year or more. (Take a temp job. Get back in the game somehow.)

5.     I am only working part time. (Network with people you know! Ask for more hours!)

6.     I don’t have time. (No, you don’t make time. I work full time, hold down a house, have a child and a husband, and am starting up a company from scratch. You’re lazy! AND LAZY DOESN’T GET HIRED!)

 
 
1.     Don’t ignore the importance of a cover letter. It is the introduction to your resume and highlights why a manager should read your resume.

2.     Don’t come up with a generic cover letter to send to all of your job applications

3.     Do take the time to research the company and highlight what you have done in the past that would make you a good fit for the organization.

4.     Do share your qualifications with examples and success stories. Paint a picture of why you are a good candidate. Tie it back to the research you have done.

5.     Don’t forget to include your contact information and an invitation for the manager to reach out to you.

6.     Don’t forget to check for issues with spelling and grammar!

7.     Do research the recipient’s name using www.linkedin.com or calling the organization.

8.     Don’t address it to “sir or madam” unless you have exhausted all options, including internet research to learn the person’s name!

9.     Do read the job description thoroughly and explain why you are the right fit for the position.

10.  Don’t forget to change the name of the company on each cover letter!

 
 
Sometimes, there is a good time to unplug from your cell phone, internet, and all devices starting with a lowercase i. There are nights I wake up for a couple of seconds, and wind up checking my email or Facebook. Let me tell you right now that is not a healthy way to live!

I am not saying that you should ignore your boss’s emails in the middle of a project which you are spearheading. However, at the grocery store, in the movies, on a hike, and in the bedroom, it isn’t entirely necessary to answer the call or see who changed their relationship status. There will be time for that later like at 3 am when your significant other is sleeping and you have insomnia…or something like that!

 
 
1.     There is a reduction in staff and you were the last one hired, therefore the first one out. It sucks! It was a purely financial decision. Thereby, explain it as such with confidence in an interview and you will likely get hired.

2.     You stole money/trade secrets/confidential info from the company. Hope you look good in stripes. Or orange. You’re going to have a much rougher time getting rehired.

3.     Your attitude sucks. You may be burned out or just hate your dead end job. If you don’t take that to heart, you will get promoted. If you do, you may be out on your miserable rear end. Job prognosis: people hire who they like. Lighten up!

4.     You are addicted to Facebook, Angry Birds, texting, or personal phone calls. Your boss is paying you to work. Try it. You may like it.

5.     You and your boss had a disagreement. A bad one. Eating crow can be good for you, especially if you like eating. All kidding aside, know when to call a truce and maintain professionalism. It’s much easier to find a job when you have a job.

 
 
1.     You have the skills and qualifications that an employer is seeking. I am not going to hire someone with a high school diploma who bags groceries as a CEO (at least not yet). Get the experience, read the posting, and know how your qualifications fit the position.

2.     Your resume is concise, results oriented, and outlines what you can contribute to the organization.

3.     Your resume and cover letter are grammatically correct. I am not hiring “mangers” to run a department, and that is not picked up on spell check. Have a friend or a professional read over your resume and letter prior to submission.

4.     You have the software skills an employer is looking for.

5.     You are likeable, positive, and confident. Nothing gets me wanting to end an interview more than a whiner who blames the world for his/her inability to be employed.