Ok, so... January is almost over and you are struggling with continuing to get in shape and pay off the holiday credit. (You're in good company! I'm right there with you!) Have you taken a few moments to figure out how to make yourself a better candidate for a new job opportunity in 2014?

Whether or not you are currently employed, take a moment to think about self improvement. What did you do in 2013 in order to make yourself more valuable to the company you work for, your manager, or your future employer?

Many people expect that they have the right to be promoted/hired while doing nothing out of the ordinary. Those individuals getting promoted are doing quite a bit out of the ordinary of their everyday job. Some ideas may be:

-Take a class in your field. Better, enroll towards a higher level degree than what you currently have! In my years of recruiting, I have never heard someone being passed over on a promotion for having too much education. It's never too late, and there are many online courses to assist older students with families and careers in completing collegiate degrees.

-Start a blog. Get intricately familiar with your subject of choice! Your writing and communication skills are sure to improve! Talk to them. Maybe even help them too! You can start a local networking event if you know enough people from various industries.

-Get involved in your community. Becoming a more well-rounded person makes you a better employee.

-Most importantly, make sure your attendance is impeccable! Nobody likes a pilot who cancels at 3 am before a flight! Stay until the job gets done. Put in 100%, consistently, every day.

Let's set the bar higher for 2014! No more mediocrity. Let's show the world how it's done and all get promoted!!!
 
 
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!
 
 
Please pay attention to what you are doing if you are responsible for the care or life of a person or animal! I cannot stress enough how important your role is as a healthcare or helping professional. Someone's LIFE is in your hands and it is up to YOU to ensure that you do everything it takes to be responsible and accountable for your actions.

A true example: A couple of years ago, my toddler son was in the Emergency Room for croup, a severe breathing issue for an asthmatic child. His nurse, who had not been paying the attention that was required, provided him with an adult dose of the wrong medication! Thankfully, he was okay, however delayed 8 hours for monitoring in the hospital. The outcome could have been, but wasn't, life threatening.

Take control of what you are doing. Make sure that with responsibility comes the attention to detail required to care for the life of another. The same is true if you choose to care for an animal when their owner is not home. To you, it may be just a dog or cat, but to the family, it is a loved one and as much a family member as anyone else.

If you choose not to do so and get fired, it is nobody's fault but your own, and that is a rough one to explain away in an interview!
 
 
Due to some recent unexpected and tragic circumstances, I had to take a bit of time off of writing here. However, I am back! And today, I am going to share with you why you need to stop complaining and stop making excuses about being unemployed and underemployed.

Life is going on all around you. People ARE getting jobs every day. How? They network. They apply. They do not complain to people who they meet about how bad the market is, but sell themselves as assets to a hiring company! Therein lies the difference between the career unemployed and someone who is on the verge of the next great opportunity!

The difference between success and failure is the level of activity and effort you provide to your search. Nobody is currently sitting in their executive office wondering when your resume will work its way across your desk. You are your own priority and no one else’s! Take accountability for and control of your search! Take responsibility and ownership, because no one, not even your recruiters, care as much about your livelihood as you do. It’s a tough pill to swallow, but it is a fact!

Yes, I am angry right now. I am depressed and frustrated! But I am still working, still providing, still doing what I need to do to ensure my family is fed and that there is a roof over our heads. Do the same!!! Work some magic. Apply to 2 more jobs than you really feel like. Get dressed professionally and head to a job fair or networking event.

Or don’t. But when you don’t, the only person to blame is you!