Don't Work for Assholes

This is not a comment on any particular individual, or employer; more like my best advice for figuring out how to identify a better place to be

Don't work for Assholes, Villains, Rubes, Charlatans, Quacks, Bullies, Blow Hards, or Clowns*. Don't work for people who throw their teammates or direct reports under the bus to make themselves look better. Don't work for people who don't honor their word, especially if it was in a contract. Don't work for people who habitually hurt you or others by ignorance or malice. As far as you're concerned, hurt by either is indistinguishable. Don't work for people who make very foolish decisions about money. Don't work for people who are unkind to anybody who they perceive to be below them. They likely also see you as below them, but maybe they think they need you right now, so they're being nice.

Learn to spot the difference between being tough and precise and being an asshole. There are good and bad managers. There are kind high achievers who won't always wait for you to finish talking in a meeting, but won't make you feel small.

If at all possible, eradicate the terrible people from your life. Switch teams. Work around them. Don't let them in. Don't take their bait when they try to bring you down to their level. Stand up to them. File your HR reports. Talk to your manager about it, or theirs. Don't accept their contracts.

Work for, and with people who are kind and who try hard. People who make up for their blind spots with research instead of bravissimo. People who put in the same amount of effort as you. People who apologize well when they screw up, make up for it, and then don't do it again.

Find the people you respect. Emulate them. Tell them. Ask for feedback on what you're doing. Ask how you could do better.

I have the opportunity to choose who I work for. I'm a straight white dude who will wear a suit when it's called for and can sit comfortably in a board room. I was, by chance, born on super easy mode; by the efforts of lots of people who love me a lot I've had many more things line up well. I've said a bunch of stuff that applies to those circumstances. If you can figure out how to have lots of opportunities to choose from, do it, it's awesome. If you don't already have that I sincerely hope you can get there.

*I'm talking metaphorically, I'd work for the circus in a heartbeat, as long as they weren't assholes.

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Issac Kelly