Category Archives: CRrrazy Career Tips

Boss Lady Ness

Your phone is ringing. The email is suddenly filling up with subject lines such as ‘approval needed urgently’, ‘contract to be signed, check clause 4′ and ’employee review meeting-reminder’.

The world of Bosslady ness. It’s exhilarating, it’s inspiring, it’s full of deadlines and expectations. Suddenly you are not only expected to go above and beyond to full fill your role and then some, you are responsible not just for a few but The with capital ‘T’ employees on a day to day basis that will provide you the workforce and results you need to get the nod of approval from those Directors during your updates.

As of the past six months + I’ve found myself placed in the mad world of boss lady working, in perhaps one of the most male dominated (gray haired, no offence foxes) sections of the Media world there is, Sports Broadcasting. It’s been exciting, there’s been programming to Produce, and there’s been staff to manage and hire. And perhaps most exciting, there’s been plans and pitches however insane to build and follow!

One of the three most important things I’ve learned from this business, which is repeated again and again, is the value of people. Businesses aren’t built solely on money, big badassers on top or a good ideas. They are built and continue running successfully because of their people. At a recent conference on the future of Digital (which FYI bloody hell, get on that band wagon!! 11 year olds are our future programmers and the whole world is waiting to get connected! Our kids will laugh in our faces when we show them DVDs!) some of the most successful entrepreneurs  out there graced us with their presence and discussed how important is to surround yourself with not average, not ok, but excellent people. And then look after them! Value your employees, value their opinions, and make sure they are happy. Unhappy mistreated staff result in unhappy halfhearted client service and a lack of loyalty within. No one benefits there.

On that note, Richard Branson recently published his ‘Top 5’s on running and starting a business’ and emphasises the exact same thing (have a read here).

The second one, is probably enjoy what you do. If you come into work miserable everyone else will pick up on it. Creativity will halt and without passion and forward thinking there isn’t going to be much business development to speak of.

Thirdly you need a healthy work v private life balance. You need to be passionate enough about work that you don’t’ quite view it as such. Equally, we all know that it’s not quite that easy. Sometimes you’ll need to pull three week stints of ridiculously long days. That’s just part of your job, whatever it may be. You need to put the effort in when needed to push boundaries and backup the ideas and ventures you believe in. However, keep that up for much longer and rather than firing at 110% you’ll be falling down, from 80% to 60, 40, 25%…

One of my directors once sat me down and told me his most successful learning tool was a very simple one (he teaches major corporations, Banks in particular, about maximising their potential): shut off your blackberry/iPhone. Not just vibrating and checking the emails every half an hour. If you spend your life constantly with one foot halfway at work even while you’re meant to be focusing on living life (family, friends, those moments where you laugh and cry and live) you need to put 100% into it. 50/50 never works, because you end up giving some here and some there and never fully putting all your ability into one project. Fingers in many pies is one thing, as long as you remember which one is which.

A sort of unspoken fourth one I’d say is gamble. Take chances. If you don’t nothing new ever gets done. If no one ever tried silly or crazy things nothing clever would ever get done (I believe that’s a bit of a ripped off quote, yes :). Believe in yourself, whether you’re working in a massive organisation, in a small business, or you’re starting your own venture. Don’t forget, sometimes you’ll fail. That’s ok. If you didn’t you’d be Batman. And then you probably wouldn’t need this really, beyond loose the freaky voice (seriously, what is that!). You need to know you can fail, and feel comfortable enough knowing that you’ll be backed up in case you do (or if you are literally your own boss with no backing, know you have a whole cupboard full of noodles until you can get a new pay cheque. That’s ok too ;). Point is, take a chance, no one got anywhere exciting without scary obstacles but trying anyway.

Anyway, back to bossladynessing… It’s been quite a journey so far and, to be honest, in between the moments of panic and seriousness the feeling that this is actually just a little bit amaze balls is pretty exciting! It’s amazing what can happen when you have a little faith in yourself, suddenly others do to. So work your ass off! Don’t ever think it isn’t hard work, but always know nothing’s impossible. When a 24 year old turns up to a meeting and demands respect, especially if she is a woman, even in this day and age you’ll still get a few raised eyebrows. But don’t for a second think they won’t give you the time of day, don’t expect it but demand the respect you’ve earned.

And look after your staff!! They make or break :).

Gotta go, business development meetings to attend!!

xo xo

‘P’

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

I AM INTERN

Two years ago I read this book: The Hollywood Assistant’s Handbook (definitely recommend you do the same btw).

It was inspiring and funny and informative – everything you want as a production noob stranded at a dead-end job in their gap year. Then last month I found it again in P’s bedroom. Like an old friend, I took it to bed and laughed at the good memories. The knickers interview story, the mythical Aeron Chair, the accounts of great success and even greater failure. Awh, I was so deluded and innocent, I had literally no idea what awaited me in the production world until I read this book! Frankly, it scared me.

Suddenly, I was staring at a picture of the Aeron Chair and my heart began to thump. No, chairs do not usually turn me on. But this Aeron – its prowess at back support and posture correctness is famed throughout Hollywood – I had seen that chair very recently, in the plastic flesh.

I had sat on an Aeron Chair every day at my new job for the past 2 months!!!!!!!!!!!

Now my excitement may seem very strange to you all. But imagine being young and hopeful that one day you would be part of the shiny film industry where everyone sits on an Aeron. That day had come, and I hadn’t even realised.

As I read on, I became more and more elated. I could now relate to all the stories of brilliant and crazy execs, the heart-racing mistakes, the bizzare requests, the endless coffee runs, the importance of the call sheet… I was an Intern, just like those brave pioneers before me.

Reading that book again made me realise how far I’ve come in the last 2 years. I started at a local video editing company, and now I work in the office of a major film and TV producer. Two years ago, if you’d told me that, I’d have weed my pants and told you very politely to shut up.

Makes me very excited for the next two years and whatever the hell that’ll bring…! So I guess my final, corny message is this: don’t give up, keep those dreams alive and start saving for an Aeron Chair!

Love ‘A’ xxx

The Answer is ‘Yes’ – there is no such word as ‘impossible’

“No, I’m sorry.” are not words you should get associated  to.

It’s a well known fact no production, however smooth running, is flawless. Things will go wrong, details will be overlooked, technical equipment will break at vital moments (despite rigorous testing). The only thing you can do in these instances is be prepared, and know that you did everything necessary and beyond to minimise the risks before.

When you get asked to do something, however ridiculous or far fetched (get the camera down from three hours north in the next half an hour, sushi lunches prepared by Michelin star chefs, the direct mobile number to that famous NFL player) you nod and say you’ll get it sorted. Because you will be asked, and a lot of the times it won’t be possible. That’s where some tweaking of the services comes into play.

Firstly, though, the time-frame. One of the top five pieces of advise I was given when starting out in the industry included how to estimate the time it’ll take you to finish a task. When your boss asks, calculate the realistic time, double that, and there you have it. If you finish it earlier than expected, well done you. If you run into serious trouble on the way and need the full amount of double-time, you’re still within your promised slot and everyone can happily stick to their schedules.

Secondly, when you do run into trouble and realise you won’t be able to get the requested result. Think outside the box. Sushi lunch by the Michelin-starrer can’t be done? Offer the assistant chef (aka the protege – talk him up), a take away version from the best japanese restaurant (send another assistant to get it if necessary, don’t trust their delivery men!), or an alternative course by another equally qualified chef.

The camera from up north? Hire in the kit locally, same quality and a promise to send the bill to whoever left it up north (or if it’s just a whim request from up high, recalculate the budget and make it work, even if you cut your coffee supply for a month).

The phone number? Go back… Find his junior club/high school/whatever. A coach that knew him well perhaps? Work your way forward, blagging whatever needs to be blagged. Can you get in touch with a parent? A friend? Anyone close enough to guarantee a message (not the PA of his boss, that message will not be getting you anywhere cause, well, bigger fish and panic already happening over there).

The bottom line is, nothing’s impossible. You just find YOUR way of solving it. If there isn’t one, you pave it. Just don’t ever turn back to your boss saying it can’t be done. You put your head up high, make sure you let them know this is a difficult task and that they can’t expect miracles, and then hand them the next best thing which, to them, will seem much like magic after all.

They may be demanding, but bosses are rarely stupid. They know full well the pressures and ridiculousness of the to-do lists you’re stuck with. Enjoy it, love the responsibility, show them you’re determined, use some charm (girls and boys, this applies to both of you, a kind word and some chit chat to remind the people on the other side of the line you’re both just as busy and struggling always helps), and voila.

Remember to cover your back. Double check, google, make sure the batteries are charged yada yada. Make long lists and tick them off, tedious as it may seem you will get tired and forget and a tick box can save your ass. Don’t. Miss. On the details! Very important. And smile, and shrug your shoulders at that miracle. What? You can do that in your sleep!!

They won’t forget the favour, or the smile. And they’ll learn to trust you.

Off you go, show them what you’ve got ;).

xoxo

‘P’

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Shh – The importance of production gossip and how to use it

Secrets. Gossip. Water-cooler mumblings. Print-room chatting. High flying dinner talk.

It doesn’t matter where your sources can be found, but make no mistake that a big part of your duties includes staying ontop of everything(!). That includes any information, however big or small, that might be of interest. So take that extra five minutes by the reception desk and have a catch up (read when you find 5 where there’s a small chance the world won’t crumble without your nose pressed to your email/call sheet/planning notes).

Whether it’s knowing months in advance that there’ve been rumblings of re-structuring the bottom floor for a new tenant (noise, lay offs, etc), that the new secretary’s brother in law works at that fabulous lunch place your boss adores and can get reservations when there are none, that Ella from the mail room has a fling with Louie at the Studios (she has a fast track contact when all other lines are busy), or perhaps even some juicy tidbits from that accounts meeting… It doesn’t matter the size of the gossip as long as you know it. It could prove vital at the next staff meeting and will undoubtedly speed up your day-to-day job.

Colin Clarke (Marylin and Me – read the real diary people) didn’t sit outside that office for weeks on end waiting for a job without picking up anything useful. He paid attention to the phone calls, the contacts, the events going on around him privately (fortunately he had parents with movie star connections) and at the office. And he ended up as 3rd AD on a Marilyn Monroe production… Which back then with no experience… Well done!

Let’s talk a little about the legend of the ‘water cooler’. Much like the ‘golf-deals’ this version is where a lot of your moves towards the next career-ladder-step will find their bearing. Now first off, don’t get me wrong… Backed up with nothing but more gossip you’ll run dry faster than you can say ‘Universal Studios’. But matched with hard work that hits the right notes, a ridiculous focus on details and organisation, and some pinches of extreme dedication and heart, and you’ve got a good recipe.

The water cooler is a little bit cliquey, but once you find your niche you’re in. Don’t over share (you want to use this for YOUR advantage, giving a reasonable amount in return, this is not your therapy session!) but make sure to ask the right subtle questions and listen much and often. The tid-bits are the most important (not necessarily if Holly and Mr Mallroy are still humping in the disabled toilet, focus more on how often that one executive pops by for lunch meetings on the second floor where you spend limited time but need much more knowledge, not to mention Mr Executive is scheduled in with YOUR boss in a week and two days! Was he upset about the draft? Really…). More services include finding out the exact spelling of whoever signed in with that ridiculous Russian name from reception, whether those lawyers documents were returned by the courier but not yet picked up, or how to get tickets to that sold-out members only club screening… Done discreetly, politely, and with a sense of mutual loyalty and respect for this give and take and you’ll never NOT benefit.

Just beware of the trasher. She’ll shoot her mouth off whether intentionally or not, mentioning secrets and names (including yours), whispering loudly and even starting accidental rumours. Somehow people will listen, and somehow if you get on the wrong side of a story it won’t benefit you. More importantly people will notice they can’t trust her discretion,get annoyed and after a while and clam up on their own stash of facts. Respect the water cooler code of conduct and everyone walks away a little wiser and looking a little sharper the next time you’re put on the spot for not knowing all the going ons in the universe (because you were meant to, you know that right!! Sleep? No excuses!)

Moving along a bit, and onto the high flying dinner parties…  Don’t expect your boss needs you there. Ever. Not because you got lucky and came along once. No. He/She’s busy. You’re meant to be too. And no, your invite does not get secured by blabbing your mouth off, but showing you’re aware of your surroundings, loyal, and not to mention eager to learn and impressive with your workload and you’re well on your way. As a source of information (the relevant kind, leave Holly and the humping out of it) and a link between the higher ups and the mere mortals you can prove valuable. Prove yourself an asset to and maybe (maybe) you might be entrusted with sitting next to the table while some secrets far above your head are being discussed too (this time, really shut your mouth. No, seriously, the bit on loyalty!).  Don’t become a tatter tattertale. They know you don’t magically know all these tidbits but respect your sources, and hold your cards?

This brings us to a slight side-track, but something worth an important mention. Sources and networks. Your contacts are a golden attachment to your shining CV, and when used right yours to share and nurture. Value your rolodex, build it and maintain the existing contacts.

So what have we learned so far? Keep your ears perked, be loyal and respectful, learn to talk and listen (even the shyest of the shy can get their foot in, it’s just about finding your speciality. The listener, the accidentally present, the advice column, the exchanger, etc). Learn when to use the information, and always (!) protect your sources. And never make enemies here, there is no point, just be respectful and listen loud.

Now, off you go… Did you happen to hear about that amazing new position opening up with a bonus pack and a spot on the next production? Well done ;). Now make us proud!

xoxo

‘P’

Tagged , , , ,

TV Runner – A Long How-To List

I’ve done 2 professional Running jobs at the BBC – so obviously this qualifies me to write a big pretentious post on how to do a good job.

IT DOESN’T. I just wish I could have read something like this when I got that first job back in July… I didn’t have a clue what a TV Runner really does. I learnt all of this through my own experiences, so here we go folks!

One: What do I wear?

  1. The comfiest shoes you own – a good runner does not sit down EVER (except at Lunch if you’re lucky). Being a runner = painful feet.
  2. Comfy socks. To help your shoes be comfy.
  3. Comfy jeans/leggings. Are you sensing a theme here? Shorts are fine on a hot location shoot. Ladies avoid the skirts.
  4. BELT!! So essential. You’ll need to hang your talk-back unit on it and you don’t want this to happen >>>>>
  5. T-shirt – this is where you can show off your personal style, you don’t want to look boring after all.
  6. Bring a jumper or even two. Even when you’re indoors, coz studios are chilly.
  7. Coats – if it’s a location shoot you want a rain coat (drizzle to torrential downpour), a ski coat (freezing and raining) and a jacket (wee bit chilly). Trust me. You can never have too many coats stashed in your car boot.
  8. Wellies. This is England – on location, you will need wellies at some point.
Basically, imagine every possible weather condition for that day and prepare for it. If you’re on location, nothing is worse than being uncomfortable.

Two: What do I bring?

Location Shoot

  • Rucksack. This is where you will store the following: note pad, painkillers, plasters, pens, tape, tissues, phone charger and spare call sheets, spare socks, sunglasses, sun cream, scarf, gloves, hat, water bottle.

Location AND Studio Shoot

  • Satchel/long strap bag/fanny pack – it doesn’t matter, as long as it means you can have all of this on your person at all times: pens, plasters, tape, paper, call sheet, sides/script, phone, dressing room keys.

Three: Any prep?

  1. Figure out your start time – Call Sheets rarely say when the Runners are needed, but you can figure it out. Usually, there will be a ‘Unit Base Up & Running Time,’ approx 2 hours before UNIT CALL (the time everyone is meant to be on set). This ‘Up & Running’ time is when you should aim to be there by, already working.
  2. Memorize the Call Sheet as much as you can. You want to know how many actors will be needed, when they’ll be arriving. Also take note of any special crew for the day – stunt men etc. Handy is to know as much as possible about the scenes being filmed, so if you can get a copy of the script or the ‘Sides’, read it thoroughly.
  3. As soon as you get the Call sheet, enter all the names and numbers you’ll need into your phone. Particularly helpful ones include  security, the drivers, the caterers, the head of each department, the 1st, 2nd and 3rd ADs, the Production Manager and the talents’ PAs. This will save you so much time when some one yells “Get me a minibus NOW!!!!” at your face.
  4. REMEMBER all Call Sheets/Scripts/Schedules are strictly confidential. Be careful of where you leave them lying around.
  5. Plan your journey. If you have to drive through London to get to location, calculate the time it will take on Google Maps, double it, and then add 30mins just to be safe. So if you need to be in Ealing for 6.30am from Clapham, you want to be out your door by 5.15am. If you’re early to base you can nap in your car and impress the ADs by starting your job before they even get there.
  6. Sleep. It may be the last time you do.

Four: What are my duties?

This varies on every production, but these are your main ones.

Morning/On Arrival

  1. Making sure the talk-back sets have charged over night and putting yours on, ready to be its slave. Take a spare battery too.
  2. Fetching coffee for the tired crew and being smiley & enthusiastic even though it’s 5am.
  3. Ensuring the arrival of the Talent and informing the AD team as it happens via talk-back. Show them to their dressing room/trailer and get them whatever it is they want. If they want a baby unicorn, better get searching. Usually though, they’ll just want a sausage sandwich.
  4. Prepare and restock the tea/coffee table and pack ready for transporting to location. Bribe the caterers for biscuits. No biscuits and the runner (i.e. you) will die a painful death.
  5. Help the 3rd AD locate and sign in any Background Artists (extras) for the day.
  6. Help the 2nd AD by escorting the Talent into Makeup/Wardrobe, and then to their cars to be taken to set. Inform the 2nd AD of every step in this process.
  7. Try and grab some breakfast for yourself. It’s free and you will need those precious calories.
  8. Ensure directors/producers/head honchos have cars waiting to take them to set.
  9. Herd the rest of the crew from catering to the minibuses/transport and get them up to set. Camera, lighting and sound have priority over makeup, set designers and you.

*QUICK TIP* Talk Back Lingo

  • “Travelling” = an actor’s journey from unit/dressing room to set. E.g: “Travelling Mr Depp.”
  • “Going 101″/” Ten One” = Going to the toilet (you have no idea how I panicked when my first 3rd AD said this to me – I had no idea what she was on about!).
  • Initials are often used for high profile actors. E.g. Sir David Jason became SDJ on all Call Sheets and via Talk Back.
  • If you are called via radio, wait until they have finished, press your button and reply “Go ahead”. Always wait until someone has definitely finished speaking before pressing your button or they are cut off to everyone listening.
  • To address someone specifically, say “(your name) to (their name)”, release your button and await their response.
  • If you need to ask someone a question, but don’t want to clog the channel for the others/they don’t need to hear it, say “(your name) to (3rd AD’s name) on Channel 2 please.” You then switch your talk back to channel 2 and your conversation will not be heard over the main channel.
  • If you’re going near set, make sure you have an ear pierce in so you can still listen without disrupting a take.
  • Equally, NEVER talk over radio during a take, as someone on set will almost certainly have their volume up and the noise could ruin the audio recording.

On Set:

  1. Set up tea/coffee table and offer drinks to the crew. Obviously, directors/head honchos and talent first. Then the 1st AD, camera and sound. Then everyone else. Have some water bottles/cups on set.
  2. The Talent will arrive on location after the crew. You must be there to meet them and escort them to set with a cup of tea/coffee. Inform the ADs via talk back when the Talent have arrived.
  3. One of your main jobs is to keep people quiet during takes. Not as easy as it sounds. Position yourself wherever there is noise and be ready to yell/ssshh/beg/bribe/swear.
  4. A take goes like this… The 1st AD yells “Going for a take”  and you repeat this in your loudest voice, followed by “QUIET ON SET PLEASE.” With luck, people will instantly fall silent. Most of the time, you will need to enforce your authority with evil looks, hand gestures and even the threat of decaf coffee. Once “Action” is called, no one but the director and the actors are allowed to make a sound. If the take is interrupted by any member of the crew, a nearby vehicle or even a member of public, it’s YOUR fault.
  5. Between takes, go on set and keep an eye on the actors. They love to sneak away for a smoke/phone call. If they need to take a leak, you need to know. Follow discreetly and just assure that they come straight back to set.
  6. You’ll be waiting around a lot. In this time clear up any rubbish you can find, keep offering drinks, restock the tea table, and keeping asking people if they’d like any help. Avoid the temptations of a seat and checking Twitter/FB.
  7. Vehicles will take up a lot of your time. Usually the drivers will return to base once they’ve dropped off. Ask one to stay at location (with engine off) on stand by in case people need to get back to base quickly. Make sure all vehicles face the way out – turning around could waste valuable time.

Lunch

  1. Half an hour before lunch is scheduled, call each vehicle to set. Between takes, you must get them to turn to face the right way and await the crew. Talent go first, followed by head honchos, then crew in order of importance. NB: never mention the hierarchy on a film set – nobody likes to admit there is one!
  2. Check the tea table and make a note of everything that is low, so you can bring back what you need to restock it from unit base.
  3. Background Artists (extras) must wait until EVERY member of the crew (including you!) has joined the lunch queue before they can. Before you tuck in, check that the Talent and Head Honchos are in the queue or being seen to.
  4. Once you’ve eaten and taken five mins to breathe, go round and ask the make up and costume crew when they would like to see the Talent again for checks. Then make sure that happens, informing the AD team along the way.
  5. Grab everything you need for the tea/coffee table and load it into the van/minibus.

The afternoon is pretty much a repeat of the morning, until it nears Wrap Time.

  1. About 30 mins before wrap time, do one last tea/coffee run, then begin packing down drinks table.
  2. Collect the call sheets from the Production Office. DO NOT give these out until “That’s a wrap on today!” has been called by the 1st AD/Director. Doing it before disrupts the crew.
  3. On larger crews, you may be asked to place call sheets in every production vehicle – i.e. 4 in the Lighting truck for the Sparks, 2 in the Art Department lorry. Put it somewhere it will be seen.
  4. Have all vehicles at location and ready to depart at least15 mins before the estimated wrap time.
  5. When Wrap is called, yell “CALL SHEETS” and make sure everyone leaves with one either in their hand or in their crew vehicle.
  6. Get all Talent and crew to their vehicles.
  7. Pack tea table. Rubbish clearing and tidying of the location is usually down to the Location Manager and his team, but check in case you are expected to do this/give them a hand.
  8. Go round the set/location and yell “Last vehicle!” in case there are any stragglers left.
  9. Get in that vehicle and back to base.

End of the Day

When you get back to base, put away the tea/coffee table and make sure all food and drinks supplies are secure for moving to the next location. Then, help the 3rd AD collect in talk-back units and put them on charge, including yours.

Offer to help the 2nd AD with CHITS – these are the sign-in/out forms the next day’s extras – and any other jobs. Make sure NO ONE needs you, offer to stay late and when they say you can go, GO.

Getting that next JOB

Be enthusiastic never mind the weather, hour or mood you’re really in (gets tricky after a while). Make friends with the crew; banter is the main form of entertainment on a film set so get used to being the butt of peoples’ jokes – and don’t be scared to give it back (appropriately!!). Go to any after-work drinks at the pub so people can get to know you (but don’t get drunk – you’re a professional). Chat with every department and learn as much as you can about the different trades. You might not want to work in costume but any knowledge will be helpful, and you may even discover a new career path.

If you go to the Wrap Party, don’t spend it asking for jobs. By this point, your hard work should have done the asking for you. If they like you, they’ll remember you. Stay in touch, let them know of any other experience you get, and hopefully they’ll think of you as the next crew is assembled.

So there you go! Apologies for the length, hope it wasn’t too patronising. Let us know if this helps you, or if there’s anything you think I’ve missed!

Much love,

A x

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Managing people – the ugly fluffy truth

Management… It can be at any level, whether you’re a head PA with the responsibility to look after the rest of the PAs, whether on a set or an office, a Production Coordinator or a Floormanager, a Producer, a Director… A studio suit at any level. Essentially anyone who has to look after other staff and, inevitably, face up to someone else for all that staff’s ups and downs.

It’s a tricky one, management. Of people. It’s just like walking into a classroom. You’re never going to get along with everyone. And some people you’ll bond with instantly. You’ll want to share secrets with some and others you just don’t think are quite cut out for the work OR swapping water cooler stories with. Frankly, it is neither here nor there whether you’ll be best friends. You have to be able to click and sync while working together, as with any relationship. You don’t have to fall in everlasting love, it may as well be just a quick fling. But the fling has to work. You’ve gotta make sure it doesn’t interfere with the rest of your life, especially anything important. You have to make sure they keep to their side of the deal.

You are responsible for their efficiency at the end of the day, for training them up and making sure they utilise their time in the best possible way. That tasks you assign to them get done adequately (and far beyond, let’s face it, the media business defines competitive!). You’ve also (!) gotta make sure you don’t let ‘them’ affect your career in a negative manner. They’re there to boost the work AND you (by making you look awesome with your kickass management skills and the ensuing efficiency).

Too friendly? Suddenly it’s difficult to set boundaries, tell them off. Too distant? You’re the bitchy boss with unrealistic demands.

The ever fickle middle ground then. You have to make sure the performance levels stay top-notch while looking after your career prospects and bettering your skills as a manager. Part of this is also learning to teach. Making sure you learn how to spot good quality staff, and how to train them to a) be the most they can be (more efficiency for you, the job, and positives for them), b) feel secure in their job and circumstances (so they feel okay about coming to you with the important questions AND (and this is vital) to fess up when things risk going really wrong. Other times they should feel comfortable enough to make decisions to sort out their own messes without interrupting too much of your already busy schedule, and it’ll grow loyalty both ways). And c) so that they and you grow and further each other on the career ladder, and you grow a loyal and high performing network to utilise later on…

The best situation is of course trying to spot the perfect match at the interview stage, but quite often there isn’t enough time for that.

Phew, there we go. Lots to be added so feel free, but that would be the basics. Key is, remember you are still the one who needs to teach, you can’t just expect them to automatically pick up telepathy and sort the tasks (they should, but, hey, can’t have it all). And you’ve gotta look after yourself… You are the boss lady… Just don’t forget you’ve probably got a boss too!!

xoxo

‘P’

Tagged , , , ,