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5 Things About Work You Have to Get Used to

Javier Brosch/

1. It's not supposed to be "fun." In fact, work is the opposite of "fun." That's because somebody else is paying you to do it. If you were paying yourself, you would make it fun — of course. But you aren't the boss. So deal with it. 

2. Nobody has to help you. When you go to work, it is your job to figure things out. It is not the job of your boss to figure things out for you. Nor is it the job of your teammates, HR, the training department, or anybody else in the orbit of the parking lot. It's you.

3. Somebody doesn't like you. Yes I know you try really hard to be very nice and helpful and to get along. Guess what? It doesn't work. At least not with everyone. There is something about you that really, really, really rubs at least one person around you very much the wrong way. And that will never change, unless you leave and they forget you ever existed. And even then the mere mention of your name will cause their eyebrows to furrow deeply in annoyance.

4. It's all about competition. You read online that it's a "collaboration economy," and of course to an extent that is true. But people do not collaborate with you because they want to help you win. They help you out because there's something in it for them. And if they could elbow you out and take the spoils of your job and your benefits for themselves — that is called the career ladder, and they absolutely, positively would.

5. You succeed by serving your boss. I know you graduated from a really good school at the top of your class, and you can make an app, and you're really well-prepared and read everything you can about the organization, its space and your expertise. But I hate to tell you, if you come in every day with a self-important, arrogant attitude, your days are numbered in that organization of yours, and you will be replaced before you can even utter the words "you'll be sorry." Everyone is replaceable, and you stay employed by doing what it is your boss needs done.

Copyright 2015 Dannielle Blumenthal, Ph.D. The opinions expressed are her own, and the content of this post is not intended to represent any federal agency or the government as a whole.

(Image via Javier Brosch/

Dannielle Blumenthal, Ph.D., is a federal communicator with 20 years' experience in the private sector, academia and government. Best known for her work on branding, Dr. Blumenthal now focuses on the discipline of management, particularly the intersections between identity, culture and communication. She has lectured at a variety of schools including The George Washington University and the University of Maryland University College. In her spare time she is an independent community activist, focused primarily on raising awareness about child sexual abuse and domestic violence. All opinions are her own.

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