Start the 2009 Work Year Right for Your Money and Your Life

January 2, 2009 by  
Filed under Money and Behavior

If you are like Mr. ToughMoneyLove, January 2 will be your first work day of 2009.  Your New Year’s Resolutions are fresh in your mind.  Perhaps on that list of resolutions are goals such as “keep your job”  and “make more friends.”  If not, maybe they should be.  In fact, these two goals/resolutions can work nicely together to make your 2009 better for both your money and your life.

To be more specific, 2009 would be a good year to become friends with the person(s) who control your job destiny.  Whether you call them boss, supervisor, manager, owner, or commanding officer, having that person as a friend can go a long way towards keeping you off the layoff list.  That can mean the difference between having a good financial year in 2009 and a poor one.

I’m not talking here about merely sucking-up or phony stuff.  For most people, that sort of behavior is rather obvious and will likely backfire.   Instead, be interested in their families, hobbies, and personal lives.  Start small by asking about those things – what did they receive as a gift that they really liked, what college team did they follow during bowl season, etc. 

Then gradually move up to standard friendly gestures like inviting them to lunch or to join you for a drink after work.  I know from personal experience how nice it feels to have employees that you supervise ask you to join them for a meal, just to shoot the breeze.  Eventually, you might ask for their advice on some small personal matter, showing that you value their input on things that are not work-related.

When you have a chance to have a one-on-one conversation with your manager, talk about stuff that friends talk about.  You know how to do that.  It’s just that most of us don’t bother to do that with people who control our job destinies.  It can intimidating.  But you should do it anyway.

Real friendship brings many perks in life.  Building friendships at work can bring perks to your job as well.  If that friendship is with someone who can help you keep your job, that can be the ultimate work perk.  Just think about it.  If your boss is instructed to cut costs in his or her department, that may mean assigning you or a co-worker for termination.  Who do you think your boss will want to keep?  It’s human nature.  The hard truth is that, all other factors being equal or even close, we want to help those whom we consider to be our friends.

So give it a try in 2009 – start today.  It will be good for your state of happiness because having more friends is always beneficial.  If that friend is your boss, that friendship may keep your paycheck more secure as well.

Are you friends with your boss?  Can you be?

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5 Responses to “Start the 2009 Work Year Right for Your Money and Your Life”
  1. Miranda says:

    I think you make an excellent point about people being more inclined to help their friends. I also agree that there is a fine line between outright sucking up and truly being friendly. I’m my own boss, but I still have to be friendly toward the people/clients I work with, which can be hard, since I’m more about getting business done than making small talk. But I know that the small talk can be important.

  2. TStrump says:

    I think building a network is one of the most important things.
    Quite often, it’s not the person with the best skills who gets the job – it’s the one who has the most friend and who gets along with everyone.

  3. GettingUp says:

    Networking is definitely a skill that I should improve in!

  4. lurker carl says:

    There is big difference between being friendly with management and being friends with management. Office politics change in a heartbeat. Being friendly is always a benefit. Being friends can destructive as the political winds change.

  5. Doctor S says:

    This is going to be one of my biggest self-initiatives for this year, especially, after having my year end review. My boss told me to try and be more visible to the higher ups b/c he can only tell them so much about the work I am doing. I need to shine enough for people to see it as well. I do notice others trying to be more casual w/ conversation with the big whigs of our department. Thanks for providing some good talking points I can start w/ Mr. TML.

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