Author Topic: selected to work on crazy project_ how to become assertive overnight  (Read 2754 times)

tomita

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I found out that I have to work on a crazy project were the project lead is
unprepared
pointing fingers all the time
does not have a defined scope, scope gets inflated overtime so is a rolling target

the henchmen are slackers that pretend to work and attack/gossip the rest of us

other people that worked with them wasted a lot of energy and it caused them stress

I have trouble with being assertive with these people I vacillate between telling them FU and complying because I like/need my work

as soon as I got the summons I got stomach aches, I hope the stress won't make me sick

if you guys know how to deal with this situation , please advise

thks



matchewed

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Re: selected to work on crazy project_ how to become assertive overnight
« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2016, 06:07:01 PM »
What would you be asserting?

In the end for this project you get your shit done and move on. Who gives a fuck what the other people say?

Scope gets changed? Document it and keep plugging away.

Other people slack and miss deadlines that affect you? Inform the project lead, document and move on.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2016, 06:10:10 PM by matchewed »

Jakerado

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Re: selected to work on crazy project_ how to become assertive overnight
« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2016, 06:14:39 PM »
Not sure what project you're being tasked with, or what makes it hard, but you really have a couple options: Decline it (and maybe find another job), or put up with it.

I'm reading this as you don't have any organizational power (you're being asked by your boss to work on the project, not put in charge or anything of that nature), which means you can either take it or leave it. You aren't going to magically make everything work out, and trying to fight someone who is above you in the organization is likely to result in you being kicked out anyway. IF (and this is a big if) you have pull with the boss of the team lead / other people on the project you're being tasked with you may be able to make some noise and get people to start focusing, but 99% of the time that's not worth it.

mozar

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Re: selected to work on crazy project_ how to become assertive overnight
« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2016, 06:23:09 PM »
You can choose whether or not to be stressed. At the end of the day it's just business.
What I do when there are slackers I have learned to get out in front by making lots of suggestions. I do this loudly i.e. send lots of emails where I initiate projects. Whether or not other people participate is not my problem. My number one goal is to make myself look good. I used to get quiet when I was stressed, put my head down, and avoid everybody. That didn't work out. Bosses want you to take "initiative." They don't care what you are doing and whether or not leads to results (unless you are in sales).

tomita

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Re: selected to work on crazy project_ how to become assertive overnight
« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2016, 06:33:08 PM »
jakerado & matchewed:
thanks,
yeah no power, but is a just a project so don't know why this was getting me down before starting it
I do have a tendency to want things to work out...and I predict this is not going to be a success,

Thanks for the realistic perspective,
I guess I have to grow up


former player

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Re: selected to work on crazy project_ how to become assertive overnight
« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2016, 05:17:38 AM »
You might need your work, but it doesn't sound as though you like it.  Nor does it sound as though you see yourself as being on a career track there.  So this is the moment to thoroughly assess your work/life goals and where the best place for you to be working in order to satisfy those goals is.

In the meantime, document everything you do at work: your working hours, your output, the instructions you are given and what you have done to comply with them/inform people that they cannot be met and why.

If you pay attention to presentation (proper use of capitals, paragraphing, etc.) and grammar in your written communications people will take the content of them more seriously, which will make your life easier.

Fishindude

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Re: selected to work on crazy project_ how to become assertive overnight
« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2016, 05:30:13 AM »
That's why they call it WORK.

Work is not always pleasant.  If you don't run the place, you can't always choose your assignments.  You don't always get to team up with your favorite or the best coworkers.  Some projects have ridiculous deadlines.  Some clients or bosses have ridiculous expectations, etc., etc.

The best way to handle crappy jobs is to attack them, knock the work out quickly and put it behind you.
Suck it up and do the job to the best of your abilities or move on to work elsewhere.

matchewed

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Re: selected to work on crazy project_ how to become assertive overnight
« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2016, 07:45:08 AM »
Don't get me wrong, if you truly hate your job you should leave it anyway. But if there are aspects of it you like or you can choose to like it then don't sweat the small stuff. Working on a shitty project is small stuff IMO. This isn't about "growing up" it's about perspective. You are allowed and empowered to change yours.

AZDude

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Re: selected to work on crazy project_ how to become assertive overnight
« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2016, 08:23:04 AM »
Rolling targets, changing scope, and an unprepared project lead sounds like the norm for most of the places where I have worked. The ticket to not feeling stress is to do three things.

1) Stop giving a shit. This solves lots of problems. If the project succeeds or fails is not your problem. What people say/think about you is irrelevant.

2) Do not start putting in extra time just to make up for others mistakes. If *you* screw up, then you fix it regardless of the time and personal cost to you, but if someone else screws up, then its not your problem.

3)Learn to say no in a way that does not get you fired. IE: "Fuck you, I'm not doing it" is not appropriate. However: "I have prior commitments after work and I will be unable to stay late tonight. I will attack this first thing tomorrow morning and give you a status update by early afternoon."

Very few supervisors want to actually come in, look you in the eye, and tell you that you *have* to stay late after you have said you other things going on. No one can make you stay late, and I've never heard of anyone getting fired for not consistently putting in more than 40 hours. Hiring and firing people is expensive. High turnover makes the boss and the company look bad.

Dee18

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Re: selected to work on crazy project_ how to become assertive overnight
« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2016, 08:28:56 AM »
I'm wondering what exactly you are dreading?  Is it trying to be heard in meetings?  Fear your ideas won't be taken seriously?  Figure out how you are most comfortable communicating and use that...whether it's speaking up or emailing.  My daughter is shy and hates to speak up, but us creative, incredibly organized, and highly motivated.  With group projects in high school she drove herself crazy because she wouldn't speak up until things were really going off the rails and then would be frustrated that her ideas weren't welcomed at that late stage.  If you need to communicate in meetings, practice saying the words aloud on your way to work.  It really will help. 

mm1970

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Re: selected to work on crazy project_ how to become assertive overnight
« Reply #10 on: February 05, 2016, 10:35:53 AM »
Rolling targets, changing scope, and an unprepared project lead sounds like the norm for most of the places where I have worked. The ticket to not feeling stress is to do three things.

1) Stop giving a shit. This solves lots of problems. If the project succeeds or fails is not your problem. What people say/think about you is irrelevant.

2) Do not start putting in extra time just to make up for others mistakes. If *you* screw up, then you fix it regardless of the time and personal cost to you, but if someone else screws up, then its not your problem.

3)Learn to say no in a way that does not get you fired. IE: "Fuck you, I'm not doing it" is not appropriate. However: "I have prior commitments after work and I will be unable to stay late tonight. I will attack this first thing tomorrow morning and give you a status update by early afternoon."

Very few supervisors want to actually come in, look you in the eye, and tell you that you *have* to stay late after you have said you other things going on. No one can make you stay late, and I've never heard of anyone getting fired for not consistently putting in more than 40 hours. Hiring and firing people is expensive. High turnover makes the boss and the company look bad.

Quote
That's why they call it WORK.

Work is not always pleasant.  If you don't run the place, you can't always choose your assignments.  You don't always get to team up with your favorite or the best coworkers.  Some projects have ridiculous deadlines.  Some clients or bosses have ridiculous expectations, etc., etc.

The best way to handle crappy jobs is to attack them, knock the work out quickly and put it behind you.
Suck it up and do the job to the best of your abilities or move on to work elsewhere.

Good stuff here.  I find the best way to reduce stress is to document things clearly.

When meetings come, document the scope.  I mean really - write it all down, then followup with an email to the team after.  This can avoid "scope creep" (and make sure on the email list is the boss of the person in charge).

Also, document the specific steps needed to reach the goal.  Break it into baby steps.

If schedules are involved, write up a realistic schedule.

Now, this is probably not your job - this is probably the job of the person in charge.  However, some people suck at that, and I find if I make the schedule, it covers my own ass.

I recently got put in a project late in the game, and suddenly, there was a big fat rush to finish things by a deadline.  I did not create the deadline. I  did not pick the date.  I was not involved, or I would have worked backward or forwards and told them it was impossible.  So when we got close, I said "I will do my best, but I did NOT pick this date and I do NOT have control over the rest of the work.  I do not have the power to make the vendor work faster".

I find being up front about schedules with everyone is helpful.  We cover them weekly.

Parizade

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Re: selected to work on crazy project_ how to become assertive overnight
« Reply #11 on: February 05, 2016, 10:52:59 AM »
No need to be overly assertive, just document everything meticulously. When the project lead complains about something you've done look bewildered and say innocently "but that's what you told me you wanted at our 2:00 meeting on Tuesday Jan 26, have you changed your mind on this?" No one can accuse you of being anything but sincere, helpful, and efficient.

More than once I've been on projects like you describe, and I can tell you honestly that I did the best I could and got my annual raise and bonus in spite of the mess. The project leads responsible were either asked to leave or seriously demoted.

Do your best and CYA on the rest.