Tag Archives: Domestic worker

14 point sanity check for detecting Psycho Babble at work

Psycho (Imelda May song)

If it wasn’t so funny it would be serious, very serious. The bearers of bad behavior are alive and well strutting their stuff day in, day out…in a mixture of disguises. They know when to turn it on and off, almost to perfection, as they trance around the workplace manipulating in subversive behavior  Their goal…control, authority and power at your expense. So how can this be and why do they get away with it?

 “The number one aim of a corporate psycho is to protect themselves.”

To understand the answer to this question there must be an acceptance that such people really exist and survive in organisations through a web of complex partnerships and cultures that have developed over time. That’s right, they don’t play alone! There is a support network that may not encourage their bad behaviour, but are aware of it, and how it impacts on the morale of employees. In just about every company I have worked in as a human resources professional, I have encountered this kind of subversion culture in some form or another. In some workplaces psycho babble can be described as;

  1. Protected species
  2. Anointed ones
  3. Untouchables
  4. Dragons
  5. Clicks
  6. Political animals

It’s not easy determining if one of your colleagues is engaged in psycho babble. The 14 point checklist below may assist in early detection. However, this is just a snapshot and more detailed assessment is required.

  • Superficial charm
  • Grandiose sense of self-worth
  • Need for stimulation and prone to boredom
  • Pathological lying
  • Conning and manipulative behaviour
  • Lack of remorse or guilt
  • Shallow emotional effect
  • Callous lack of empathy for others
  • Parasitic lifestyle and taking credit for other people’s work
  • Poor behavioural control
  • Promiscuous sexual behaviour
  • Lack of realistic, long-term goals
  • Inability to take responsibility
  • General irresponsibility

The 5 Emotional cancerous behaviours of fragmented people are:

  1. Criticizing
  2. Complaining
  3. Comparing
  4. Competing
  5. Contending 

It not easy trying to deal with a corporate psycho because they may have the favour of their boss and their wrong doings are filtered. My only advice is that eventually they will unravel themselves and expose their rear guard. So sit back and watch them implode into a frenzy of all sorts.

Perhaps you want to take the quiz…this is a screening measure to help you determine whether you might have been a victim of workplace psycho babble. Answer the following questions based upon the your boss’s behavior during the past 6 months and good luck!



My boss has given me the flick…what next?

Career Day

In this post I highlighted the need to have open and flexible career re-assessment as part of your armory of attack when recovering from a job loss. The following represent the 5 key success factors for managing a job loss:

1. Successful job search skills knowledge
2. Strong financial management initiatives
3. Flexible and open career re-assessment
4. Mental toughness and a strong belief system
5. Managing your current job

Now onto key success factor 3…

Flexible and Open Career Re-assessment

My advice in this instance is get out of your comfort zone whatever you do! Too many people I have helped in their career transition have hindered their job search prospects by sticking to old beliefs and methods of approach. It has to do with familiarity and what people know best, a type of comfort zone holding you prisoner within an electric fence. Once you have lost your job your life will change from despair to opportunity.

I say this because it’s a perfect opportunity to try something new and different. That’s right, you have nothing to lose now and you can experiment and try new ideas and concepts. Stretch yourself and become excited with the thought that everything you have always dreamed of doing outside your steady and regular job has now arrived. It is time to try to test new ideas, experiment with new concepts or see where your hobbies will take you. I commenced writing this book to keep me busy when I lost my job.

Key success factor 3 is about open career re-assessment. To sit down and analyse your career options carefully rather than focusing on getting back to your regular day job or profession that you have been working for so many years. It is time for a break and a re-assessment of your career wants and needs. In this book I dedicate a chapter to career options. I recommended that you consider a variety of options such as:

  •  Starting your own business or franchise

  •  Developing a new concept, idea or invention

  •  Consider going back to school and undertaking further studies

  •  Develop your hobbies into a potential income source

  •  Try a new career in a totally different industry and/or profession

  •  Take a sabbatical and enjoy the beautiful pleasures of the world.

Whatever you decide to do, flexibility in thought and total career re-assessment will enable you to increase your options in life. When you are in career transition mode I can easily teach you job search skills and how to apply them, however, your view on life and how you exercise your career options is a thought process that only you can act upon. Life is all about increasing your options and then picking the best one for yourself. Don’t limit yourself when you lose your job, open yourself to all possibilities and explore your opportunities to their fullest.

Would you believe I was motivated to write this book when I was between jobs? I had always wanted to write a book about assisting others achieve better employment prospects but I always thought it too hard and time-consuming. The truth was that I had never written anything this substantial before and just the thought of commencing it made me feel uncomfortable. I had some spare time up my sleeve and I decided to give it a try, each day I wrote two or three pages and my intensity and confidence grew each time. I also enjoyed it immensely and thought about writing as a new career. I reassessed my career options and was willing to try to experience other things, so can you!

My boss has given me the flick…

In this post I highlighted the need to have strong financial management initiatives as part of your armory of attack when recovering from a job loss. The following represent the 5 key success factors for managing a job loss:

1. Successful job search skills knowledge
2. Strong financial management initiatives
3. Flexible and open career re-assessment
4. Mental toughness and a strong belief system
5. Managing your current job

Now onto key success factor 2…

Strong Financial Management Initiatives

Money management is certainly an area of great stress during redundancy. This is because your comfort zone has been taken away from you. The weekly or fortnightly pay you have relied upon is no longer there and you are concerned about where your next pay is coming from. I have seen this scenario cause great stress to people with debts, mortgages, and young families particularly where there is only a single income earner.

I remember once a young man who was made redundant and as Employee Relations Manager, I had to be the bearer of the bad news. He broke down and cried in front of me, not because he had lost his job, but because he had just bought a new house and had increased his mortgage. To make matters worse, his wife was expecting a second child and she was not working. He was frightened to tell his wife and did not want to go home. I eventually spoke to his wife and decided to drive him home myself. The anxiety and pain he felt during this moment was tremendous.

I have always felt a correlation with money management and the ability to focus on getting a job. If you can take the pressure of monetary matters away from you for a short time then your ability to focus on job hunting improves significantly. The distraction of money worries does not help you focus on interview performance and getting that job. You may become desperate and make the wrong career move in the name of security. You must focus on managing your money immediately after a job loss and here are 10 financial tips to get you started:

  1.  Speak to your bank about lowering your mortgage repayments immediately. You will find that over the years you have probably increased your repayments either deliberately or through interest rate reductions. Pay the minimum amount possible for now and forget about paying your house off sooner. That is not a priority now and you must review your financial objectives.
  2. With your redundancy payment pay-off credit card debt either in part or full and decrease the number of bills and interest you must pay monthly.
  3. Eliminate all unnecessary spending. All those nice things to have such as pay television, domestic servants, magazine subscriptions and memberships should be reviewed.
  4. If you have money tied up in investments such as shares or fixed interest term deposits, withdraw this money either in part or full and create a buffer zone for emergencies. Hold this money in an everyday ‘at call’ account for psychological security. This buffer zone will make you feel more secure and comfortable and allow you to focus on job hunting.
  5. Watch your spending and don’t behave as though you are still employed. This is the toughest part because it involves changing your lifestyle and habits. Holidays, clothes and any other regular purchases such as household items and entertainment expenses must be slashed. Believe me, they are not important now and you will survive until things are back on track again.
  6. Be economical with controllable household utilities expenses such as gas, electricity, telephone and your food budget. I managed to save $150 a month on food for my family by just watching for price specials, comparing prices and being more selective.
  7. Create a strict budget that is achievable and try to work within it. It will help you stick to targets and operate within set budget guidelines.
  8. Apply for social security payments. The money will not be enough to live on but it will stretch your savings further buying you more time for job search.
  9. If your finances become too tight prepare to refinance your home as the last resort. Again, this is not a preferred option but the key to job success is time.
  10. Talk about the prospects of borrowing money from family only if necessary. You will need a very supportive family for this and be prepared to pay them back when you get a job.

All the above tips are really common sense applications and I utilised them when I was unemployed. It helped me extract more time for my job search and relieved the pressure to focus on getting the right job.

I must stress that the key to financial management during redundancy is different and geared towards buying time to enhance your job search. I say this because you cannot pick and choose the timing of your next job offer. It could happen quickly or take longer than expected due to a range of factors including a bit of bad luck. You must be mentally prepared for this and factor it in to your financial management.

In my next post I will focus on Key Success Factor  3, Flexible and open career re-assessment.