The first few years of your career can be a minefield, so it’s important to find good role models. It may be tempting to reach out to that badass female exec or that super helpful coworker in your search for a mentor, but don’t! If you’re looking for somebody to model yourself after, look no further than Mike, who asks you for Excel help every goddamn day, before spending the afternoon analyzing his fantasy sports team lineup. Follow this advice and you too will be saying, “Yeah, man, I’m about done here so I can get a drink with you guys, no problem,” in no time, even though you’ll still have to pick up all of Mike’s slack.
Everyone hates working with that lunatic who constantly stresses out about small things like doing the work of two people without ever being recognized for it. So take some deep breaths and calm down, woman! Instead of obsessively typing and retyping your emails to sound less aggressive, why not just start every single communication with a chill little, “Hey, man, what’s up?” It works for Mike, and people seem to love being around him. Try finding new ways to sneak in some downtime throughout the day, like taking the long, leisurely route to the printer to print out the handouts that Mike will forget to bring to the presentation and you’ll somehow be blamed for it. You can even hum a calming little working tune while you staple them together—just make sure not to do it too loudly! You don’t want to disrupt Mike’s small talk with the new CEO. Also, if you don’t keep your chill, how is everyone supposed to stay receptive when Mike pitches everyone the same exact idea you had two minutes ago?
Don’t Look So Tired
We can’t pretend that looks don’t matter in the workplace, even if they don’t for Mike, who’s obviously hungover every morning. You on the other hand want to look as fresh as possible even if you did have to stay up late catching up on the work you put off while helping Mike figure out where he misplaced that status report you left for him. Invest in under-eye concealer and highlighter to make your face seem brighter and less bitter. But make sure not to get the cheap stuff—you need high quality makeup that doesn’t give you that obvious “I’m trying hard to better myself” look. Spend just a few hundred dollars at Sephora and you’ll look as respectable as Mike does when he hasn’t shaved in over a week.
Talk About Fun Things
It’s OK to pipe in from time to time, but can’t you do it a little more casually? No one wants to hear about deadlines, even though you and not Mike will be lectured for missing them. Here’s a fun game: When you need to get everyone over to your computer to look at last quarter’s sales results, try yelling out, “Oh my god, this video is hilarious!” like Mike does. After people goof off watching a rhino chase a bear for twenty minutes, you’ll have them primed for workflow—that is, if Mike doesn’t then drag them over to his computer for Wipeout highlight vids. Damn, he’s good!
Be A Team Player
Stop being so concerned with getting credit all the time! Really, what does it matter if no one realizes you’re doing an insane amount of work without being rewarded for it? Don’t forget that, ultimately, what’s good for your co-workers is good for you. The connections you make while wordlessly helping others could potentially pay off in the future, maybe. Like, did you hear about Mike’s big promotion? Maybe, since you work so hard, he’ll hire you to be his assistant! He’s just a really nice guy like that.
Being a chill employee can be hard when you’re a woman and can’t get away with it. So have your cake and eat it too by being extremely chill while doing a totally unchill amount of other people’s work!