Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Underminer

Everyone has at least one in their professional life. An Underminer.  A person who knows you so well that they can casually destroy your career. 
  • Are you going to wear that to the presentation?
  • I was unaware you could work from home the day after taking a personal day. Have the policies changed recently?
  • "So how's the job hunt? Ugh, what a difficult time to find work, much less do something fulfilling.  Please let me know if I can do anything, 'kay?"
  • "Oh wow I see you're putting your resume on blue paper, with a Helvetica font! Wow, how nontraditional.... You are always pushing the envelope, so to speak. And it's great.  People need to see that kind of resume every now and then."
In his satirical book, Mike Albo describes The Underminer as a passive-aggressive master.  We've all had a colleague like this. He/She knows exactly how to pull the rug out from under you- just when you thought you were finally standing on firm ground.

So how do you combat an underminer?  First, take a deep breathe. Second, have a true friend wriggle the knife out of your back.  Third, smile gracefully, excuse yourself and run for the hills. In a sea of underminers there are also loyal, encouraging, respectful professionals who can talk you off the ledge of self-doubt.  Find those people, surround yourself with them and vow never to turn into an evil underminer.

1 comment:

  1. And isn't is awesome how they always end everything with a smiley face?