“To win 100 victories in 100 battles is not the acme of skill.
To subdue the enemy without fighting is the acme of skill.”
Sun-Tzu, The Art of War
Protecting Yourself at Work
We all have someone at work or home that can at times be challenging or difficult. With the steady decline in union representation and effectiveness, most of us feel alone and powerless in our workplace struggles. The loss of a job is ranked as among the top five highest stressors, coming after the death of a loved one and divorce. Studies have shown that more heart attacks occur on Monday mornings between eight and nine a.m. than at any other time of the week. This phenomenon has been dubbed ”black Monday Syndrome.” The Japanese even have a name for death from overwork: karōshi.
Avoiding the stigma of a firing or the emotional trauma of a hostile work environment and turning it into an empowered and fulfilling work experience requires one to know how to navigate worklife with knowledge, skill, and confidence. I have counseled and represented hundreds of employees in conflicts with government agencies, major corporations, and small employers. Through litigation, I have dissected dysfunctional relationships at work and seen close up what went wrong.
What has become clear in today’s complex work environment is that every employee must become their own Human Resources expert that learns techniques to take care of themselves at work. My Worklife Resources Project aims to provide you with the tools to not only survive at work, but to thrive.
Surviving and Thriving at Work: What Every Employee Needs to Know But is Afraid to Ask
by Eric Sirotkin
Chapter 1 The First Impression
Chapter 2 You’re Hired!
Chapter 3 Seeking Reasonable Accommodation
Chapter 4 Sickness, Family, and Medical Leave
Chapter 5 How to Blow the Whistle Softly
Chapter 6 Confronting the Difficult Boss
Chapter 7 The Art of Communication
Chapter 8 Surviving or Challenging the Hostile Work Environment
Chapter 9 Sexual Harassment
Chapter 10 Workplace Assets
Chapter 11 Responding to Discipline and Performance Appraisals
Chapter 12 Leaving Your Job
Chapter 13 Unemployment Compensation
Chapter 14 Coping with Job Loss
Chapter 15 Job References
Chapter 16 Making a Claim or Making a Life
Available at Amazon, this manual is a primer for everyone who works with others in the workplace and encounters challenges – the difficult boss, a hostile work environment, a poor review or unfair treatment.
While it addresses litigation options such as choosing a lawyer and possible claims, it is more of a practical guide on how to preserve your job and enhance relationships with others garnered from my decades of work counseling employees and litigating cases. Few can afford litigation but no one should be left without an understanding of their rights and responsibilities in the environment where we spend most of our waking hours. The goal is to not only protect yourself at work but to help empower yourself to be successful.
Professional Representation & Workplace Coaching
To schedule a consultation on protecting your career, responding to discipline, or to determine your legal options, contact Eric today.
• Eric is a former professor of Employment and Labor Law at the University of New Mexico School of Law.
• He is the author of the 600-page Lexis/Nexis treatise, Labor and Employment in New Mexico: A Complete Desktop Guide to Employment Law.
• Eric has practiced employment law, civil rights, and mediation since 1981.
In Person or Zoom Webinars
Developing a Thriving Workplace (and Life): SKILLS FOR SUCCESSFUL RELATIONSHIPS AT WORK
Eric delivers workshops that support your organization’s goal of creating a successful and thriving workplace:
- What is a Healthy Workplace?
- Innovative Proven Mediation Principles to Co-create Solutions
- Steering Clear of Legal Hot Water: What causes employees to sue?
- How the “Me Too” Movement Demands Proactive Attention to Pre-empt Disaster
- Whistleblower, Trouble maker, or Ally: Leveraging the value of “speaking up”
- Advanced Communication Skills for Developing Engaged Stakeholders
Zoom and In-Person trainings are available. Click to contact Eric about a workshop for your place of employment.
Other Worklife Resources
- The Employee Rights Advocacy Institute for Law & Policy
- The Fearless Organization: Creating Psychological Safety in the Workplace for Learning, Innovation, and Growth by Amy Edmondson
- Thriving in Business and Life by Christopher Harding and Will Wilkinson
- Mastering Yourself, How To Align Your Life With Your True Calling & Reach Your Full Potential
- The Reinvention of Work: New Vision of Livelihood for Our Time by Matthew Fox
- The Heart Aroused: Poetry and the Preservation of the Soul in Corporate America by David Whyte