Q: One of my co-workers is that person who doesn't finish anything until one minute before it is due (or even after, if she can get away with that). Meanwhile, I'm a planner and work ahead of time in a regimented way to avoid the last-minute push. Needless to say, working on projects with her is super stressful and frustrating, although she always produces good results in the end. Would it be appropriate for me to discuss this with our boss? Or how should I discuss with her in a productive way?
A: This is actually a fairly common problem. In fact, if you were to both complete the [Myers-Briggs Type Indicator] personality type tool, you may find out you have opposite styles on your preferred orientation to the world. Sounds like you are a "J," which is a person who likes a structured, planned approach to your day, and she may be a "P" — someone who likes a flexible, spontaneous approach to her days. While both styles are highly valuable in the workplace, sometimes working together on projects can be very frustrating for both.
So, what can you do? Before you go to the boss, I would talk with [your co-worker] to learn what you both do and how she feels about the time line issue. She might not know this is stressful for you, and you can also listen to her perspective on this. Usually, this issue only gets resolved when the two of you talk and come up with realistic goals that work for both of you.
Q: Over the past year my work in the office has been given much praise. At annual performance reviews, I was once again told how great I had done and what an asset I was to the company. However, I was then told the raises this year were really bad. How do I find motivation to work hard when the company clearly doesn't value those that are bringing added value to the company?