Promoted, but I lost my work friends!

Promoted, but I lost my work friends!

Being promoted to a supervisor, I expected to encounter difficulties in my new role, but little did I realise the impact the promotion would have on my work friendships.

Suddenly I became the enemy!

People were taking aim and firing and there was no cover to run to!

Whoa! Is this what climbing the ladder to success means?!

What to do?  Continue being friends in the hope that I would eventually succeed in my new role, or grab the opportunity and possibly lose some friends?

I decided my career was more important than ‘friends’ who did not have my best interest at heart.

I very quickly learnt the facts of friendship in a work environment and how to move forward!

It IS possible to find the balance and succeed in your job.

LESSON 1         True friends will be happy for you and your success, don’t waste tears on new enemies

LESSON 2         Being a leader is not based on friendships, but rather the ability to encourage the best out of a team.  Acknowledge good performance, offer praise when deserved, give guidance and training

LESSON 3         Lead by example, don’t ask people to do what you will not do

LESSON 4         Ensure people know what is expected of them

LESSON 5         Set reasonable boundaries

LESSON 6         Don’t have favourites

LESSON 7         Work hard, reward and have fun!



Many years ago, eager to start working, I was appointed to the position of assistant in the legal department of an Executor company.

Although excited at the prospect of my first job, I was nervous thinking that I was going to work for executioners, but I wondered how many people they had killed.

On the train ride into the city on my first day, a friendly older gentleman sitting opposite me asked if this was my first working day. Gleefully I replied, “Yes, but I’m very nervous’. The friendly gentleman replied that is was normal to be nervous when going to work for the first time. “My nervousness stems from the fear of working for executioners and wondered how many people had been executed”, I replied.

Puzzled, the gentleman asked me the name of the company, and then with a smile on his face he gently explained the difference between Executors and executioners. With a very red face, I heaved a sigh of relief!

Having a sense of self-importance, I approached my job with enthusiasm. My main job was to cut out all the legal death notices that appeared in the newspapers and attach them to the legal documentation required in dealing with Executorship.

After 6 months I became very bored with the tedious and repetitive nature of the work and in my ‘wisdom’, I decided that I would take a short cut and keep the death notice cuttings in my desk drawer until they were required.

Very big mistake!

After being told that I cost the company lost revenue, and worse yet, I had also brought the company into disrepute for not following legal process, consequently I was fired.

Being fired from my first job was a blow to my ego and self-confidence, but I learnt some valuable life and work lessons

LESSON 1         Follow your job description.

LESSON 2         Don’t think you know more than your employers, you don’t!

LESSON 3         Don’t let failure dictate your future.

  • I went on to successfully manage the advertising department of a large daily newspaper, a department that broke all previous revenue records
  • I became a 50% owner of an advertising agency
  • I launched
Don’t be THAT Guy

Don’t be THAT Guy

Are You Able To Help?

Fighting bullies and helping bully victims
We are looking for angels. That is what we are calling our community of people who help us. We are trying to build a community of angels who can:
• Write self-help articles for us.
• Answer questions about bullying and from bullying victims.
• Pre-empt potential questions and answers to help those who are too afraid or shy to ask their own questions.
• Share our message far and wide – the more people that know about us, the more we can help.
Register at if you want to join our community of angels!

Don’t be THAT guy
Who is THAT guy, you may ask? THAT guy is the proverbial person who does something that is not well received, or downright wrong. THAT guy is the bully, and the reason for the existence of our website:

As a person who experienced bullying in school as a child, and now, as a father of a child that was bullied in school, I have decided to stand up and do something about it.

My name is Kobus Myburgh, and I am the father of two boys, Jack* and Henry*. It is 2022, and Jack is turning 9 this year, and Henry is turning 5. Luckily Henry has not yet experienced bullying to our knowledge (and believe me, we are vigilant). That is partially because he is in a wonderful school, together with his big brother Jack.
Jack was bullied in a previous school, and it took my wife and I months to get him to want to go to school again. Jack has finally decided on a school where he felt comfortable, after visiting many schools over the course of a 4-month-period. We had to take time off from work on numerous occasions to find a school where our precious boy would be comfortable, happy, and not bullied.

Jack has now been at this school for 4 years. He has a zest for life, and he is a happy child. His resilience, our efforts and persistence, and the great care given by the teachers and staff at Out of the Box academy has enabled him to flourish.

But back to reality…
I am not delusional. I know I cannot stop bullying all by myself, and I also know that it would need millions of people like me to eradicate bullying, but I am using every available resource at my disposal to spread the word about dealing with bullying. I implore you to share our website and social media link. If we can draw enough attention to bullying, we can make a dent in this vile behavioural pattern.
I started this project in 2018, but the website never saw the light of day, as I did not know how to approach this, until I decided in late 2021 to just put whatever I have learned over the years online. That is how we started. We are creating content at a fast pace and are building facilities to help bullies and victims of bullying, as well as those who want to help both.

About our name
By choosing this name, we risked being a little bit politically incorrect – but think about it: we could not choose the name “Don’t be THAT guy or girl or gender neutral or non-binary person”. We had to shorten it. We are aware that people of any gender can be bullies or be victims of bullying. Therefore, when we refer to “that guy” or “him” please keep that in mind.

* Not their real names, to protect their identities, as they are minors.

Register today at if you want to join our community of angels!

The Interview, Part 3

The Interview, Part 3

We’ve covered some tough Q & A’s so far, and it’s not over yet.

This is a critical question, so think about this carefully. Keep your answer short and use positive words. Please do not badmouth your previous employers or your colleagues – this will backfire and paint you in a bad light.
For example – Rather than saying “There wasn’t an opportunity for growth”, put it this way “I’m looking to expand my horizons and move into a developmental role, where I can grow.”
Focus on what you want to achieve and explain how a move will be great for you and for your new company.

If you were fired – your response could be: “Unfortunately, the company and position were a mismatch for me, so I needed to find a new challenge.”
Or: “I was going through a bad stage in my life and made a few mistakes but I’ve since turned my life around and I’m ready for my next challenge.”

This question is popular for customer service and sales positions, but can be thrown in at any time to test your ability to think on your feet. It shows your future employer how you react under difficult circumstances and stress, and also to evaluate your reasoning ability, problem-solving, interpersonal and critical thinking skills.
Do not reply by saying that you have not found yourself in a difficult situation, everyone has had to face a challenge regardless of their position.
Perhaps think of a time when you learned something as the result of a disagreement. Pick a scenario that shows conflict with a good outcome and makes a positive statement about your ability to collaborate and grow. Be specific about the steps that you took to correct the issue, but also the positive solution.

As an example:
You assisted a difficult customer resolve an ongoing complaint, therefore saving the account.
Perhaps you negotiated a payment plan for a non-paying debtor, which secured future income with extended interest.

Your interviewer doesn’t want to know if you plan to get married, buy a house or win your local soccer league. They want to know if you are stable and see a future with their company – so they are really asking if you are worth the investment.
Having specific and measurable personal development goals shows that you’re not only motivated to succeed in your current position, but that you’re also open to learning new roles and growing with the company. Provide general ideas about the skills you want to develop, the types of roles you would like to be in and things you would like to have accomplished.
Avoid clichés or jokes like: “I just want to do the best work I can” or “I would like to be in your position”

Rather say: “Within five years, I would like to be an expert in terms of product knowledge and develop close relationships with my clients. I aim to significantly expand the client base in my region.”
Or –
“My goal is to be in a position where I can take on new challenges and responsibilities, so I’m on the lookout for opportunities to develop in-depth skills in my field.”

In our next article, we’ll wrap up the Q&A’s.

Stay safe!

The Interview Part 2

The Interview Part 2

Your interview is going well, you’ve told your interviewer who you are and what your strengths are – but now comes the dreaded:

3) What are your weaknesses:
This is an opportunity for you to turn a negative into a positive, keep your answer brief and don’t dwell too much on the weakness. As hard as this one is, make sure that you are honest with your response. As much as we like to think that we have no faults, don’t be afraid to let yourself be a little vulnerable—acknowledging your flaws shows that you value self-reflection and personal growth. Give this answer some thought and then importantly, also add what you are doing to overcome the weakness.
For example:
You always run late, but now you have set all your clocks ten minutes fast and constant alarms on your cellphone.

4) Why do you want to work with us:
Now is your chance to really impress. You’ve done your reach, you know a bit about the company so tie your answer in with what you’ve learnt. But again, be honest.
Perhaps the company is involved in charity work and this resonates with you. Or, they have posted very successful financials for the past few years and you’d like to be part of a successful enterprise with room for advancement.

5) What makes you the ideal candidate for this position:
Interviewers ask this kind of question to understand what specific skills or qualities make you stand out from the other candidates, especially if you are one of many candidates with the same qualifications. Review the company job description, paying specific attention to the required qualifications and skills of an ideal candidate. Highlight where you have demonstrated success in meeting these skills and qualifications in your prior positions.
For example:
If the company is looking for someone to increase sales by ten percent, provide concrete examples where you’ve landed major accounts or increased company revenue.
Try to avoid generic and generalised answers, such as I am great at sales and enjoy inter-acting with customers.

More potential Q&A’s will continue in our next article.

Stay safe!