10 tips that will help you keep your job
Tuesday, 25 Jan 2011
If you find yourself cleaning out your desk and starting a new job every nine months to a year, the problem is you ? not your boss or colleagues.
It is important to understand your company?s corporate culture and to match it in words and actions. For starters, if you work in a prim-and-proper button-down office, don?t show up in jeans and a T-shirt boasting about wild times.
?Size up the culture and show a strong work ethic,? says Andrew J. DuBrin, a professor of management at the Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, New York.
You got hired because the boss thought you could do the job. But competence alone is not enough to succeed. Be passionate about your work and take pride in it. Tossing things together at the last minute won?t cut it.
Here are ten things you must get right to avoid killing your career. In most cases, no single faux pas is serious enough to get you a pink slip on the spot, but the steady drip-drip-drip of inattention to one or more of these basic points will seriously erode your position, and before you know it, you will be cleaning out your desk, again.
Know what is expected.
No one wants a drone or a yes-man, but if you don?t understand the corporate culture and if you don?t know what?s expected of you, you?re gone. It?s possible to fit in without squashing your creativity. Remember whom you work for and why.
Money is not everything.
Do not create the impression that you?re working just for a paycheck. That?s the hallmark of a clock-puncher and will kill all chances for advancement. If you?re so unhappy with your job that you live for the 15th and 30th of each month, it?s time to start sending out r?sum?s.
Leave the gossip to the supermarket tabloids.
Idle chit-chat at the water cooler is a fact of life and acceptable, and is even expected in small doses. But do not chatter endlessly about who is in and who?s out. To do so reflects badly on you and takes time away from turning the wheels. Your boss will notice if you spend more time yapping than working.
Deadlines are real and must be met because, believe it or not, the world doesn?t move to your beat. Missing deadlines will back up the whole show and make your boss look bad. A bad hair day is no excuse for missing a deadline. Work late to get the job done if you have to.
Cubicle etiquette counts.
Leave it to future historians to determine how cubicle culture changed America. All you have to do is live with it. Remember: Privacy?s nonexistent in a cubicle, so don?t have phone conversations that you don?t want others to hear. Personal decorative touches should be tasteful.
Personal e-mails are death.
Here is a basic truth many employees miss: The company e-mail system is for company business. Don?t use it to gossip, and don?t write anything that you don?t want read by the boss, because many systems save deleted messages to a master file. Horror tales of someone hitting ?Reply to All? and mistakenly sending a juicy note about the boss to everyone, including the chief, are common. Call up your personal e-mail account to send personal notes, and keep it short; you?re at work.
Isolation leaves you vulnerable.
You don?t have to constantly hang out with co-workers after hours, but don?t isolate yourself with standoffish behaviour. You don?t want to be seen as someone who thinks you?re too good for the proletariat. Extend the simple courtesies to your co-workers: good morning, good night, please, thanks. Your mother was right: Manners count.
Do not climb ego mountain.
No one likes an egomaniac, and for good reason: They are boring, obnoxious, trivial people. Listen to what your co-workers tell you. Ask questions. Learn from the experienced hands. Improve your skills and boost your productivity.
Do not take credit for others? work.
It is a familiar tale: The office go-getter takes credit for other people?s work. Such people overlook a basic point: It?s dishonest. If you do this, word will eventually reach the boss, and your standing will crumble instantly. Along the way, the long knives will be out, and your co-workers will root for, and cheer, your demise. Some may even knife your aspirations.
Office romance invites catastrophe.
We all work long hours, and sometimes work becomes our social life, leading to romantic entanglements.
This is fine if you get married and live happily ever after. What are the chances of that? Think: What will you do if the relationship ends badly? Never become involved with your boss. Your accomplishments and promotions will become suspect, and one of you will have to move to another department, and perhaps another job, when the romance becomes known.