Skip to comments.Practice these habits in the workplace, and succeed!
Posted on 05/14/2014 9:47:05 AM PDT by Kaslin
No one can stop you from mastering good habits if you're willing to work at it.
Do you know people who are always struggling in their jobs? Always having a hard time getting things done? Always complaining that others are not being fair to them?
Anyone can occasionally encounter a bad situation that is not their fault. But when a certain person is seemingly always in situations like that, the smart money says to look at that persons habits.
U.S. News and World Report recently published an excellent list of 10 good habits of people who function effectively in the workplace. Take a look:
1. Don't promise what you can't deliver.
2. Take regular breaks.
3. Don't skip breakfast or lunch.
4. Make some friends and allies at work.
5. Stop trying to multitask.
6. Remind yourself of what's really important in life.
7. Seek work that suits your personality.
8. Learn to manage your boss.
9. Get a hobby that makes you happy.
10. Ask for help when you need it.
None of this is really all that complicated. But many struggle to master these habits. That could stem from personality issues, self-confidence issues, emotional baggage . . . or it might just be that youve never been around people who modeled good habits for you, so youve never learned them.
But I am convinced that anyone can learn good habits if they really are willing to work at it. I am also convinced that those who practice good habits consistently will generally have success in the workplace.
Now lets understand something. Everyone will run into problems. Everyone will run into difficult colleagues, difficult bosses, unanticipated complications, unreasonable customers and sometimes these things will result in setbacks. I am not promising you that if you practice good habits you will have no setbacks, so dont get that in your head.
What I am saying, though, is that those who consistently practice good habits will be very effective at rising above setbacks. Success in the workplace doesnt mean nothing ever goes wrong. It means that when it does, you maintain a calm demeanor and clear thinking, and you dont overreact because you understand this is the nature of things and its not the end of the world.
People who consistently practice good habits will consistently outperform those who dont.
So if youre one of those people who feels like youre working hard but you never get anywhere in your career, Id encourage you to take an honest and serious look at the list above, and ask yourself if you can do better there. Because the most important thing in anyones life is that they do well at the things they can control and you can control the habits you practice.
That is, if youre willing to work at it. If youre not, well thats probably a pretty good indication of why youre struggling in the first place.
My key to success when I worked for someone else was to always have paper on your desk. It doesn’t matter what it is. That way, when someone important is watching, you can always shuffle the papers from one side of the desk to the other. Therefore, you always appeared busy and no one ever asks you to do anything.
Number 8 is an important one. Over the years I've had bosses or supervisors that sucked at their jobs. Don't despair; work around them and despite them. I had a boss who was having an affair with one of the female co-workers; he neglected all his duties including ordering materials I needed for my job. Another just wanted to play games all day on his computer. Another got caught up in competing with the workers by doing their tasks in parallel and ignoring managing. Another grabbed newly ordered items so as to study the manuals in detail, keeping the items out of the worker's hands until just before they were absolutely required for installing at customer sites - a couple months would go by while workers only had a week to study the setup and use. Another concerned himself with office politics, not allowing workers to fix broken-down items in order to get a larger budget to order new items - thereby making workers look incompetent and himself as a problem-solver. The list goes on and on.
Solutions are to do what your boss is supposed to be doing, or leave the group, work yourself up the ladder elsewhere, and come back at an equal or higher level than your boss. That is the best advice I learned from a senior manager when I was young, and it served me well.
“Therefore, you always appeared busy and no one ever asks you to do anything.”
Look like you’re busy - the George Costanza way (from Seinfeld).
He told me that whenever he got new stuff in his in-basket, he would immediately toss it in the trashcan. If it was important, sooner or later someone would call to have something done about it. Cut way down on the work he needed to do.
20 years in the Navy, and I learned to put up with anyone. Had a LT who was one of those types who insisted things be done his way, even to the detriment of the ship. I just kept a low profile and stayed out of his way.
The best bosses (and the one I have now) tell you what needs to be done and what he expects, and leaves you to do your job with a minimum of interference.
In the case of a bad boss, (even though it sounds cliche) I’ve learned what goes around comes around and this too shall pass.
Yes, karma is a b*tch. There was one manager I had, dragged me into a storage closet prior to a meeting with high-up directors of several departments. He threatened to fire me if I spoke the truth on his misdeeds spending money allocated by those departments on his own separate projects. I had to sweat out the meeting as I was berated by directors for why their costs were so high with few results, and tell them I didn't know the reason. Soon thereafter he forced me out of the group. The next year I learned he got fired, and he had not accumulated enough time to earn any pension benefits.
Dad and I have spoken little since...
..but I'm loving it today..
some people are toxic - I wish I could have identified that sooner, as he's operated like this all my life......The larger lesson is never work with family, & finish college with a degree in something you love and can earn you an honest living
I don’t fully agree with the college part. I droped out of college and enlisted. I’m an inveterate tinkerer. I love fixing things. What I was studying in college probably have gotten me a miserable career. The Navy made me and electronics technician, and after 20 years in the Navy, and 16 working for the Navy, I love it more than ever.
As for a career I say do something you enjoy.
12. Keep a daily working diary so that your regular status reports are 10x more detailed than anyone else's. (Corollary: *Always* be ready to instantly answer the question "What are you working on?")
13. Gain a mastery of the English language and keep it honed.
ALSO: There are two personality qualities that, in very small quantity, are necessary to success in the workplace - fear and humility. Fear = fear of failure. Without humility you will never adopt the best work practices of others, and will spend your life re-inventing the wheel.
How about “show up on time and ready to work”?
That’s another good one
That is, if youre willing to work at it.....I think ALL of these problems would probably disappear if you did your GD job and went home at night.
I’d agree - Services are a viable laternative