How to Hang Onto Your Job
By Sandy Schroeder
If you have had a lot of jobs that started out just fine, and then stopped in less than a year, the problem may be you. You could be over- or underqualified, or just a fish-out-of-water for all sorts of reasons.
Forbes took a look at this issue and suggested sizing up the company culture first. Notice how everyone talks, dresses and acts.
When in doubt, be understated - Wear what most people are wearing and show up on time. Stay positive and go out of your way to help others.
Catch the flavor of staff meetings - Are they formal or informal? Do you need to give reports, take notes or bring other materials?
More Musts to Get Right
These are not immediate dismissal items, but tripping on several of them could lead to a downward job spiral.
Know what you should be doing - Ask questions, work closely with your boss and do the homework to know what is expected of you. Then do your best to make it happen.
Look beyond the paycheck - I have worked with people who knew every job benefit, but were hard pressed to give a coherent description of their job. If you are only there to collect a paycheck, you should think about where you really should be and review your resume.
Make the work happen - Show up on time and stay late if needed to keep up with the workload. As you develop a regular pace, see how that fits. If you are in doubt, speak up and ask for feedback.
Avoid office intrigues - There will always be an undercurrent of gossip or speculation. Accept that and avoid as much of it as you can. You may not know the whole story and an inadvertent remark on your part could morph into something else. Stay cool and put most of your energy and effort into your work.
Keep a level profile - In open plan or cubicle workspaces, limit personal conversations and step away from your desk if you need to. Keep plants, decorations and other statements to a minimum and avoid clutter.
Don’t isolate yourself - You may do your best work when it’s quiet, but taking a break in the company kitchen for coffee, eating pizza with everyone, or going out for a group lunch will give you a better perspective and help to build relationships.
Avoid inappropriate emails - Use the company email system for company business and never say anything that you do not want read by others. Emails can be retrieved, shared with others, and forwarded. Keep yours short, direct and on topic.
If these tips make sense to you, keep your eyes open and work hard to move ahead instead of out the door.
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