Survival in Business can be hard on even the most seasoned businesspeople. Read the South Source Office Survival Guide to see how you can try to succeed in the corporate rat race.
- Dress for Success – The old adage, “Dress for the job you want, not the job you have,” might be a bit dated in today’s business casual world, but what has withstood the test of time, and ambiguously fashionable chinos, is the fact that people who dress smartly look professional and get noticed. That being said, it’s important not to over do it. If your office attire is business casual, don’t show up in a ball gown or top hat and tails.
- Avoid Unnecessary Meetings – Meetings are a necessary part of corporate work, but going to too many meetings can be counterproductive. Pick and choose which meetings you attend, and try to avoid the ones where you find yourself thinking about that evening’s primetime lineup, what you’re having for dinner, or whether your boss’s tie matches his shirt.
- Avoid being too Happy at Happy Hour – A little after-work camaraderie can be good for office morale, and even be a part of practicing good office politics. But like almost all good things, happy hour should be enjoyed in moderation. Everyone will forget that you only stayed for one drink at the office happy hour, but no one will forget the guy who spilled his Long Island iced tea all over your boss’s expensive new shoes, or the “new girl” in accounting that danced a little too flirtatiously with the director of marketing.
- Keep your Personal Life Personal – There is a reason that so many businesses discourage office “fraternization;” it can lead to trouble. The best policy is to be friendly and professional with your co-workers, but avoid getting much more involved in the lives of your colleagues than the obligatory “How was the weekend? Mine was just fine.”
- Don’t Make Enemies – This might sound obvious, but in a stressful work environment, it can be difficult to keep everyone happy all of the time. Do your best to stay neutral in polarizing situations, and try not to make friends with the office gossips or drama queens or kings.
- Learn the Lingo – Every company has its own business jargon, and although it may seem unoriginal to be using the same business-speak as everyone else in the office, it shows that you buy into the company and understand the direction that the business is going in. Plus, your superiors will love to hear you using their brilliant turns of phrase.
- Repurpose Reports – This is a good piece of advice for anyone. DON’T DO WORK TWICE! By repurposing reports, you can improve productivity, and replicate good work. This doesn’t mean use the same bad joke to start every presentation, but when possible, get everything you can out of the good work that you do.
- Follow the Unspoken Rules – Every office has rules in documents, new-hire pamphlets, and on bulletin boards, but they also have unspoken rules, which you should also take extra special care to follow. If everyone in the office always donates money for cards and flowers when co-workers have babies or lose loved ones, join the initiative. Don’t be a wet blanket to save a few bucks, because it could make you look like you’re not committed to the team.
- Take Advantage of Training – A lot of companies offer optional on-the-job training and personal development courses, and it is in your best interest to take advantage of the opportunity. If you can say to your boss, during your yearly review, that you took six courses to better yourself as an employee, you will have a much better chance of convincing them that you deserve the raise that you’ve been pushing for.
- Be Careful of Social Media – This is a two-part issue. Part one – don’t get caught playing with social media at work. If you are constantly updating your social status or retweeting the latest celebrity gossip during the work day, you are sure to be found out, and sure to get an earful. Part two – make sure the social media posts that you make on your own time are about things that you would not be embarrassed saying in front of your boss. There are ways to see almost everything online, so keep it tasteful.
Author: Brendan Purves