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7 Secrets Of Job Success - How To Keep And Grow Your Current Position In A Tough Economy By Sylvia Hepler

This information is brought to you by mkt1on1 at 1. Use discretion. Saying exactly what you think without giving any thought to how others may hear it can be a big mistake. Criticizing someone-especially in front of a group-isn't a wise move. Peppering your remarks with profanity often lowers people's opinion of you. Speaking against your boss when engaging in casual conversations with coworkers may damage your chances of being selected to stay on if and when lay-offs occur. Raising your voice in anger paints you as out of control. Asking for forgiveness instead of permission to do something doesn't fly with many folks. Betraying confidences can totally ruin your future. The bottom line? Get rid of these behaviors fast. Or at least work to diminish them. None of them serves you well. In fact, they all kill careers. Discretion counts for a lot in the professional environment, like it or not. Learn to be true to yourself using manners, diplomacy, and good judgment. 2. Be low maintenance. People tend to find demanding colleagues tedious. Do you know anyone who constantly complains about the air conditioning, the choices of snacks in the machine, the style of their chair, the size of their desk, the flavor of cake somebody brought to the office today? Such individuals are what we call "high maintenance". Nothing ever suits them. Moaning about little things is a way of life for them. Making mountains out of molehills is part of who they are. This behavior saps energy from everybody around them. If you are doing any of this, stop it now. Even if you are a high performer but are also high maintenance, you weaken your position in the company. Your supervisor may be tired of you, and, when an opportunity to zap you arises, you may find yourself gone. It is not enough to excel in your job duties. You have to be pleasant, agreeable, and somewhat effortless to work with. Avoid being a nuisance. 3. Ask the right questions. There are three types of employees: those who rarely if ever ask questions; those who ask lots of questions but few with any substance; and those who ask good, appropriate clarifying or thought-provoking questions. Make sure you are in the third category. Bosses generally respect and appreciate questions, but only those that make sense and add value to the discussion. Don't seek attention by seeing how many picky or silly questions you can muster during meetings. If you are asking many pointless questions, figure out how to condense them into a couple that reflect serious thinking about the subject on the table. By doing so you can impress your supervisor as well as your peers. Over time, people look forward to your contributions rather than roll their eyes the minute you open your mouth. The right questions enrich dialogue; too many questions or the wrong questions detract from it. 4. Think strategically. It's too easy to focus on that printed job description, do what you are told, and work in a silo. Instead, proactively get clear on all of your responsibilities and tasks, understand why you are doing what you do, examine how it fits into the organization, and find out how it impacts others with whom you work. Strategic thinking, rarely demonstrated by employees, is greatly valued by top managers. Learn to do it, and you will keep your job in most cases. Strategic thinking involves regular analysis and evaluation. It's working with purpose-in a certain direction-toward a planned goal or outcome. Muddling through the days on autopilot is not an option in today's economy. Use your brain power to get creative, collaborative, and conscious. Yes, conscious. Become conscious of every single thing you do, why you do it, how you do it, and the value it adds to the whole. 5. Exceed expectations. One sure way to keep your job today is to go beyond the call of duty frequently. Look for opportunities to do more, to tackle something uniquely, and/or to accomplish something faster. Come into the office early. Stay late. Perhaps not every day, but often....Show initiative. Radiate energy. Look alive. Make other people's work day easier, happier, lighter, and you will be noticed. Offer to help bogged down colleagues with tasks you can do. Run errands for the

boss. Diffuse someone's anger. Listen to a peer's pain. All of these can increase productivity at large. Concerned you won't be paid for these extras? While you may not see actual monetary reimbursement, you can anticipate an improved work environment, healthier relationships, and overall less stress. Those rewards alone are worth your time and effort. 6. Make your boss shine. Managers love to look good in front of their supervisors and Board of Directors. You can play a role in that if you're smart. Put aside your personal feelings about your boss, and do whatever it takes to help him shine. When he shines, you do too. It's a win-win situation. Many folks mistakenly think that, if someone else receives praise, they have lost something because of it. This could not be farther from the truth. If you have that attitude, get rid of it. Such an attitude can only hurt you. By regularly contributing to your boss's success you have opportunities to earn recognition, develop additional skills, elevate your professional status, and maybe even achieve that long sought-after promotion. If you don't like your boss, learn to manage those negative feelings. Keep in mind that, by helping him get ahead, you may just enhance your relationship with the person who makes sure you receive a paycheck. 7. Consider the big picture. Don't work in a vacuum. Realize that everything you do in a day affects the entire organization. Assess your efforts, attitude, and behavior to see if they're having a positive, negative, or neutral impact upon the company. Remember the ripple effect? Think of yourself as one stone in the stream. That one stone matters. Make sure you aren't merely doing a job. Commit to consciously contributing to the fulfillment of the strategic plan. This sounds daunting, but it's really very possible. In fact, it's totally possible. When you truly grasp the big picture-the organizational mission and vision-you want to make a significant difference and you find inspiring ways to do it. You have to decide: are you satisfied with a fear-based life consumed with hoping you'll keep your job, or are you willing to take purposeful steps to grow your current position into something greater and richer than it appears on paper? What do you really want? When you know, go after it. Sitting around wondering if you'll lose your employment only tears you down.

7 Secrets Of Job Success