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Today's workplace continues to evolve, becoming more mobile and individualized. Employers are looking for savvy professionals with a can-do attitude, determination and motivation to meet their needs. Tighter job markets require you to have a plan for career accomplishments. Following is the last of three articles summarizing "101" career books published by Course Technology. A different author highlights what it takes to achieve professional success in the 21st century for each book. Here, it's businesswoman and educator, Carol A. Silvis. Her book is entitled 101 Ways To Make Yourself Indispensable at Work. For over two decades, Silvis has trained adults in how to get a job, keep and enjoy it and get ahead. She has a master's degree in Adult Education and is an associate director and department chair at a prominent business institute. She also gives talks and workshops to organizations on a variety of business topics. Opening, Silvis lists all 101 ways to make yourself indispensable at work, for easy reference. Nine chapters categorize her tips with their succinct, important message. Chapter 1 is entitled "Surpass the Competition." Among its eight pointers are:

Gain a Competitive Edge. You need a competitive edge to keep your job and earn a promotion in a tough economy. If you're not getting the results you'd like from your job, consider your output. Do you stand out among company employees in a positive way? Do you need to make any changes in your behavior, work habits, and productivity to become an outstanding employee? Be Self-Reliant. Self-reliant employees free up the boss so they can tend to other matters. Once you're trained, know your duties, and how to complete them, do the work with minimal supervision. Trust your own judgment and skills. "Having the ability to work independently sets you up for promotions by demonstrating your self-reliance and confidence," says Silvis.

"Build Positive Work Habits" is Chapter 4. Here, sixteen tips comprise its message. They include:

Give a Good Day's Work. While you are at work, do your work, and give it your full attention and effort. Complete assigned tasks with efficiency, accuracy and expediency. Observe others who do similar jobs and compare your productivity to theirs. Is there a way to measure your output against workers in similar jobs? Do you accomplish more than they do? Are you as accurate as they are? There will be days you may feel tired, irritable, or bored. The professional moves past these feelings to continue performing his job to the best of his ability. Do Not Complain. Enthusiasm is contagious; unfortunately, so is complaining. If you do have a legitimate problem or complaint, you should try to propose a solution when you bring it to the attention of someone who can do something about it. Avoid constant complainer mode by searching for the positive aspect of any given situation. Fear of layoffs or company closings during economic downturns can place undue stress on employees who are concerned about keeping

their jobs. Negative comments and complaints only heighten the anxiety and worsen the situation. Therefore, it is critically important to maintain a positive, upbeat attitude.

Jay Miletsky, author of "101 Ways To Successfully Market Yourself," credits Silvis's Chapter 8; "Strategies for Success," which he uses in its entirety as Appendix F. Key tips include:

Learn How to Advance within the Company. Be a Representative for Excellence.

Chapter 9 concludes the book and is titled "Have a Plan." Its eight tips include:

Set Personal Goals. What do you want to accomplish in your life? What is your motivation for what you want? Without clearly defined goals, your path of success will be uncertain. Set short-term goals that start from the day you create them through the first year or two, and set long-term goals that cover from five years through your entire lifetime. Set the bar higher than where you are now and surpass what you have already achieved. When you set personal goals that work toward increasing your job satisfaction and advancement, be sure they align with your career aspirations. Be Aware of Office Politics. Anywhere people gather together, politics will come into play, which is especially true of the workplace. It is the way people interact. "Many people try to avoid "playing office politics," but it is nearly impossible to do it, because they are dealing with people," says Silvis. There is a good and bad side to office politics. To stay on the "good side" be sincere, honest, reliable, helpful and agreeable.

Exercises and self-evaluation forms throughout the book promote critical thinking, stimulate creativity and identify areas where improvement will enhance your career success. With 101 tips, it's inevitable that you'll see your own work behaviors reflected, both good and bad. Read Silvis's book, and you'll finish with a renewed perspective on the workplace and your role in it. "101 Ways To Make Yourself Indispensable at Work"" is an invaluable read for both novice and veteran workers. Conjoined with Course Technology's "101 Secrets To Career Success," by Rashika Fernando, and "101 Ways To Successfully Market Yourself," by Jay Miletsky, they make an influential triad of career-based reading. One or all three books would make great gifts during the approaching holidays, birthdays or graduations. Employers could benefit by bulk purchasing Silvis's text for employee distribution. Or, consider starting a business book library/book talk at work, and include Silvis's text in the collection. Open discussion among workers could spark a rejuvenated awareness and approach to the workplace. Challenging times or not, "101 Ways To Make Yourself Indispensable at Work," emphasizes the workplace agreement to be compensated for an honest day's work.

To view all Course Technology books, including Professional, Technical and Reference, visit

Timothy Zaun is a blogger, speaker and freelance writer. Visit him online at

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Career Book Review - 101 Ways To Make Yourself Indispensable at Work by Carol A Silvis  
Career Book Review - 101 Ways To Make Yourself Indispensable at Work by Carol A Silvis  

Following is the last of three articles summarizing "101" career books published by Course Technology. A different author highlights what it...