I still continue to believe that success at work (and at life) requires a combination of content and style. I wrote about it when I first started blogging. This post is about the "style" you have while doing your job and the perception of your peers and your management about you at work. The "content" side of your job is pretty straightforward:
- Doing what is expected and needed
- Doing things the right way
- Delivering expected results
I don't know your job, so I can't tell you what you need to do. But I'd like you to think about how you do it, the style with which you do so.
- How do you handle adversity? If things are bad at work, what shows when someone looks at you? Do they know that you feel beaten or that you are going to rise to this challenge and be successful no matter what?
- Do you make your boss look good? Your boss still manages your career, gives you pay raises, etc. Have you ever thought about how your work makes him or her look better?
- How about your peer interaction? I'm not expecting you to make all your best friends at work, but do you occasionally go to lunch or out for a drink after work? It's important. And you might like it.
- Are you coming across as hardworking as you are? I hate to say it, but you occasionally need to toot your own horn. You can be subtle and still do it directly—by sharing some new, fresh ideas with your manager. And remember your accomplishments and why they are important to the business.
Some interpersonal and visibility thoughts:
- Work well with your peers and others, all the time. Don't sulk, don't be snarky, don't be seen complaining (save if for the dinner table at home—occasionally.)
- I worked late most nights doing all my email. But if you don't have that much time do you at least read the mails to you from your boss and respond to those?
- If you have chat systems (AOL IM, Lotus Sametime, etc.) are you visible off hours? Cheesy, eh? Well—that's life (oops, I mean work!).
- The employee who comes across with no initiative.
- The employee who can't seem to navigate across the organization.
- The employee who doesn't smile when given a challenge.
We've all heard that aphorism that "perception is reality". It's true and you have to think about your how others perceive you. If you get a confusing or difficult assignment does any negativity come through to your boss? Even if you have no idea, approach every task in a positive manner and start to dig in.
What about Life? Do these same tenets hold? You bet! As a matter of fact you might behave better in the office because you might have some odd thought that something important is at stake (like your livelihood). But at home, if you want to be grumpy what's the problem? Well—what about your relationships?
So be that hardworking, smiling person in the office and at home. As Gillette said in 1984, "Never let them see you sweat".
Photo Credit: Martin Cathrae