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Rung by Rung: Eight Tips for Getting Ahead at Work
Control your temper. Assertiveness and tantrums do not go hand in hand. In fact, having a tantrum at the office is the fastest way to ensure your boss and co-workers won't take you seriously. We all have tricks to keep our anger in checkfigure out what works for you and use it.
Love change. Don't just expect it; greet it with hearty applause. Change is good. It's a lot easier to get ahead if you move forward on a wave of growthand companies that resist change don't grow. You'll also stand out from the crowd, because most people react to change with fear and resistance.
Listen, don't talk. This doesn't mean you have to be the creepy, quiet one in the office. But take note of how often your superiors engage in personal chit-chat. If it happens often, rest assured that it will just be a matter of time before Chatty Cathy is on her way out and inscrutable you gets her job.
Shoot for perfection. Even if you're having a bad day, don't turn in half-finished or half-assed work. There are so many substandard chair-warmers out there; you don't even have to exert that much effort to be perfect. Spell-check everything, even casual emails. Double-check facts and figures. Know your deadlines. Ask for help or advice (from the outsidesee "Friends and Enemies"). Don’t rush through something just to get out the door by five.
Don't watch the clock. Even if this is "just a job" and you're going to write the next great American novel next year, treat every job like it's a career. As someone who has fired, I mean worked with, several employees who ran off like a shot as soon as the second hand lined up with the twelve at five o'clock, I can tell you that your boss will notice that you'd rather be anywhere else.
Be your own measure. Don't use your co-workers as a gauge for your success. Even if everyone else in the office spends afternoons surfing the 'net for pleasure or phoning contractors for their new kitchen, don't do it. You'd be surprised who's watching and listening, and you'll stand out if you're the productive one.
Dress the part. You don't have to spend a million to look like you did if you're a smart shopper. Even if the workplace is creative-casual and your boss dresses down, you can still get a lot of mileage out of looking professional.
Lead before you are asked. Don't wait for a promotion to start taking on new challenges. Do your job, but keep one eye peeled for learning opportunities. Just because you've never used a software program or written a press release doesn't mean you can't figure it out. (Every software program has a help file, and you can find examples of press releases by Googling "press release").