They call it work for a reason. It doesn’t have to be miserable, but no one loves every minute of every day on the job. Sometimes work is hard. Here are 8 tips for making the most of your career:
Love your job
If you don’t love it, like it. If you don’t like it, pretend. If your boss believes you love your work, she’ll treat you better by giving you more and better assignments, greater responsibility and — here’s the key — more money.
Working hard is a great American tradition. Own it. Show up on time. Don’t dawdle. Don’t chit-chat the day away. Stay on task. Do your best. Your boss will notice. It will matter. Bosses love, love, love to see people working hard.
Give your boss a break
Let’s all understand each other — virtually no boss is ever as smart as the people who work for him. He can’t do your job as well as you. Whatever got him to that position, it wasn’t his ability to do your job — it was his ability to do his job. Cut him some slack. Thank him for constructive feedback. Greet him with a smile in the morning. Say, “Good-bye,” on your way out. The more you demonstrate care and concern for him and his career, the more he’ll care for you and yours.
It’s often said that just showing up is half the battle. It really is. Show up on time. Stay for your entire shift. Don’t be waiting at the door when the shift bell rings. Get your day’s work done, tidy up your work area and leave knowing that you put in a full day’s work.
Never lie to get a job. Don’t lie on the job. Every job requires trust. There is no faster way to lose the respect of your boss than to lie to her. She’ll know immediately or find out soon enough.
Be scrupulous with company assets
Take care of, protect, watch over and guard company assets. Don’t treat the supply cabinet like your personal office supply store. Be conservative when traveling on the company dime and spend less than you’re allowed. You’ll earn points with your boss when you demonstrate as much concern for the company’s resources as you show for your own. The raise you get will buy you plenty of paper clips.
Treat colleagues and subordinates well
Earn a well-deserved reputation for treating your colleagues and subordinates with respect. Never lose your temper. Listen more than you talk. Really listen (just being quiet while you strategize your response to whatever they say isn’t listening). There is power in earning the respect of your colleagues. And there is no substitute.
Your career will last for 30 to 40 years. Don’t expect to get three promotions every year. Enjoy the journey.
The best way to be a good provider for your family is to be an excellent employee for your boss. Being an outstanding employee, whether you work on the production line or in the corporate office, is the surest way to have a job after the next round of layoffs or to get a raise that’s more than the cost of living.