If you make listening and observing your occupation, you will gain much more than you will by talking.
— Sir Robert Baden-Powell, Founder of the Boy Scouts
“A beginning is a very delicate time.” Starting a new job can be a trying experience. Especially if you were out of work for a while, moved into a new industry or even an entirely new line of work. There are a host of unknowns; unfamiliar faces, opaque office politics and where exactly is the bathroom?
If you want to excel in your new job, there are a number of behaviors you should avoid, to make your life easier in your new role and put yourself in the best position to be successful. In this article, I discuss four of these mistakes and give you some useful techniques to keep yourself from making them.
Continue reading 4 Mistakes that Can Doom Your New Job
“Most people work just hard enough not to get fired and get paid just enough money not to quit.”
— George Carlin
Whether you feel like one of the people Carlin is referring to or whether you love your job and would never consider leaving, you can’t escape the fact that job hopping is becoming more common. Today’s workers stay at a job for around 4.4 years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This may not sound too bad, however, it is projected that recent college grads could see that average drop even further.
Continue reading 3 Tips to Avoid Worrying About Losing Your Job
“Real urgency … is an emotion. It’s a gut-level determination to get up every day, every single day, and to do something, no matter how small, to push along your capacity to grab the big opportunities or to avoid the big hazards.” — John Kotter, Change Management Expert
This quote, from Kotter’s book A Sense of Urgency, helps to explain the importance of urgency in the workplace. Urgency is characterized by a tangible ambition, rather than a feeling about a task you may or may not accomplish someday.
Most consultants understand the meaning of urgency when they start a project because their compensation as well as their reputation depend on being able to deliver faster and more efficiently than in-house resources (in other words, the company’s own employees).
But just knowing the definition of urgency doesn’t explain how to achieve it.
Continue reading How to Find Your Sense of Urgency!
“If you are not fired with enthusiasm, you will be fired with enthusiasm.”
— Vince Lombardi quotes (American Football Coach, 1913-1970)
What if you were told that based on your job performance on a single day, a decision was being made on whether or not you should stay in your present job?
And what if you were found out that today was that day? What would you do differently? How much harder would you work? Would you finally get around to writing up a few of the new ideas you’ve been sitting on? Would you try to get some face time with your manager to let her know how hard you’ve been working?
While this is only a hypothetical scenario, I’ve found that it can be an excellent tool for focusing your mind and helping you to get back your sense of urgency.
It’s easy to become complacent at work, with your efficiency slowly degrading over time, especially if you’ve been at the same company and in the same position for a number of years. Not to mention all of the everyday distractions, like the Internet, water cooler discussions and outside errands, which steal your time away from productive tasks.
Try this. Every couple weeks or so, take a step back and think to yourself, “what can I do today so that I don’t get fired? If you take this concept seriously, all of your thoughts will coalesce around your most important activities and you will naturally avoid diversions.
This is not something you should be doing every day. The stress alone could probably kill you. But as a regular gut check, it can work wonders for your career.