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Old 10-30-2007, 02:52 AM
 
70 posts, read 269,694 times
Reputation: 25

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Alright,

So this morning I woke up with a great fear, and so I've decided to make a post here. I've worked at two companies (internships) during college, and one thing I have noticed is a general worry in the hearts of many of the employees. That is, they are constantly on guard watching what they say, watching how they act, making sure their image is presentable, and making sure that they stay informed about their line of work. Now, I expected this to some degree-- I mean, you do have to know what you are doing, right? But the extreme to which these people were "on guard" disturbed me a little bit. I was afraid to ask/probe around to see why these people were so on guard, and so now that I've remembered about these dynamics, I figured I'd get some advice here.

Now, my question: is the above level of _-- what is necessary to survive in the working world? Is getting along with fellow team members, without hiccups, THAT important in keeping your job and moving along? How do quiet folks (like myself) get ahead? How do quiet people avoid being overworked, or being given the blame when things fail? More generally, how do people ensure that they aren't the scapegoat when a project lags or fails? Assuming you are intelligent and well-informed as it relates to your profession, how do you prevent being seen as incompetent? How does one maintain a high level of productivity, without burning out (some people do it naturally, but other have to learn--for those others, how did you learn)? How do you prevent yourself from being walked over?

I mean, does anyone have any advice for a (soon to be) new grad about surviving in the working world? What should I expect? Why? What should I do to improve myself? What are important things (other than programming ability, since I'm a programmer) that I should be sure to have developed well?

I can ask a million questions, as I'm so very uncertain about what awaits me, but pretty much I'm just looking for advice. I've always, on my internships, set my primary focus on learning technical details, and striving for technical excellence, but now I'm realizing that there may be much more required in addition to technical ability, and that since I'm retarded in any area not related to programming, I might be screwed.
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Old 10-30-2007, 10:50 AM
 
Location: in drifts of snow wherever you go
2,493 posts, read 3,077,303 times
Reputation: 692
Quote:
Originally Posted by greatfire View Post
Alright,

So this morning I woke up with a great fear, and so I've decided to make a post here. I've worked at two companies (internships) during college, and one thing I have noticed is a general worry in the hearts of many of the employees. That is, they are constantly on guard watching what they say, watching how they act, making sure their image is presentable, and making sure that they stay informed about their line of work. Now, I expected this to some degree-- I mean, you do have to know what you are doing, right? But the extreme to which these people were "on guard" disturbed me a little bit. I was afraid to ask/probe around to see why these people were so on guard, and so now that I've remembered about these dynamics, I figured I'd get some advice here.

Now, my question: is the above level of _-- what is necessary to survive in the working world? Is getting along with fellow team members, without hiccups, THAT important in keeping your job and moving along? How do quiet folks (like myself) get ahead? How do quiet people avoid being overworked, or being given the blame when things fail? More generally, how do people ensure that they aren't the scapegoat when a project lags or fails? Assuming you are intelligent and well-informed as it relates to your profession, how do you prevent being seen as incompetent? How does one maintain a high level of productivity, without burning out (some people do it naturally, but other have to learn--for those others, how did you learn)? How do you prevent yourself from being walked over?

I mean, does anyone have any advice for a (soon to be) new grad about surviving in the working world? What should I expect? Why? What should I do to improve myself? What are important things (other than programming ability, since I'm a programmer) that I should be sure to have developed well?

I can ask a million questions, as I'm so very uncertain about what awaits me, but pretty much I'm just looking for advice. I've always, on my internships, set my primary focus on learning technical details, and striving for technical excellence, but now I'm realizing that there may be much more required in addition to technical ability, and that since I'm retarded in any area not related to programming, I might be screwed.
Yes, I have some good advice for you. Remember that despite what they say, corporations do not like individuals, they like soldiers. If you want to be successful at your company, be a good soldier, and that means:

1) Show up to work on time. In fact, if you can get their a little before everyone else, you get bonus points. I have one friend that was very successful in a sales position and eventually became vice president of sales. He was the first in the office every morning, making those phone calls. He was very competitive and made a lot of money.

2) Dress well. If you want people to take you seriously, dress like you are serious. Don't ever look like a slob or dress too casual.

3) Never more than one or two drinks at office get togethers. Don't ever let anyone see you drunk or sloppy or out of control.

4) Avoid office gossip. Don't gossip. Don't talk ill of your boss, other coworkers, or the company and avoid those who do. It's a downward spiral.

5) Take a lunch break. Although you want people to know you are working hard, don't make it look like you're killing yourself. Take a lunch break, enjoy a healthy lunch, and use the time to relax, take a walk, or socialize with other coworkers.

6) Keep a clean desk. Keep your desk organized so it looks like you're in control of your life and your destiny. A clean desk is a clean mind.

7) Keep your personal life personal. Don't tell people about your sex life or who you're dating or how much you drank at that party last night. These are your coworkers, not your college buddies.

-- that's it for now. If I think of more tips later, I'll let you know!

Greenie
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Old 10-30-2007, 12:31 PM
 
Location: Orlando
8,181 posts, read 16,183,968 times
Reputation: 49740
Great tips Greenie

If you are allotted a lunch break don't constantly go over the allowed time.

Keep good records as to what you do. This can come in handy in cases where they need a scapegoat.

Don't, under any circumstances kiss the bosses behind. Most bosses hate the kisser-upper. And have no respect for them.
Doing your job and doing it well will get their attention faster.

Go above and beyond what is expected of you.

Don't be a whiner.

Don't be a worrier..lol

You'll be fine!!
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Old 10-30-2007, 02:35 PM
 
Location: San Diego California
6,797 posts, read 6,131,212 times
Reputation: 5171
Try to always look at things thru your supervisors point of view. Even if what they ask does not seem right to you, they have a larger perspective of what needs to be done.

Try to do more than your co-workers. If you do the same as others you will get the same results. It is the people who do 10% more who get ahead.

Don't get involved in workplace drama. There are too many games and gosip in the workplace, and if you get involved you will get burned.
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Old 10-30-2007, 10:09 PM
 
70 posts, read 269,694 times
Reputation: 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimhcom View Post
Try to always look at things thru your supervisors point of view. Even if what they ask does not seem right to you, they have a larger perspective of what needs to be done.

Try to do more than your co-workers. If you do the same as others you will get the same results. It is the people who do 10% more who get ahead.

Don't get involved in workplace drama. There are too many games and gosip in the workplace, and if you get involved you will get burned.
Hi,

Alot of people have warned me not to get into workplace drama (i've posted the question in a few places). Do you have any tips for avoiding workplace drama, while still maintaining "good enough" relationships with everyone?

I mean, do I just blow off the group that's gossiping? Do I just walk away? Do I say something and then leave? What do I say? What do I do? You know?

Thank you all for such good comments! As I'm reading the details of the picture are slowly coming into focus.
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Old 10-30-2007, 10:23 PM
 
Location: in drifts of snow wherever you go
2,493 posts, read 3,077,303 times
Reputation: 692
Quote:
Originally Posted by greatfire View Post
Hi,

Alot of people have warned me not to get into workplace drama (i've posted the question in a few places). Do you have any tips for avoiding workplace drama, while still maintaining "good enough" relationships with everyone?

I mean, do I just blow off the group that's gossiping? Do I just walk away? Do I say something and then leave? What do I say? What do I do? You know?

Thank you all for such good comments! As I'm reading the details of the picture are slowly coming into focus.
Greatfire,

You just don't say anything. If someone is gossiping, just smile and listen, nod your head. And when they are done say, "Hmmmm." You don't want to judge them for what they are saying, just remain completely neutral. It's fun to listen to other people talk and hear the gossip, but just don't contribute to it. If someone pushes you and asks what you think about so-and-so, just smile and nod and say, "Oh, I don't know," and look at water cooler. After a while, people get that you're not going to contribute to the gossip. My grandmother used to say, "If you don't have anything good to say, don't say anything." After a while, people will start to think you're someone with class.

Greenie
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Old 10-31-2007, 08:03 AM
 
238 posts, read 1,020,461 times
Reputation: 220
Default The worst thing to do is isolate your self from coworkers

The most important thing is to be part of the team.

I know plenty of people who are sitting in the unemployment line because they decided to isolate them selves from their coworkers. They decided not to talk to their fellow workers because they believed that would only get them involved in office politics. Instead, they were written off as aloof, not a team player and an outsider. When it came time for layoffs they were selected because no one knew them. The popular staff members always get bigger raises, more job security and a chance at promotions.
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Old 10-31-2007, 10:55 AM
 
Location: Southwest Missouri
1,921 posts, read 5,560,887 times
Reputation: 910
Quote:
Originally Posted by goodtype View Post
The popular staff members always get bigger raises, more job security and a chance at promotions.
Depends on who you are popular with. I've seen plenty of people who were popular with co-workers be shown the door.

Your career is not the same as high school, where the popular cliques have it made. In your career, you definitely need to be seen as a team player. But just as important (maybe more so), you need to show your value to the organization. While your co-workers might relish hearing about how many dates you had last week or how the bar scene was on Saturday night, your boss likely couldn't care less. Your boss wants to know how you contribute to the team and to the bottom line.
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Old 11-01-2007, 09:25 AM
 
238 posts, read 1,020,461 times
Reputation: 220
Default Likable team orientated staffers always come out ahead

I disagree with the last poster. Yes there are some people who are popular with their coworkers who lose their jobs but in most cases it is the outsiders who are more likely to lose out in the world of work. To many people who lack social skills are pushed aside and isolated on the job. The boss is not a robot and likes people who are likable but of course get the work done too.
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Old 11-01-2007, 09:30 AM
 
788 posts, read 1,890,324 times
Reputation: 597
Default Great advice Greenie!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by GreenMachine View Post
Yes, I have some good advice for you. Remember that despite what they say, corporations do not like individuals, they like soldiers. If you want to be successful at your company, be a good soldier, and that means:

1) Show up to work on time. In fact, if you can get their a little before everyone else, you get bonus points. I have one friend that was very successful in a sales position and eventually became vice president of sales. He was the first in the office every morning, making those phone calls. He was very competitive and made a lot of money.

2) Dress well. If you want people to take you seriously, dress like you are serious. Don't ever look like a slob or dress too casual.

3) Never more than one or two drinks at office get togethers. Don't ever let anyone see you drunk or sloppy or out of control.

4) Avoid office gossip. Don't gossip. Don't talk ill of your boss, other coworkers, or the company and avoid those who do. It's a downward spiral.

5) Take a lunch break. Although you want people to know you are working hard, don't make it look like you're killing yourself. Take a lunch break, enjoy a healthy lunch, and use the time to relax, take a walk, or socialize with other coworkers.

6) Keep a clean desk. Keep your desk organized so it looks like you're in control of your life and your destiny. A clean desk is a clean mind.

7) Keep your personal life personal. Don't tell people about your sex life or who you're dating or how much you drank at that party last night. These are your coworkers, not your college buddies.

-- that's it for now. If I think of more tips later, I'll let you know!

Greenie
these are perfect and should apply to every profession!!
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