My mother didn’t like soap operas. She witnessed all the backstabbing, cat fights, and juicy gossip from the office she worked in for over three decades.
I’m sure she found those actors on soap operas boring compared to the real-world, up-close-and-personal melodrama she had to endure at work. While she enjoyed the chaos, I know one thing for certain: She was determined to stay above it, out from it, and not within it. This is how she managed to keep a job she loved for over three decades.
Some of her coworkers were not so lucky. Some of her coworkers were self-destructive, even those she loved. That’s right. Many of her former coworkers were relieved from their duties because of their own actions. Don’t forget that employees who are not performing well on the job are still important.
Although she found the antics of her coworkers amusing, she realized early in her career that her job was what she loved and determined to do everything she could to keep it. Here’s how she did it.
1. Don’t get personal
The number one rule of professionalism is to keep out of the personal lives of others. With the advent of social media, this is more difficult than ever. If it isn’t affecting their work, it’s your business. The same applies to your personal crises. Leave them at home. It works!
2. Walk the Straight and Narrow
Follow the rules to be your best friend at your job and not your worst enemy. Respect the rules and be punctual. Parking in visitor spaces is not a good idea, even in bad weather. Even if the boss is away, don’t leave too early. Do not make copies of your tax returns on the company copier. You get the idea.
3. You have to get along
As in a soap opera character clashes in work environments. You can survive in your workplace by trying to make the most of any situation that may cause you conflict with another employee. Today’s coworker could be tomorrow’s manager. My mom believed in the “kill them all with kindness” mantra. I don’t think she even realized she was using the Machiavellian tactic “Keep your friends close and enemies closer.” Here are two courses that will help you manage today’s conflicts.
Learn the basics of conflict management
Conflict Management in Teams
Strategies for improved communication in conflict situations
4. Don’t gossip
Rumors say that you aren’t gossiping, but you’re simply being informative. You’re wrong. You could be in serious trouble if you spread unfounded information about your business. Be careful about what you say and who you say it to. Negative feedback seems more likely to come back than positive feedback, and it can haunt you.
5. Be the “Go-To” employee
There are some duties that every workplace must perform. My mom often took on these unwelcome duties in her office. Although it might not always pay off in the end, the rewards can be enormous. She was the first female to obtain her own office in her building. Why? Because she was the first person in her company who learned data processing on the company’s first computer. This is what it means today. Companies are always looking for experts, whether it’s in emerging technologies like blockchain and artificial intelligence or how to be a better leader. It’s no surprise that motivated employees are more successful than those who get distracted by distractions.
BONUS TIP – Don’t be cold
Technology is disrupting jobs like no other. Instead of looking at the wall and seeing that your job is losing its relevance, why not create your own future? Continuous learning is key to this, and it is even more important than ever. Be open to learning new skills and how technology can impact your job. Collaborate with others.