If you find yourself cleaning out your desk and
starting a new job every nine to 12 months, the problem would most probably be
YOU, and not your boss or colleagues. Here are some simple rules to ensure you
keep your job.
Understand your company’s corporate culture
It is important to understand your company’s corporate
culture and to match it in words and actions. If you work in a prim-and-proper
button down office, do not show up in jeans and a T-shirt. If you have a dress
code, keep to it.
Competence is not enough
You were hired because your employer thought you could
do the job. However, competence alone is not enough to succeed; you need to be
passionate about your work and take pride in it. Tossing things together at the
last minute does not show passion.
Work is not really about having fun
Many young employees talk about having “fun” at work.
This is a mistake. There is always an element of levity in a good office with
occasional jokes here and there,  but
remember that you work to make money for the company, not to have fun on the
days between weekends.
Behave at staff meetings
Catch the rhythm of the staff meeting. Are they formal
or informal? Is it acceptable to do other work on the laptop and occasionally
check your cell phone for text messages, or will that upset your boss? When in
doubt, leave the laptop and phone behind.
Take responsibility
No one is perfect, and if you make a mistake,
immediately take full responsibility for it, do not blame others, and certainly
do not  try to blame your immediate boss.
Saying, “I am sorry, it is my mistake, it would not happen again” will
help you put all but hanging offences behind you.
Do not mix it up
Draw a line between your personal life and work. Do
not talk incessantly about your life outside work. If you are having trouble in
your personal life, keep it to one or two confidants. No one else at work needs
to know – or more to the point, wants to know about your travails at home. Remember,
there is no way that broadcasting your personal difficulties will improve your
standing with the boss.
And here are three things you must get right to avoid
killing your career:
Know what is expected. No one wants a drone and a “yes-man”, but if you do not understand the
corporate culture or what is expected of you, you are gone. It is possible to
fit in without squashing your creativity. Remember who you work for and why.
Money is not everything, do not create the impression that you are working just
for a pay cheque. That is the hallmark of a clock- puncher, and will kill all
the chances for advancement. If you are so unhappy with your job that you live
for the 24th of each month, it is time to start sending out your CVs.
Little things can become a big deal at work; though your dentist will love you for flossing, you
would not earn the affection of your co-workers if you do it at your desk. Similarly,
though your pastor would praise you for sharing the faith, your co-workers and
boss may not find it appealing. Leave the gossip for the tabloids and online
By Judy Nwobi & Ugochi Okafor



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