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Business Advice - What they don't teach you in school

Updated on October 5, 2010

How to survive at work

  • Who is your role model? The one who is “getting away with things” or the one who is getting things done? Look and act the part of your aspiration; sometimes you need to “show” who you are.
  • The managers may appear to be disconnected from you at times but they know who their top producers are.
  • Don’t make the mistake of assuming silence means it’s no longer important.
  • Never stop learning; don’t wait for an assignment; do your homework; become versatile; know our business. Always remember there are other areas of the company that are greatly affected by your actions.
  • Be honest.
  • Deadlines are always soft EVEN IF YOU GET THEM IN WRITING. Expect them to move up.
  • Always build time into your reviews for those above you on the org chart. Use Outlook to plan meetings by checking your supervisors calendar. If you see an open date then send a meeting invite and force them to accept.
  • Don’t “drop bombs” on people in meetings. A heads-up is always preferable. If you ask someone a tough question in a meeting don’t be surprised if retaliation occurs later. Don’t be surprised if people’s personalities change in the presence of upper-management.
  • What was “great” last year will not be good enough this year.
  • Be more than a compiler of information. Become an interpreter.
  • Change will happen: will you be an impediment or a facilitator?
  • Allow yourself to be developed; this means accepting constructive criticism.
  • They won’t remember the question you asked, but they will remember the mistake made by an unasked question.
  • If you are hosting a meeting, be sure and test all equipment (computers; wireless connection, projectors, video etc) prior to the meeting to avoid problems.
  • Always conduct post meeting or initiative reviews while things are still fresh on your mind; be ready to write down new questions or objections so you can incorporate these things next time.
  • Being entrepreneurial means owning results; owning the analysis; “What would you do?”
  • People are always trying to make a splash with a new way to analyze data; Visualize the process and anticipate questions. Put the pressure of the deadline on by visualizing upper management asking the questions. This will make clear the weakness of your presentation.
  • Take your budget seriously; there are thousands of cost centers; the budget is supposed to create challenges/opportunities between managers and employees so that we don’t rubber stamp MILLIONS OF DOLLARS of spending. The budget season is not the only opportunity you will have to get “permission to spend.”



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