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Category: Tips at Work Page 1 of 6

What You Haven’t Learned in School? How to Survive at Work

No one can discredit the importance of education, but schooling only gets you so far. Even if you worked part-time during college or completed an internship, you have no idea what you are in for once you start working full-time. College or specialty schools only give you the skills and information that you need to complete specific tasks in your job. College does not prepare you for what you actually encounter and face in your job. If you want to survive at work, you need to learn the tricks that make you the best employee possible.

The first thing you should learn is to dress appropriately for your job. Some people say that you should dress for the job that you want and not the job you have, but this is potentially risky. If you wear suits on a regular basis, while your co-workers wear jeans, you might draw too much attention to yourself. Take note of how your co-workers dress and present themselves at work and use that as inspiration. Spend time in the morning making yourself presentable and present a professional front. If you wear the wrong type of clothing, your supervisor might overlook you for any potential promotions.

Forming relationships is an important part of surviving in a new job. Even though you might not hang out with your co-workers after work or on weekends, you should still form relationships with those people. You should also attempt to form a relationship with your supervisors or bosses. The only way to get through the day is if you can work comfortably with others. When you set yourself apart from the group, you risk alienating your co-workers. The next time that you need support for a new idea, those co-workers might just look the other way.

I’ve been making a list of the things they don’t teach you at school. They don’t teach you how to love somebody. They don’t teach you how to be famous. They don’t teach you how to be rich or how to be poor. They don’t teach you how to walk away from someone you don’t love any longer. They don’t teach you how to know what’s going on in someone else’s mind. They don’t teach you what to say to someone who’s dying. They don’t teach you anything worth knowing.

NEIL GAIMAN 

College teaches you skills and how to complete tasks, but it does not teach you how to promote yourself. The only way that you can get ahead in your career field is by promoting your talents. The way that you promote yourself depends on your exact field. You might promote yourself by seeking out new clients or bringing sales from new clients into your business. You might promote yourself by making yourself available to customers and answering any questions that they have. You can even get ahead by taking the initiative and doing the jobs that your co-workers do not want to do.

To gain success in your career, you must take responsibility for your actions. You cannot expect to succeed if you simply do what your supervisor assigns to you. You must be willing to step up to the plate and go beyond your basic tasks. When your supervisor points out something particularly good that you did, make sure that you explain you did it yourself or with help from your co-workers. Only take responsibility for the things that you did and do take away from the work of your co-workers. Do not be afraid to take responsibility for the things that you did wrong either, as your supervisors might view it as a learning experience.

Time for Spring Cleaning

When you think about the word spring, your mind automatically goes to images of blossoming flowers, light rain and fields filled with wildflowers. Before you start running through the hills and singing, you should stop and think about spring cleaning. Most people remember to clean out their house during the spring months, donating items to charities and removing the trash that piled up during the winter. While cleaning your house is always helpful, so is cleaning your office space. Spring is the perfect time to clean out your desk or work area and get rid of all the old and outdated things.

During the winter, you naturally feel a little run down and have less energy than you do during the warmer months. Instead of throwing things in the trash can, you tuck things inside the desk. You might plan to clean out your desk later, but later never comes. The warmer temperatures that come during spring give you the chance to clean out your desk and encourage your co-workers to do the same thing. This lets you stay healthy and get rid of the funk that plagues your office during the winter.

Start by setting up trash bins around the office. Label the bins for different types of materials, including paper, metal and miscellaneous items. You can recycle paper and metal to make money for the whole office. Once you fill a bin, place the junk to one side and fill a second trash bag. Take the items to a local recycling center, and trade in those objects for cash. Use the cash that you make by recycling to treat your co-workers to an office party or lunch away from the office. You might be surprised at how much recyclable trash you have sitting inside your desks.

I believe that  cleaning and organizing is a process – and a practice – not a project.

MEAGAN FRANCIS

Go through each drawer or space in your desk carefully. Make separate piles for things that you need to keep, documents that need filing and items that are trash. Remove everything from your desk and arrange those items into the stacks or piles. Once your drawers are completely empty, wipe out the insides with a high-quality cleaner. After the cleaner dries, carefully arrange everything back inside with a filing system. You should also take time to remove anything you have on top of your desk. Clean the surface of your desk with a good cleanser.

Most office workers do not realize the number of germs circulating through the space. Make sure that everyone cleans their mouse and keyboard with an antibacterial or disinfectant cleaner that removes any germs or bacteria. Spring cleaning is the perfect time to clean out the kitchen space, break room or any other shared spaces. Cleanse the surfaces with antibacterial cleaners that kill any germs. You can also open any windows in the office. The fresh spring air that sweeps through removes any funky or unusual smells from the space, making your work area not only look better, but smell better too. When you feel better about your work space, you might find yourself working harder.

Start Your Work Week on the Right Foot

Let’s face it, we all hate Monday mornings. Even if you’ve had a fantastic, relaxing weekend, Monday morning often rolls around far too quickly. Going back to work can seem like an impossible and daunting task. Although heading back to work on Monday morning may never be enjoyable, there are certain things you can do to ensure that you start your work week out on the right foot.

Eat a Good Breakfast

While it may be hard to wake up half an hour earlier on Monday morning, doing so in order to a good breakfast could leave you in a better mood for the rest of the day. As “they” say, breakfast is the most important meal of the day; not only is it delicious, but it will provide you with a healthy, helpful jump start on your Monday morning. When you start out with the right amount of energy, the rest of the day will go much more smoothly.

Get Plenty of Sleep

Again, Monday mornings are rough, but they can be even worse if you haven’t gotten enough sleep the night before. It’s not that you have go to bed at eight in the evening, but you want to give yourself a minimum of eight hours of sleep. Getting enough sleep can help prevent you from oversleeping and feeling grumpy and groggy on Monday. Don’t discount sleep, it’s one of your biggest fuel powers.

Monday is a state of mind. Put on your positive pants and get stuff done.

ANONYMOUS 

Be Responsible

If you’re going to party hard over the weekend, try to do it on Friday or Saturday; you don’t want to have to go to work with a hangover on Monday morning. Furthermore, if you have anything that you have to get done over the weekend for work, be sure you get it done; if you don’t get it done, you’ll find yourself frantic and worried on Monday morning. On that note, if you know that you’ll have trouble waking up and will feel groggy in the morning, try to set out everything you need so that you can get ready quickly without forgetting anything you’ll need for work.

Getting a positive start on Monday morning can be imperative for starting your work week out on the right foot; if you have a bad Monday, chances are you’ll have trouble recovering. The important part is to set yourself up for success through good meals, plenty of sleep, and preparation.

Give Your Employees a Constructive Feedback

Feedback in the workplace is an essential part of employee training and maintenance at most jobs. Unfortunately, due to the negative associations, most people have problems with receiving feedback and criticism from their superiors. The reception of feedback at work can be an extremely stressful experience. From a supervisor’s perspective, delivering feedback can be equally stressful when you know the person you are about to speak to and the supervisor would rather be anywhere else in the building at that moment.

However, giving feedback doesn’t have to be like giving an injection to a struggling child. With the right approach, giving your employees constructive feedback can be a polite, helpful, and even pleasant experience for both parties. Here are some tips for providing constructive feedback in an effective and non-threatening manner as a supervisor.

Start with positive feedback

This is perhaps the most important point to keep in mind when it comes to giving feedback that is intended to be constructive. You know that your employee will already be dreading meeting with you when you call him or her into your office. As a result, it can really help to put your employee at ease if you start by giving him or her information about things that he or she has been doing right instead of wrong.

Everyone likes hearing about things they are doing well, and most people don’t hear about such things nearly enough. You can set the meeting off on a positive tone that carries through well into any complaints or suggestions you offer later on if you make it a point to start out by praising the employee for things you would like him or her to keep doing on the job.

Every human being is entitled to courtesy and consideration. Constructive criticism is not only to be expected but sought.

Margaret Chase Smith

Get to the point quickly

This is essential to remember when giving constructive feedback. When you’ve got to say something negative or tell someone who works under you to change the way they’ve been doing things, you’ve got to say it as quickly as possible. This is because the person will probably be able to sense that negative information is coming his or her way long before you actually come out with it.

The longer you hesitate and hem and haw and beat around the bushes, the more anxious the receiver of the feedback will get, and that stress will not make the meeting go any better. In fact, the employee might become so stressed waiting for the feedback that he or she doesn’t even hear the feedback when you deliver it. If you’ve got bad news, get it over with quickly so you can start talking about how to make it better.

Show how to make things better

As stated above, the point of delivering the bad news should be to allow you to show how you can make things better. This doesn’t mean you need to hold the employee’s hand and guide him or her toward a solution, but it does mean that there isn’t much of a point in giving feedback about things that are going wrong if you don’t show how to make them right.

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