Topic of the Week Post-it... How to be stickier at work
How to keep your job:
Stab in front.
With today's ever-changing technology, competitors coming out of nowhere and a dispirited workforce, work is tough. Which reminds me of Post-it Notes. 3M, a company largely built on the strength of its adhesives, couldn't get excited about a product that just didn't stick very well. The product languished for five years.
$100 million in sales later, 3M learned that sometimes the key isn't a bond that lasts forever, but rather remaining sticky as you move from task to task. Using the letters from "Post-it," I've listed six strategies to make you stickier at work. For more job survival strategies, check out our huge library of content at Workplace911.com.
Platinum rule. "Do unto others, as you would have done unto you." Unfortunately it's time to retire the Golden rule, in favor of the Platinum rule. "Do unto others as they would have done unto them." Another way to look at this is to remember Ptolemy, the astronomer who put the earth at the center of the universe. For most of us it takes effort to remember that everything doesn't revolve around us.
Opposite day. My daughter taught me about opposite day. That's when you eat dessert first, wear PJs to school…well you get the picture. At work we can get so locked into the status quo that we overlook new ideas, new procedures, even new potential customers. Try an opposite day, it could turn your fortunes around.
Stab in front. When I was nine my uncle Fred told me "Friends stab friends in the front." Imagine how much easier work would be if we actually voiced our concerns to each other face-to-face? Not to get too deep into my family aphorisms, but my mom would add, "If you aren't willing to say it to their face, then don't say it."
Task. We're all dedicated multitaskers today. Yet studies at Oxford and Microsoft discovered that we make twice as many mistakes and take twice as long when we multitask. Who can afford that at work? If it's really important, focus on one task at a time.
Input. Would you ever park your car blindfolded? Of course not, you need the feedback. I can hear what you're thinking, but it's been years since my boss has done an evaluation of me. Don't wait, solicit your own feedback or you could be let go for a "fixable" problem.
Temp. The last round of job cuts was so painful precisely because it struck people other than just the last hired. That's why we all need to not view our current job as permanent, but rather as a "temp" position. We all need to be constantly looking at the horizon for opportunities. Sure it's tiring, but much less tiring than having no options after a surprise lay off announcement.
The lesson of Post-it Notes, stick to your current job, but always be ready to stick to the next opportunity, both inside and outside your company, that comes along.
About the Author: Bob Rosner is a best-selling author and award-winning journalist. For free job and work advice, check out the award-winning workplace911.com. Also check out his newly revised best-seller "The Boss's Survival Guide." If you have a question for Bob, contact him via firstname.lastname@example.org.