Jobs can suck hard. Don’t be the person that makes it worse. Get your co-workers on your side.

It has been awhile since I’ve worked in an office, but I still remember the people that I truly loved working with. And fortunately for me, I’m still friends with a large number of those amazing people.

It’s not easy becoming the co-worker that everyone loves. There are so many landmines to avoid when you’re in the workplace, and being “the co-worker that people love to hate” is not the title that you want to wear at work.  Let’s talk about all of the ways you can get your co-workers to love you without becoming the office brown-noser.

Always remember to respect other people’s time.

You don’t have to watch the clock obsessively, but be aware that people notice when you’re constantly late for work, meetings, or keep them waiting in general. After a while it stops being funny and just makes you look like a douche and unprofessional. And, seriously, those are two labels you want to avoid at work.

It doesn’t matter if you run constantly late for everything and everyone else in your life (even though it’s still annoying). Be self-aware enough to know that disrespecting other people’s time will ultimately make them dislike working with you.

Create a plan so that you’re on time and stick to it.

Can you hear me now?

Practice active listening whenever you’re in a conversation or meeting with your colleagues. I remember being constantly frustrated because I felt like people weren’t listening to me.

We would have discussions in one of the endless meetings that could have been an email. I would pipe up to make a point and then people would talk over me or ignore what I said – all the time. They clearly weren’t listening to me. It was so annoying and I felt disrespected.

Be the person who truly listens to others. We notice when you do. Offer thoughtful and kind responses to whatever proposals or questions that your colleague brings up. If you’re in disagreement with their comments, be kind when offering point of view.

It sometimes feels like people have forgotten the art of being tactful. At work, it still reigns supreme.

Don’t eat other people’s food.

They always find out who does it.

I’ll never forget the drama that ensued one year because one of our colleagues kept eating everyone’s lunches. I worked in education so it was normal for  everyone to bring  their lunch. We also had a ton of community food for everyone to take if they were hungry. So it baffled me when this person would eat the food that other people brought…but, they did. On and off for a year.

The worst part…it was just too awkward to call this person out. Instead, everyone gossiped about the fact that they were eating everyone else’s food. That person even helped themselves to  my Perrier and that was the end for me. Fortunately, this person left and things got back to to normal.

If you have nothing nice to say…

Gossiping will also get you shanked professionally. The thing about gossip is that even if you’re telling the truth about a person or calling out a situation, if you’re constantly gossiping, people will wonder what you say about them when they’re not around.

I have a very firm policy of whatever I say – I will say to your face. It makes life easier. But, at work you really should avoid gossip in general. If you find yourself in a group of people and they start gossiping just float away and say you have something else to do. If you still find yourself sucked in, just joke and say that you’ve got nothing to say and move on.

Know which topics are off limits.

For the love of all that’s holy-be self-aware enough to avoid talking about how young or old you or your colleagues might be. For some people it could come across as talking down to others (if you’re older) or, it could be perceived as disparaging other people’s age if they are older than you.

I’ve literally cringed when people begin talking about age at work. Just do your job and move on.

It feels like it’s obvious but for the sake of just stating the obvious-avoid talking about religion, race, or politics as much as you possibly can. Discussing any of those topics almost never ends well.

At my old job we actually were able to talk about these issues because we were all almost of the same mindset regarding all of those issues. But the typical workplace won’t have that high a level of value alignment. Leave the talk at home for people who have no choice but to listen to you.

By no means am I saying that you have to stop being yourself, never say what you mean, or pretend like you don’t have an opinion. But, what I am saying is that the self-aware worker is the one who is well-liked, listened to, and promoted in the office space.

Be that guy or gal. It’s not that hard.

Do you have any other tips for being a good co-worker? Or any stories about bad ones? Let us know in the #Adulting Facebook community.

Like what you’ve read?

Join other #adults who receive free weekly updates.


For a limited time you’ll receive our new book, The Best Bank Accounts for Adults, when you sign up!

Want a job? Tone down the online fame. Your next keystroke could have real-world consequences.

Newsflash: Nothing you do on social media is private!

We’ve known this since the early days when the careers of Kim Kardashian and Justin Bieber launched and we were privy to way too much, way too often.

We pretend it’s not true, but we can’t pretend any longer because for us common-folk, the stakes can be really high. Your social media presence could get you fired or keep you from getting the job you want.

It may be that in the 1980s Steve Jobs gave the singer, Rockwell, a sneak peek into the iPhone and it inspired his ode “Somebody’s Watching Me”. Because today, yes, everyone and everything is watching you.

Whether you’re doing anything worth watching is in the eye of the beholder, and today there are people paid to behold you.

If you’re not online, you don’t exist. But don’t be too out there.

Between February 16 and March 9, 2017, Harris Poll conducted an online survey on behalf of CareerBuilder. The results surprised even me, someone who lives online and who used to do background checks on people.

According to the survey:

  • 57% of employers are less likely to hire a job candidate they can’t find online.
  • 54% have chosen not to hire a job candidate because of their online presence.
  • 70% of employers use an online screening process to vet job candidates.

The takeaway is that it’s becoming more important to have an online presence and it’s even more important to manage that online presence well.

Be Social, behave yourself, and be smart.

You may not be as bad as The Tinkler or Mr. Chocolate, but these funny yet unfortunate social media blunders aren’t the only examples of why you might not land that next job.

Posts and pictures with drugs and sexual references certainly won’t help you become gainfully employed. What you may not know is that two-thirds of employers polled by Jobvite in 2014 said that job candidates with posts that include profanity, guns and alcohol might make them consider someone else.

Even more surprising is that while 44% of employers said posts about alcohol were concerning, 66% were concerned about poor spelling and poor grammar in social media posts.

What can you do?

Be secure, not sneaky.

The answer to the social media screening process is not to have no social media presence (double-negative intended, future boss) and it’s not to lock down your social media presence like Ft. Knox.

The best way to manage your online life is to set up all your social media accounts, except LinkedIn, as private as possible. Then, create a professional, well-managed, and public LinkedIn profile and make it so amazing they can’t ignore you. This way, prospective employers can find you, and they find what you want them to find.

Vegas rules don’t apply.

The internet isn’t like Vegas. Hell, even Vegas isn’t like Vegas.

Anything you do online can easily go public no matter how private your settings. People like to share on social media. They like to do screen shots to make edits or to share on different platforms. So, if you told the boss that you’re home with the flu, avoid having pictures taken of you lying by the pool.

Remember, too, as many a newbie celebrity farther back than Madonna and Playboy has learned, that if ever someone can make money off of you, they’ll probably try! So, in the way, distant future when you may be a big name for yourself, that thing you thought no one would know – won’t be found out because you didn’t do it.

If you don’t have anything nice to say…

…then, don’t say it at all. This rule is like The Golden Rules’ slightly silver sister. In an age when even the slightest off-color remark can get someone fired from a job or treated like a pariah, don’t say anything negative about anyone, ever.

You may feel justified bashing this politician or that public figure and they probably deserve it. However, the person who may be able to get you the job you want may like that politician or that public figure and you may have just strained your relationship with them, if it ever existed. There are people paid to criticize people. If you’re not one, let them fight the good fight on your behalf.

Remember your grandmother.

Or, your mom. Or, Jesus. Or, whoever’s opinion you most cherish. Before doing, sharing, or saying something on social media, first consider what this most important person might think before going through with your plan.

If you’d feel embarrassed if they saw or read your brazen post or share, then a prospective employer might see it as a reason to not hire you or worse, “like” you.

For some reason, it’s easy to forget that on social media the whole world may be watching. What we think is private, funny, cool or justified may not be in that beholder’s eye. Until that day when you no longer need or want a job, keep that in mind.

Like what you’ve read?

Join other #adults who receive free weekly updates.


For a limited time you’ll receive our new book, The Best Bank Accounts for Adults, when you sign up!

We’re all replaceable. But what if you could be less replaceable? Get your shit together and show your employer that you really are someone they don’t want to lose.

You’ve got the job.

Now you need to keep it.

With the tough job market and concerns about student loan debt ratcheting up the worry levels, it makes sense to think about how to make yourself indispensable at work.

That way, when it’s time for lay offs – or even if you want a promotion or raise – you are more likely to be considered a valuable company asset.

If you’re trying to figure out how to make sure your employer finds you necessary, here are several strategies to try:

1. Develop strengths valuable to your company.

Pay attention. What skills does your company value?

A surefire way to become indispensable at work is to have strengths that your employer relies on.

It’s not enough just have a valuable skill, though. You also need to be one of the few people who possess it. Figure out what your strengths are, and then determine how they can translate into necessary skills that are somewhat rare at your company.

Once you do that, they’ll never want to let you go.

2. Cultivate a good attitude.

The better your attitude, the better you are for the company. True, positivity can’t make up for a lot of things, but it does go a long way.

If you are positive, see opportunities, and are good for morale, your employer will likely decide that you’re necessary. When it comes down to a choice between letting go of one of two employees, and one of you is a downer, it’s the downer that is usually out, all other things being equal.

Don’t be a downer.

3. Stay current with technology and skills.

If you’re up-to-date on all the latest technology and best practices, you are more valuable to your employer.

Plus, it can be enriching and a good way to invest in yourself to stay current with technology and keep your skills up to date.

Show that you are interested in remaining relevant in your field. As you continue to expand your skill set and ensure that your company stays ahead of the curve, you’ll make yourself indispensable at work.

4. Focus on tasks that matter.

It’s tempting to bang out a bunch of easy tasks to look productive. But almost anyone can do the easy stuff.

Instead, look to accomplish things that matter. They might not be super-easy things, but they should have a bigger impact. If you develop a reputation for doing things that matter you will be more likely to be considered indispensable.

5. Go the extra mile.

You’d think this goes without saying: go the extra mile. However, it often does need saying.

Is there a way you can add extra value? Do you go above and beyond?

When you can show that you do more than is expected, or if you can add an extra twist, you are seen as a valuable resource. You want to be seen as someone who will continue to help move the company forward, rather than someone who does the bare minimum.

It doesn’t mean you have to work overtime every week or let work take over your life. But if you can add that extra bit to your work, you will be more valuable overall.

6. Be a team player.

Are you a helper? When others know that they can come to you for a little extra help, you are likely to be seen as dispensable at work.

Collaboration is increasingly becoming a major part of doing business. If you can’t play nice with others, your employer is likely to see you as a liability, rather than an asset.

Do your best to help the team and show that you are willing to move forward with goals. Stay focused on the team goals and be ready to help the company, and your bosses will feel much better about keeping you around.

7. Show reliability.

One of the best ways to make yourself indispensable at work is to be reliable. If you say you’re going to do something, can you be trusted to do it?

Meet your deadlines and be someone that others trust. Avoid over-promising. Do your best to accurately estimate what you can accomplish – and when you can reasonably get it done. Then, if you can’t meet your obligation, let someone know ASAP.

However, if you are constantly late and unable to keep up, that could indicate an issue in how you manage expectations. Review how you do things and what you can realistically get done. Underpromise and over deliver on a consistent basis, and you’ll gain a reputation for reliability.

8. Build important relationships.

Sometimes it really is about who you know. And it’s not about sucking up to your boss’s boss.

Instead, it’s more about building relationships with people important to your company. Is there a client that you could connect with and become point person with?

Can you help build a partnership? Can you introduce someone as a consultant to help solve a problem?

Think about the relationships you can enhance in work and business. As you build these relationships with your co-workers, supervisors, clients, and others, you will be seen as an integral part of the workplace, and someone to keep around.

9. Make your supervisor’s job easier.

If you really want to be indispensable at work, make your supervisor’s job easier. Do what you can to pitch in, help out, and solve problems. When your supervisor can trust you, s/he is more likely to go to bat for you.

Your supervisor knows what you do to help them with work. When they look good, and your efforts are part of the reason, they know it. Supervisors want to keep people around when they help them look good.

As a team player and as someone who shows skills and abilities that can help your company, you can become indispensable at work.

Like what you’ve read?

Join other #adults who receive free weekly updates.


For a limited time you’ll receive our new book, The Best Bank Accounts for Adults, when you sign up!

Everyone tells you that beauty is only skin deep and you shouldn’t judge by appearances. The reality? You are being judged.

The best way to support Adulting.tv is to subscribe and leave us an honest review. Thank you!

Fun fact: no matter what anyone tells you about looking on the inside, you’re being judged by how you look on the outside.

Even if you think it’s unfair, your career can be impacted by the way you dress, the tattoos you have, and your piercings. If you don’t dress for the situation, you could find yourself passed over for work.

In fact, there have been studies that indicate how you dress for the situation can impact the way you perform tasks. Take a lab coat. Hand it to someone and tell them it’s a doctor’s coat, and they do better at various tasks. Give them the same coat and tell them it’s a painter’s coat and the performance level drops.

But it’s not just about the way your outfit impacts your productivity. You people are making judgments about you based on the way you dress. If your clothing and overall appearance (hair, makeup, tattoos, and more) don’t fit the environment, you could be passed over for a job.

Concepts

  • What you where can impact how well you do your job.
  • How your preparation and appearance affects your frame of mind.
  • The problem with having visible tattoos, especially in a retail environment.
  • Dress for the situation depends on the workplace.
  • Different workplaces have different expectations and dress codes.
  • How changing societal norms have influenced what it means to dress for the situation at work.
  • Tips for figuring out what to wear to work.
  • How to put together a closet that allows you to quickly get ready for work each day.

Use our “Do Nows” to review your clothing choices and prepare your closet for the work day. We also look at how you can pay attention to the way your clothes make you feel so you can figure out which outfits to wear for different occasions. And, finally, a listener questions allows us to finally get to the bottom of what it means to be “business casual.”

Become a Friend of Adulting

To get Adulting delivered directly to your device, subscribe using iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play, or your app of choice.

Join the Friends of Adulting! Please leave an honest review on iTunes. We would really appreciate the feedback!

Resources

You are judged by your appearance
How clothing affects your appearance
Workplace dress codes and women
Sweatpants and the workplace?
Tattoos and your job prospects
Hosted byHarlan Landes and Miranda Marquit
Produced byadulting.tv
Edited and mixed bySteve Stewart
Music bybensound.com

Like what you’ve heard?

Join other #adults who receive free weekly updates.


For a limited time you’ll receive our new book, The Best Bank Accounts for Adults, when you sign up!