Welcome to another edition of the “Team Diplomat Blog”, where we bring you tips, updates and helpful information designed to help you improve your brand or company. With the calendar year change comes New Year’s resolutions and while most include losing weight, saving money, all should include not getting fired. However, lost in the “New Year, New Me” hoopla is the purpose of New Year’s resolutions; they are designed to push you to make changes for the better as you embark upon the next calendar year. As you make changes to improve your private life, you should absolutely resolve to make changes in your professional life. Unless, of course, you’re completely comfortable working in the mail room for your entire career.
Here at Diplomatic Enterprises, LLC, we urge you to look at your life, think about your career and find areas that need improvement. Once you do that, make a plan to achieve that change and then make it happen. While you’re sitting down pondering some things you can do, we’ve comprised a list that may help jumpstart your brainstorming process.
Be a 5 Tool Player
For those of you who are unfamiliar with this term, it’s a common term used to describe an excellent baseball player. The ideal position player, a non-pitcher, is an athlete who excels at: 1. hitting for average; 2. hitting for power; 3. base-running skills and speed; 4. throwing ability; and 5. fielding abilities. A player who is considered a “5 Tool Player” is generally believed to be a future/current hall of famer. How does this apply to your non-athletically related employment? We’re glad you asked.
Many of us are only adept at one or two things in our professional space; the above average individuals are particularly skilled at 3 or more. What separates individuals in cubicles from those in the corner offices is the number of skills you bring to your position and to the company. The more you can do, and do well, the greater an asset you are to the organization. As a professional, you should always evaluate your strengths and weaknesses, and then accentuate your strengths and fortify your weaknesses. Even if the ceiling at your current place of employment is pretty low, someone, somewhere will appreciate all of the tools you bring to the table.
Play the Game, Don’t Let the Game Play You
Not many people truly enjoy dating. We’re not talking about the going out part of dating, we’re talking about the dreaded “getting to know you” part of dating. How many times have you been on a first date and wish you could skip ahead to the 4th or 5th date? Skip past the part about who you are, what you do and where you’re from, and get right to the part about whether he/she is a convicted felon, has unbearable foot odor and whether you should alert your family that you may not be safe with them. Alas, we can’t. Comedian Chris Rock famously said it best -- while dating, we don’t meet the real person, we meet their representative. In fact, we don’t meet the real person until much farther along in the relationship. The same can be said for workplace interactions. You may hate your boss, loathe the company and absolutely abhor small talk, but in order to get along, you must play along.
Office politics can be as delicate as relations between divorced parents and as tense as those between the Soviet Union and the U.S. during the Cold War. However, they aren’t impossible to navigate. Be friendly, personable, serviceable and don’t be strange.
The only constant thing in life is change. Management changes, locations change, your officemate changes and so should you. You must be able to adapt to the changing aspects of your workplace environment and be ready for anything ranging from a new supervisor to an entire restructuring of your department. The more comfortable you become with change, the easier it is for you to take on extra responsibilities, undertake new projects that may not be wholly in your wheelhouse and entertain the idea that you ultimately may have to change jobs.
Not many people enjoy engaging in small talk with strangers over alcohol and finger-food, but it’s a necessary evil. While you may want to drink because it’s free or discounted liquor, you don’t want to drink too much. If you’re starving and can’t get enough of those delicious meatballs being passed around, be sure you don’t put a strain on that worn belt keeping you inside of your slacks. We know, we get it. Networking is awkward and uncomfortable, but it is a key part of advancing in your career. So, here are three things need to know in advance: 1. Knowledge; 2. Hard work; and 3. Friends in high places are the keys to your success. How many times have you or someone you know been passed over for a promotion by an individual equally or less talented than you, but who has a better rapport with management? How many times have you lost out on a job you were perfect for, only to learn that the putz who got hired is some rainmaker’s kid?
Friends in high places can be mentors but they CANNOT be someone you’re sleeping with because you should not use sex as a means to climb the corporate ladder. A better course of action is to find a mentor and make (platonic) friends you can learn from because they may later vouch for you when the time comes. If you do this, it is highly likely that when the resumes are even and the choice comes down to you, the person they know, and the person they don’t, the edge goes to you. Friends in high places will open up doors your knowledge and hard work may only get you to, so play nice.
There is no substitution for hard work. None. You can be a whiz kid at software or be the boss’s kid, but if you don’t work hard, eventually your work will speak for itself. Often times, your work product speaks much louder for you than you ever can, either because you may never have the opportunity to meet with the board to introduce yourself, or because there just isn’t enough time in the weekly/monthly staff meeting to tell everyone.
So, while you’re resolving to drop a few pounds, save more money and be a better person, resolve to be a better professional as well. We hope this has been helpful and that you use this to create your own list of professional resolutions. We wish you the best in your future endeavors and a joyous and prosperous New Year from everyone here at Diplomatic Enterprises, LLC.
At the start of every year, we resolve to eat less, lose weight and be “better” people. Your professional life is just as important as your personal life and you should set goals to improve it. We’ve decided to help jumpstart your Career New Year’s Resolutions by giving you a few tips. Check out “Team Diplomat’s” first blog of the new year, “New Year, New You”! #TeamDiplomat #NewYearNewYou http://diplomaticenterprises.com/new-year-new-you/
Resolve to be better, do better, not get fired and get a promoted for 2015 and start by checking out our first blog post of the new year, “New Year, New You”. #TeamDiplomat #NewYearNewYou http://diplomaticenterprises.com/new-year-new-you/