Regardless of what your situation is, you like your job, and you'd like to keep it. Other than working your little heart out, acing your performance reviews, and keeping your clients--or your managers--happy, what can you do?
You can watch what you say and do, to keep your image untarnished at work. I am sure you've been there before--regretting saying or doing something because of the repercussions that were sure to follow.
I once told the boss's daughter that she was a bad person (I had my reasons, trust me). She texted me that night and told me not to bother coming into work the next day. Whether she was or wasn't a bad person didn't matter, because Daddy owned the company and what Princess says goes.
After being fired and having to start the job search again, I learned an important lesson: to keep my thoughts and feelings to myself. Here are six things you should never do or say at work.
1. Don't get stuck in a rut.
Don't be resistant to change. Technology is moving quickly, and you have to keep on top of it. Be open to new ideas, systems, and technologies that would make your work faster, better, and more competitive.
Being closed to change makes you look lazy and outdated.
2. Don't tell someone that something is "no problem." Replace the phrase with, "You're welcome."
As a society, we've become accustomed to responding to "thank you" with "no problem." Although this is a seemingly minor thing, it does imply that you think people are imposing on you.
When you say that someone is welcome, or say, "It's my pleasure," you are accepting the person's thanks and showing that you are doing the job happily.
Little things that you say will make a big difference.
3. Don't be afraid to speak up.
Some people are shy to speak up in meetings or to contribute. The bigger the meeting, or the more people there are, the more intimidating it can be.
This is something you will have to work to get over. Not contributing when you are expected to can make it appear you have nothing worthwhile to add, that you are shy, or that you aren't paying attention.
I know my opinion is not the end all, be all, if I want to grow and learn. You'd be amazed at how often a great idea gets brought up during meetings that I had simply never even thought of. Hot new brands pop up all the time, and without the help of my trusty team, I wouldn't be up to date.
We all experience life differently. It's important to share those lessons with the team for the greater good.
4. Don't badmouth your co-workers.
Gossip is an unfortunate fact of office life. Where there's a water cooler, there will be water cooler talk.
Resist the pressure to partake. A good rule of thumb is to make sure that anything you say about someone can be repeated to his or her face or attributed to you.
Take it from me: Never insult the boss or his daughter.
5. Don't tell someone no because something's not in your official job description.
If your boss or manager asks you to do something that is outside of your daily duties, don't balk. Do it enthusiastically. Chances are, your boss knows very well that it's not part of your regular work.
Nobody enjoys working with someone who has a poor attitude. Did I plan on coming into the office today and making coffee for 10 people? No, but I did it, because I was already up and making my own.
Do you know how long it takes to make 10 cups of coffee using a Nespresso single serve machine and the fancy-schmancy frother? Too long, but they taste great. I am pretty sure I make the best macchiato in Miami at this point.
Look at it as a chance to prove your value to the organization, and more important, as a learning opportunity.
6. Don't ever say that you hate your job.
Everyone has bad days. That's understood.
But you always need to keep your emotions in check. Don't get carried away and say something you don't mean. People will pick up on your negative attitude and make a mental note of it. That's a label you don't want at work.
Do you know what's worse than hating your job? Having no job and no prospects.