Life

SURVIVING ON THE JOB ~ INCREASE YOUR WOMAN

AND-THE-AWARD-GOES-TOIn order to survive on the job, you will need to obtain academy award winning acting skills: AKA, “learning to play the game.” As a professional on the job, I have learned that 90% of the job is how well you ‘play the game of getting along with others.’ The remaining 10% is actually the skills in which you bring to the table to complete your duties. It is a sad fact to face that the most important skill to obtaining and retaining employment is not one taught alongside other school subjects.

Imagine my surprise when I began researching why most people lose their jobs – they do not know how to behave. Sure we may come from rough backgrounds; however, others may not have that testimony. Getting along with others is the key to maintaining employment and advancing on the job. Instead of passing down this wealth of knowledge to the incoming generation, some would rather hide their head in the sand. To that I say, “How is that going to help train the next generation?”

Daily, I hear one compliant after the other from acquaintances on the current generation’s behavior: if we do not teach them, what we know how will they learn to navigate the shark infested waters on the job? Poor social skills are robbing many individuals of gainful employment. From experience I have seen many people phased out and fired from the job because they take the negative into their lives like poison, and have no cure for the disease of work.

African-American business woman and group of workers people.

We cannot always cut and run, so let’s deal with positive coping skills when dealing with a narcissist supervisor or team:

  1. Always present a confident and calm demeanor. The number one reason why so many people lose their job is because they get upset, and lose focus of the most important factor: maintaining an income to take care of themselves and/or family. So what if you are the token, so what if someone just asked a political bombshell question, so what if they think they are privileged. Your job is to never let them take you to a point where you are not thinking properly.
  2. Rebut negative comments with sympathy. There is no escaping the rude, ignorant, or negative people at work. Learning to use sympathy is the best way to combat the deleterious person/situations that happens on the job. When someone comes to you with a bad report, gossip, or how the big bad boss is not treating people properly, simply say, “I’m sorry that happened to you.” The law of the land says that “a soft answers turn away wrath”, and you want the situation to disappear fast so you are not caught in a less than desirable web. Remember you are at work to complete the assigned tasks laid out in your job description.
  3. Do not entertain foolishness. Keep your personal options to yourself. No, many people are not out to get you; however, you never know when you are stepping into a political land mine. Courtesy, kindness, and soft words spoken to extract you from the situation is the best course of action. What you want to avoid is getting with brother or sister and having a gossip fest about office politics. Why? It is viewed as negative behavior, so I advise waiting till after work to meet up or call on another. Sounds extreme, but unless you work for an exclusive company where the majority is of your skin color – you have to learn to play the game.
  4. Never try to make friends within your department. Working for a state governing body, I’ve learned that most of the people on the job are affiliated outside of work. They have gone to school together, and their children go to school together. It is a system that has already been established, and as a new person in the arena, you want to avoid being a usurper (to seize and hold a position by force without a legal right). Your job is to maintain gainful employment, earn a wage to ensure your needs at home are being met.
  5. Always, always have and approachable demeanor in face and speech. One of the most over used comments I hear is, “He/she has such a bad attitude.” Nobody wants to hear themselves referred to in this manner; therefore, always use proper etiquette skills when on the job. Etiquette is the common requirements that are set for social behavior. Being polite while engaging in society when we are in public keeps the flies off your back. If you are not aware of what these rules look like, take some time to go online to research what is acceptable behavior.

In order to advance in your career, you’ll have to gain positive coping skills, or you’ll face that brick wall. Have another support system outside of work, that way they never know what you are thinking. Fact of the matter is, we cannot change the mindset or views of the people we encounter. However, we can control who we are, and the way we conduct ourselves on the job. Try to avoid complaining about the job; because when you did not have a job, you were so excited to get this one.  Lastly, share this article or your experiences on the job with someone else, by doing so you can Increase Your Woman, and theirs on how to can survive on the job.

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Tonya J. Montgomery

Tonya J. Montgomery