Five Work Principles You Should Know About - Part 2

Source: Henkster at

Yesterday we talked about the learning curve.  Today we will start talking about the 5 work principles you should know about.  Here is the first one:

Study your environment for a reasonable amount of time before you jump in.

Are you wondering what the heck that means?

Well, think about this.  You’ve been at job for a long time.  Let’s say more than a couple years.  And they hire this new guy.  He’s all smiles and very confident and within a week he’s telling you how you should do your job.  He’s suggesting that you could get things done a lot faster if only you did this.  He’s having private meetings with the boss.  He’s trying to fix things.  He’s got his nose all over the place. How do you feel? You’re likely at least a bit annoyed if not downright angry.  Who does he think he is to be running around telling you how to do your job?  And what is he talking to the boss about with the door closed.

You don’t want to be this guy.

He is what is known as an a** kisser.  No one likes him, except maybe the boss.  In fact, the longer he is there, the more people are complaining about him. 

What does this  have to do with the first principle?

What I’m telling you is that you can’t just jump in and start telling people better ways to do things.  You can’t run into the new office and start inviting yourself for lunch.  You can’t request private meetings with the boss a week after you’ve been there (unless it is a private emergency).  You need to observe the environment and find out what is commonly acceptable and what is not.

Yes, there may come a time when you need to break the rules, but the time is not right after you get the job.  You may think that your co-workers’ opinions are not that big of a deal if your goal is to move up in the company but their opinions do matter.  If you do move up in the company, they may be working under you and how willing to you think they are going to be to do what you ask when they think you are a snivelling little weasel who kissed butt to get to where you are?  Not very!

You may not like office politics but they do exist and you do have to mind them - at least to a degree.  Learn how the office operates, who is the office chatterbox, who will spread the word faster than wildfire, who will help when needed, and who are the ones that you need to get to like you the most.  In a way, an office is not much different than the school grounds.  There are leaders and followers and if the leaders like you, you are good.  If not, you may never be comfortable in your work environment again.