About ten minutes before you're set to leave for the day, a client rings your desk and asks you to change something within a database. The pass code needed to access the database is printed on the lower left corner of a document his assistant faxed to you earlier that afternoon. It’s essential that you find this code immediately, or your company could lose this important account.
You meant to grab the document from the fax room on your way back from lunch, but there was a line out the door. Now, you're forced to begin diving through the mounds of loose paper and crumbled Post-Its littered around the ancient fax machine. Thanks to your mess of an office, and your disorganized coworkers, the document in question isn’t anywhere to be found – and now your job may be on the line.
The truth of the matter is that you’re only as productive as your work environment allows. A clean, comfortable and organized work space not only means you’ll be able to find things when you need them, but it also helps to reduce your stress level and promote efficiency - two things any employer should be happy to provide.
Think of all of the times in which you were driven to near-tears because you couldn’t locate something you needed, or when you lent a file to a peer and they lost it among the clutter surrounding their cubicle. Then re-imagine a scenario in which you were able to open an alphabetized file cabinet and pull out what you need in seconds flat. Now, which would you prefer?
It only takes a couple of hours and a little money to transform your work environment into one you can enjoy. An ergonomic chair, sizeable desk and plenty of organizational accessories may be all you need to set yourself on the fast track to higher productivity and a better attitude about your job. However, if the rest of your office space is a disorganized mess, it can only fuel your frustration with your job.
If you’re looking for a career change, you may need more than a trip to the local office supply store. If your company refuses to make the changes you need to complete your work effectively, then it may be time to contact a recruiter at Phoenix Staff and start locating the job of your dreams.
A couple weeks ago, I attended a full day seminar, and was privileged hear the former CEO of Microsoft, Rick Buluzza speak about the kind of professional leader he learned he wanted to be early in his career. The day was very effective for me—I left inspired to share two things with my professional network. Two critical components of professional development: having a positive attitude and being a person of integrity.
Initially, it may seem unlikely that attitude and the character feature, integrity, are part of professional development, but here’s why they are:
Having a positive attitude enables you to be flexible and patient both in your job search & career. No matter where you are in your professional development, or career, or even during a new job search, attitude is important:
- Building & refining a resume (refining multiple times and keeping it updated even when you aren’t actively looking so you can keep track of your own growth and development)
- Dressing & behaving like a professional
- Networking & building relationships (even prior to looking, make sure you don’t let your network get ‘stale’. People like to stay connected with you because of their own network and not only when you ‘need’ them for something)
- Being receptive to constructive criticism
- Keeping skills current (and always looking for opportunities for more professional development)
If you’re in between jobs or embarking on securing a new one, it’s a full-time job getting a full-time job. Regardless of your specialty – programmer, business analyst, instructor, recruiter, student, CEO, you deal with people – patience & flexibility are necessary when dealing with people. I try to follow two rules for dealing well with people:
- Golden Rule (Treat others as you would have them treat you)
- Platinum Rule (Treat others as they want to be treated)
Not everyone will follow these rules, but you (I, professionals, people, etc.) should take the high road because in the long run, you want to build long-term professional relationships with people and these rules will always help you do that. You want to always be identified as a person of integrity. As professionals, we are our own enterprise, and therefore, we have to own our own development—which is an on-going process. Rick Buluzza said to be “hard headed and soft hearted…never burn bridges…be accepting of bad news and stay humble.” Everyone knows about Microsoft’s success; hard not be inspired by a guy who knows a thing or two about professional and personal success.