If there’s one place where you should be the right man for the job, it’s in the workplace. The key to success for a man in any establishment, business or not, is to be as professional as possible. Whether or not you can read is irrelevant, because if you present yourself just right, you’ll be the go-to guy in the office that everyone can trust, and then you can go home and relax in your underwear if you like. At least you will have earned it.
Come Early, Stay Late
Nothing shows commitment more than a guy who shows up before he’s expected and stays later than the rest at the same time. People take note of this and see how passionate you are about what you do. From there, they’ll assume you are willing to take on more responsibility, and you can quickly climb your way to the top.
You could be playing scrabble for all we care. Like any good relationship, putting in the time is most of the battle. The rest is full of Facebook stalking and twitpics.
Refill the Coffee
It doesn’t matter how good of a worker you are or how many work friends you have, if you’re the one who empties the coffee pot and leaves the dirty filter, word can quickly spread and all hope can be lost.
When people see you take the time to do something as small as refilling the coffee, it puts a smile on all those anti-depressant pill-hungry coworkers of yours. You don’t want to be known as the slobby guy in the office, regardless of how slobby you may be at home. Don’t be lazy; take a moment to go the extra step. It’ll keep you away from work for a moment to recharge yourself too.
Pick Up the Slack
Someone is always calling in sick, getting fired or overloaded with things to do. Lighten the load by taking some of the burden off a coworker and people will notice. The biggest thing you can do is openly volunteer to pick up the slack on a job that no one wants. It shows your commitment as well as your tolerance for pain. No one will turn to the guy who ducks the unfavorable jobs.
You may be able to call in a favor in the future, like when you bring a group of dancing girls into the office after hours and someone accidentally strolls in to pick up their phone. You’ll be glad you lightened that load.
Oscar Wilde once wrote, “We’re all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.” This could not be truer, especially in the workplace. No matter how dim the future may seem or how bad business gets, positivity will always help a bad situation.
When the chips are down, it doesn’t help to add negativity to the mix and make things even worse than they may actually be. Don’t join the crew in the negativity, but instead flip the switch and make things seem like they aren’t that bad.
Now, if you find your cleaning lady dead in the breakroom, that could make things tricky, but you can always bury her together as a group outing. See, positivity! It’s infectious.
Let Your Curiosity be Your Guide
It’s great to master your craft and hone your skills on a daily basis, but it’s another thing to take full interest in the work of others, whether it’s balancing the books or building a 3-D (to scale) model of Wrigley Field. It not only shows your curiosity but your willingness to learn and grow within the company.
You may believe that you were built for the job you have, but once you learn about another craft, you might be surprised with where it can lead you. Stay open and curious, because the road to life is long and filled with cool things.
Learn Some Manners
It might seem like little gestures such as holding the door for people behind you and blessing some jerk after he sneezes on your lunch is a thing of the past, but it’s not. Chivalry, courtesy and a good set of manners are things that never lost their importance but maybe are just lost on others.
It’s not such a bad thing if you’re the only one providing these small but special services. Your thoughtfulness will only go more easily noticed by others. So the next time you think it’s OK to slam the door on granny as she tries to walk in the building, think again. Hold the door, crack that smile and offer to carry her things. You might even get a little bonus tushy squeeze by the end.
Support the Ideas of Others
Even if it’s the worst idea you’ve ever heard, like bringing squeaky toys to a junkyard full of dogs at night, remember to stay positive with your words. Shooting down someone’s genuine contribution to a conversation, no matter how dim-witted, is no way to earn someone’s trust, nor will it help you in the future, so help them out by making their bad idea into a good one.
When someone presents a good idea, help everyone see that by affirming its best parts to the crowd. When someone suggests swimming in the Pacific covered in blood during Shark Week, congratulate them on thinking of an off-site beach day.
Whether you’re walking down Wall Street or putting the chain back on a bicycle, it’s important to always dress accordingly. When people go into an auto repair shop, they don’t expect the tuxedo and hair-dos as much as a one-piece jumpsuit, borderline Ghostbuster attire.
Take a moment to review the most professional people in your line of work and take notes. Sometimes it’s the suit that makes the man, whether that suit has sleeves or not. And mustaches are always a sign of strength, but keep it nice, not creepy. Otherwise, you’re just taking all the fun out of “casual Friday.”
Never Half-ass It
It’s easy to show up, earn your stripes and carry on like the other chumps of the world, since showing up is most of the battle. If you want to be the best in your line of work, take the time to always do your absolute best, maybe more. We’re in this game of making a living off our work for a very long time, so it’s always in your best interest, and the interest of your baby mamas, to be the master of it all.
If you’re a professional dog walker, you pick up every single piece of shit you can find, tie that baggy off and properly dispose of it. You should be damn proud you did.
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Easy on the Drinks, Get Plenty of Sleep
There’s nothing that makes work more difficult and less appealing than a good hangover. Sure it seems like a good idea at the time, and seldom do we think about hangovers while we’re in the moment, chugging alcoholic jello and doing belly shots, but this is your life, so take some responsibility for it, man.
It doesn’t get any easier as you age, since the hangovers multiply and your responsibilities increase along with it. Have a couple beers, make a few memorable jokes and go out early on a solid note. Don’t be the last guy at the bar, puking on himself and passing out on the bar floor in a pool of his own urine. You’re better than that, and tomorrow will thank you for a good night’s sleep and lack of excess.