George Costanza’s Guide To Getting And Keeping A Job
Photo: NBC / Contributor (Getty Images)
There’s nothing harder than obtaining a job, especially when you don’t necessarily know what you want or where to look. And in this market, no less! In dire circumstances, we must look to the master, one George Costanza, for lessons in the art of getting and keeping a job. Only in a perfect “Seinfeld” quote will we find true clarity in our own work. Follow these guidelines and be assured to hold down a gig for at least two or three weeks, max.
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1. Know your strong suits.
In any hunt for the right job, it's good to know who you are and what you're good at. If you like sports, maybe you could get a job as an announcer, but they usually give those jobs to ex-athletes. Try to stay grounded and within your wheelhouse.
2. Have a good work ethic that inspires others.
Appearances can be deceiving, but sometimes they're more meaningful than anything. Being good at your job and looking lazy while you're doing it might get you into hot water quicker than looking busy when you're actually doing nothing. Sit up straight and act frustrated. People love a go-getting solitaire player.
3. Remain confident in your work and yourself at all times.
Failure is the key to success, oddly enough. Don't let it get you down. Stand by your work and continue to do well, and eventually people will catch on. You don't want to be an overnight success who later flops. Better to be a seasoned veteran.
4. Be innovative, both in the office and at home.
If the way things are done doesn't fit your mold, change the mold. Make things work for you, which in turn helps you be more efficient and less focused on why things don't pan out. There is no "one size fits all" setting. You've got to customize.
5. Be professional and avoid physical relations with co-workers (especially the cleaning lady).
As tempting as it can be having beautiful people you share a workspace with around all the time, it's best to refrain from any physical contact. Otherwise, you lose the job you so love to unruly sexual harassment suits. They make you watch that video for a reason!
6. Make smart, informed decisions that everyone can respect.
Good decision-making is a key trait of any quality employee, especially in a leadership role. Though your decisions will not always sit well with everyone involved, you should still try to make the best one possible based on the information available to you.
7. Keep your shirts pressed and ready for professionalism.
You never know when a last minute meeting, the pop quiz of real life, will rear its ugly head. Have the basics set aside and ready to go at a moment's notice, because sometimes that's all you get. Like a well-prepared hurricane survival kit, you'll want to be prepared for anything, and when you are and others aren't, people will take notice of your reliability.
8. Know your place in line.
Having the self-awareness to see things from another's perspective is an empathetic quality every good worker should have. Be honest with yourself and your role in a workplace, know where you fall in line — sometimes you're the caboose — and man your station. Though you might not be satisfied with your spot right away, if you provide a trusty anchor, you'll eventually find yourself at the helm.
9. Make sure your brilliance is known, however subtle.
Just because you're humble and lacking an ego like some people, that doesn't mean your talents should go unnoticed. Self-promotion is a bitch for some, but putting your ideas out into the world with a certain confidence is a lot better than watching them go in the proverbial garbage can. Speaking of which...
10. Don't be afraid to recycle things that worked in the past.
If something worked in the past, it worked for a reason. Without resting too much on your laurels or playing it overly safe, recycle some of that success into a newer, better model. Even ideas that are crap have a little genius in them. At the very least, they're clues on what not to do.
11. Have no fear in bearing your soul creatively.
Vulnerability in creativity is like stepping out on a narrow ledge without a safety net. It can be nerve-racking and daunting, but once you're over the initial hump of fear, you'll get more comfortable with the idea of sharing yourself more publicly. In the end, everybody wants to have the balls to do it. The fact you did says more than you think.
12. Toast at the end of a hard day's work.
Every victory, however minuscule, should be celebrated at the end of the day. If you don't get any work done, spend the necessary time and energy getting something done. Getting drunk after not being productive feels awful in your 30s, but cheersing a win is always a good, necessary part of the work cycle. Just don't "Mickey" your coworkers in the process. That never ends well for anyone.
13. Always remember to keep reaching for the stars.
We wanted to insert George Constanza's impressive Strength Shoe vertical leap here, but this will have to do. It's a simple reminder to keep pushing on through, even if it's in reference to this absurdly glib, over-the-top, not-so-helpful self-help guide.
14. Last but not least, do something that makes your father proud.
When dad's sitting around the retirement home chatting up his kids, you're going to sleep better knowing he's got something good to say about you. If nothing else, get a hot wife. Old men in retirement homes love talking about hot chicks. Make your father proud!