The Book on Business: Could you be your own worst enemy on the job?
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Is your career on the slow track to nowhere? Why is the person in the next cubicle getting a major promotion when you know that you are just as capable of doing the job? Once again, you've been passed over.
You don't really hate your job, and you don't want to quit or be fired, but you're definitely headed for a career crisis. You know that your work situation can be improved, but you don't know where to begin.
- By Anita Bruzzese
- Perigee ($13.95; paperback)
Help is at hand, thanks to Anita Bruzzese's new book, "45 Things You Do That Drive Your Boss Crazy." Often referred to as "America's favorite workplace columnist," Ms. Bruzzese has been dispensing advice to millions of readers in her weekly On the Job column for Gannett News Service since 1992. She has read and answered thousands of letters dealing with workplace issues; "45 Things" highlights readers' most common concerns and her suggestions for dealing with them.
Each chapter begins with a real-life case study that describes the problem, provides an analysis of the situation and concludes with practical steps for self-improvement.
Everybody will be familiar with some of the 45 things in this book. You wouldn't show up at the office dressed like you're ready to clean out the garage or on your way to an after-hours club. Off-color humor is no laughing matter, office romances are dangerous at best, and it's never a good idea to use company e-mail or a personal blog to express your feelings about your workplace and your co-workers.
However, many of the 45 things that may be holding you back are less obvious. Be honest: Have you ever slacked off on company-paid business trips? Could your table manners cause embarrassment at business meals? Are you tempted to skip meetings and office social gatherings because you have more important things to do? Are you able to delegate? Can you adapt to change? How are your writing skills? Are you able to speak comfortably in front of a group? Are your files organized so you can find what's needed at a moment's notice? Are you getting enough rest?
Pity the boss who attempts to run an efficient business while surrounded by drama queens, whiners, gossips and employees who aren't doing their fair share of the work. What boss would tolerate employees who don't take responsibility for their mistakes? Admit what you did, then find out what went wrong so you'll know what to do (or not to do) in the future.
What makes this book so appealing is its upbeat, honest approach to the issues at hand. It's entirely possible that a careful reading of "45 Things" could change your life.
By taking the time to find out what matters most to your boss and making it your business to excel in those areas, you can avoid making many common blunders that can sideline a promising career.
Now you'll have the inside track on what it takes to get ahead and what you can do to make it happen.
First Published October 28, 2007 12:00 am