By Michael T. Robinson
1. Fix the One Big Thing. Ask your boss what one thing he/she would like to see you change or improve
This is so powerful.
You can bet there is one thing about you that drives your boss nuts. You need to find out what it is and fix it. It could save your job. It could help you get promoted or get a bigger raise.
Many bosses avoid conflict. Many bosses are uncomfortable giving personal advice. So make it easy for your boss to tell you how to perform better.
Ask him/her what is the biggest thing he/she does NOT like about you or your performance on the job. Tell him to think about it and that you will be back at the end of the week for an answer.
Then make a commitment to yourself to fix this one thing. You will be glad you did.
Make this your New Year's resolution. If you have the guts, tell your boss you will commit to making that change. But then you have to deliver...or else.
Remember, when it comes time to decide who gets laid off and who gets the bigger raise, it's usually one thing that makes the difference in the mind of the boss.
2. Stop the Whining
I used to work with a terrific manager who had this "No Whining" sign on his door.
Merriam-Webster's dictionary defines Whining as: "To utter a high-pitched plaintive or distressed cry."
Being known as a "Whiner" in the office means you complain way too much and others find it distracting and demoralizing.
So if you find yourself complaining a lot to your coworkers or your significant other, beware you are putting a target on your back and drawing negative attention to yourself.
Nobody likes a whiner, at home or in the office.
3. Put Your Happy Face On Even if It Hurts
Even if you are having a bad day, lift up your chin, take a real deep breath or two and put a smile on your face. Even if it's fake.
Most normal people prefer to see happy people.
No one really wants to be around depressed or cranky people.
Smiling can only help. It certainly won't make things worse.
4. Get Some Exercise
Nothing will clear your head and boost your morale as well as going out for a vigorous 5 mile walk or run or a 25 mile bike ride.
People who do this say the same thing. They get more new ideas and solutions when out exercising. They find it creative and inspiring.
Just Do It.
5. Get Out and Meet New People
I don't want to use the dreaded "Networking" word, however, to keep your career moving forward you have to get out of your normal job routine and meet new people who are in your line of work.
Find local organizations that do something you are interested in.
Find groups that do something fun that relates to your profession.
Volunteer to be on a committee.
Many companies want their employees to be members of professional groups, especially those groups related to promoting and selling the company's products.
Experts recommend that you schedule time to "get out" once per week if you can, if not, at least once per month.
Ultimately, the people you meet might be your ticket to a new opportunity.
If you can't find something fun related to your job, you are probably in the wrong type of work.
Are you in the wrong job? How will you find the one that is best for you? Do you have a career roadmap?