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Survival Guide

Survive and thrive in the workplace


In any job, there are opportunities and pitfalls. Take the opportunities and avoid the pitfalls. Here are 12 key things to take account of.

1. When new to a job, don't jump in at the deep end

  • Take your time and get to know the people and what they do.
  • You will be given initial support and guidance, but look for ways in which you can start to show initiative and independence.

2. Treat others with consideration and caution

  • Remember that other people have ambitions. They can be helpful, but they will not sacrifice themselves for you.
  • People already in the organisation will expect to remain ahead of you. They may not be as cooperative as you might have hoped.

3. Be clear about what your job entails

  • What are the expectations on you and your team? Which organisational goals does your job contribute to?
  • What is the environment in which your organisation and team operate?
  • What are the obstacles you all face in trying to achieve the organisation’s goals. This can affect what you do and how you do things.

4. Engage effectively with your colleagues

  • There are many ways to assist and support colleagues — their success is important in contributing to the success of the team and the organisation.
  • Support them effectively and they will support you.

5. Focus on job requirements and work conscientiously

  • Your job requirements include the responsibilities written into your job description or contract.
  • Less formal aspects of supporting colleagues in your team are also important and must not be neglected.
  • Everybody can benefit from working constructively together.

6. Be flexible and adaptable

  • Job requirements are generally concerned with achieving outcomes and not simply doing certain things in a specified way.
  • Plan the best ways to do things to meet targets but make sure you don’t neglect your other responsibilities.

7. Manage your time effectively

  • Keep a firm grip on things that you are currently doing and be aware of things on the horizon.
  • Assess what any offer of new work might involve. Do you have the skills and resources? Will it jeopardise current commitments?
  • Under-promise and over-deliver.

8. Work efficiently and effectively

  • Develop your enabling skills to work more efficiently and effectively. This enables you to get more things done and gives you time to relax and recuperate.
  • Try to resolves mistakes yourself, but don't be afraid to seek guidance and learn for the future.

9. Stay on top of things

  • Be conscientious and effective by delivering on time those things you have promised.
  • Ensure that you complete your tasks – things put to one side have a nasty habit of getting forgotten.

10. Take opportunities and gain experience.

  • Look out for opportunities that provide experience to expand your effectiveness and your repertoire.
  • Opportunities can provide evidence for a prospective promotion or a new job, and can help build your future.

11. Support your manager

  • Support your manager in working in the best interests of the organisation.
  • A good manager should welcome constructive input and opinion. However, be mindful of how you present these.
  • Your manager is key to providing opportunities for you, so demonstrate that you are conscientious, effective and worth supporting.

12. Keep looking at

  • Here you will find further guidance and methods to help you get where you need to be.

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