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FRANK OFILI

THE GOLDEN RULES OF KEEPING YOUR JOB… (concluding part)

ATTITUDE TO COLLEAGUES

The time-honoured maxim that “no man is an island” holds true everywhere in the world. No one man can do everything all by himself. Your employers cannot achieve their objective by your efforts and inputs alone. They also need the efforts of other people. A good bond and synergy between you and other employees in the organization is therefore of utmost importance. Good attitude to colleagues pre-supposes two things: a) good team spirit; and (b) good interpersonal relations. The same attitude shown to your boss should also apply to your colleagues. Below are some tips:

  • Never be rebellious: Never conspire with other members of staff to rebel or disrupt the smooth flow of operations in the organization. Do not be the one to encourage strike action. Even if you are a union leader in your organization, lead to building not to destroy. Lead to maintain peaceful and harmonious industrial atmosphere in your organization. Remember you are first of all an employee of the organization, and without your employment, you will not become the union leader. So be wise: play constructive unionism. Build yourself a career and secure a bright future for yourself and family. Mind your own business and do the work for which you were employed in the first place.
  • Avoid Quarrelling and anything that will cause disputes: Do not be quarrelsome. Never encourage malice in the office. Do not gossip or spread the malicious rumour with the intent to cause quarrels amongst staff. If you do, you are creating an atmosphere of hostility and animosity in the office, and the rate of productivity will be affected. Never get involved in ganging up against anybody. If you have issues with anybody approaches the person and talk it over peacefully and maturely.
  • Never get involved in a fight: Your real character cannot be hidden for long. It cannot be hidden in nice fancy skirts or shirts or suits. Neither can it be covered with titles and certificates. When real pressure is applied in the office, the real you will come out – eventually. So never get involved in a physical fight with any of your colleagues no matter the degree of provocation. Don’t shout. Learn to be calm in the face of provocation. If you lose your temper, you will lose your job.
  • Mind Your Language: Avoid using abusive or foul language in the office. Do not talk to your colleagues in an aggressive manner. Be civilized, be cultured.
  • Encourage Team Work: Be collaborative and cooperative in the office, not competitive. Do not regard your colleagues as competitors by trying to prove that you are better in all aspects. Instead regard them as team mates and work with them in friendly and harmonious manner. You cannot be the only employee in the organization. Develop team spirit. In the same vein, avoid a “holier than thou” attitude. Avoid the habit of reporting your colleagues to your boss and trying to prove you are the only good person in the organization. Help others overcome their weaknesses. This, however, is not to say you should conceal fraudulent activities.

PERSONAL APPEARANCE:

Your personal appearance speaks volumes about the type of person you are. It may also give an indication of the kind of organization you work for. As an ambassador or your organization, it is crucial that you look good. I have heard people give all kind of excuses for the way they turn out. When you counsel them on why they should look good, they tell you that because they do not receive wardrobe allowance they have to owe no obligation to dress decently. You see this kind of people spending so much to buy expensive things(especially blackberry) for a lady. Don’t get me wrong. It is not that it is altogether a bad idea purchase a phone for a girl who truly needs it if you can afford to. The point I am making is that this kind of people spends huge sums mainly to impress a lady, and then go home to give excuses to their wife. They think spending huge amounts on ladies will give them validation. Unfortunately, these same ladies leave them high and dry afterward. Why not? In as much as one is not advocating you steal, borrow or spend a greater percentage of your salary in order to dress well, you should take note that it is not how expensive your cloths are that matters but how decent and clean. Also, you should be mindful of your personal grooming habit. What are the things to check out for?

  • Your Mouth and Body: If you have mouth or body odor, do something about it. Most people will not tell you that your bad breadth puts them off, but you can test your breath by yourself. Open your mouth wide and cover it partially with your palm, cough out loudly and then smell the air that comes out of your mouth. Brush your mouth twice daily and use mouth-spray. Also, if you notice that people turn away from you as soon as you are around them, or making a strenuous effort to tolerate your presence, it is probably because some foul smell is oozing out of you. Use deodorant or antiperspirant. Some people ooze out foul smell not necessarily because they have body odor, but simply because they are dirty. They wear the same under-wares and shirts several times a week without washing them. It is recommended that you do not wear the same under-ware, shirt, socks or trousers more than once a week. If you have to, then wash it each time you wear it. There are also those who do not know the importance of thoroughly washing their inner parts such as arm-pits and private part. Some are also superstitious. They say shaving their arm-pit, and pubic hair is taboo. How preposterous! How can such people not exude foul odor? I know an employee who was retrenched not because she was not good on the job but because she had a not-too-pleasant odor. You may ask if this is a valid reason to down-size a good employee. I tell you it is. No company will keep an employee who turns back customers.
  • Be formal in your dressing: One of the things you should be conscious about is the way you dress to work. Be consistent and formal with your mode of dressing. Wear the right clothing always. Dress the part. For instance, if you are doing a desk job, always dress corporate. If it is a factory job you are doing, then dress as prescribed for factory work. Never appear in the office in casuals unless it is consistent with the nature of your job. The appearance of an executive is different from that of a messenger. Dress responsibly and adequately. If you are a lady make sure you a fully covered. Do not leave any cleavages, or your other endowments revealing. It amazes me that these days, men who have nothing to hide dress more responsibly than ladies who have everything to hide. You see women wearing tight-fitted low-waist pants, without a bra(or if they wear at all it is the type that covers only their nipples) and leaving their navel exposed. Curiously, some companies (especially new generation banks in Nigeria) encourage this kind of dressing, though not as a matter of policy. It is unfortunate.
  • Have Good Etiquette: Aside from having good dress essence, also cultivate good etiquette. Know how to conduct yourself in social gatherings. Suppose you were asked to represent your company at a State House dinner? It is expected that you should be aware enough to wear a dinner dress and also know how to use cutlery. You should also know the right courtesies and table manners. I remembered my first ever buffet party as a young adult many years ago. I loaded my plate with virtually everything on the dinner table, and I was utterly embarrassed afterward. Do not make the same mistake.
  • Avoid Looking Depressed: Do not bring your personal problems to your office. If you do, it will reflect on your countenance and relationship with your colleagues. You find yourself snapping at everyone, getting hostile both to colleagues and customers. You become unhappy. Eventually, this state of mind will reflect on your job. You are not the only one with problems, so why advertise yours? Your life is the summary of your thoughts. It is what you think that will eventually manifest. Learn to deal with your personal issues. Smile always, be happy and reduce depression and hypertension. Smiling is contagious; it will affect everybody around you positively. And it costs nothing!

FINAL WORD

You stop being yourself the moment you walk out on your social responsibilities. Have a good working relationship with your colleagues. Be nice and courteous to your company’s customers, or to everyone for that matter. Cultivate a positive public image. Be humble always. It costs you nothing, yet it gives much respect. Be self-confident, believe in yourself and always be positive. Shy away from pride and arrogance, for they are attributes of insecure men. Find time to develop yourself. Do not give excuses that there is no time. There is always time for anything you want to do; it depends on how much value you place on it. If is important to you, you will create the time. Be focused on what you want to be. God arranges everything to favour the man who knows where he is going.

 

Finally, every organization has rules and regulations. These rules are often encapsulated in the employee handbook. Observe them to the latter.

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