Have a Great Job - Watch Your Back

John M. Dabbs

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Photo by Mateus Campos Felipe on Unsplash

Beware the "back-stabber".

I'm not talking murder, but there may be some character assassinations involved. Business is business... nothing personal, you say? Not me. I take everything personally. I can let some things slide because they are not important in the scheme of things. In some fields, to get ahead, be assertive, and know your playing field. In others, smarts and strategy. Sometimes you've got to have a killer instinct. These can all get you an interview and help land the job of your dreams with good pay and benefits.

Beware of your colleagues

You aren't the only one aiming for that corner office with a view, or the power-broker position with the boss. "Watch your six", because the people you have climbed over may not be that fond of you, and the newcomers will want what you have. Not everyone has an ethical and moral outlook. They will stab you in the back to get ahead of themselves. You may have even made them look bad at some point in their career, as you climbed to where you are now.

Some people are downright mean and like to stir the pot, just to mess with others. They have no home life of their own. Their source of joy and some sick sense of fulfillment comes from causing others to squirm. These people we often view as pathetic can also be a silent mastermind killing the career of others. It may make them look good - or at last competent compared to those around them.

Play defense

Always be on the defense. Remember those user-safety tips from the I.T. department? Always safeguard your password, your keys, and your personal belongings. Your personal space should always be secured. You don't want someone to hack your work computer or accounts and make you look like a fool, or worse - a pervert.

Keep your passwords complex. Gone are the days when "password" was acceptable. Remember when they began requiring an uppercase letter too? Many people changed their password to "Password". They required a number... "Password1". A special character was required... enter "Password1!". It's the same old song and dance. Use a unique way of formulating your passwords and securing them so they are not available to others. Protect yourself.

Social media threats

Think you're now safe when "Facebooking"? Wrong. Be mindful of what you post. I've seen people post where they live, their home phone number, and birthdays... year included or at least a hint of how old they are thanks to friends chiming in. Limit the amount of information you put in the public eye.

How do you think children become victims of predators? Cyberbullying, pedophiles, sexual predators, and those who would take advantage of the elderly... all troll the social media pages. You should be strict with who you friend and message. Are all of your posts public or do most only go to the people on your "friends list"? Same with Twitter. Be careful what you tweet.

In today's political climate, it is easy for those with opposing political or religious views to seek and destroy those who would oppose them. Be cautious with what you report. It's like being at the dinner table with your elders - avoid the subjects of politics and religion if you want to have a peaceful time and enjoy everyone's company. Some discussions can get very heated and cause hurt feelings.

Not only can your friends be impacted, but your tolling nemesis from work can also use anything they view as a weakness. They'll use it against you when they can. Don't think they won't. Deleting posts doesn't always help either, because once it's up, people can save the posts by taking screenshots or printing. Once it's on the internet - it's always out there somewhere.

Know how to play the game

When employed, know how to play the game. Play it with dignity, professionalism, and high morals. Keep your friends close and your enemies closer - they could become a friend when they get to know you. It's been my experience that "enemies", were actually people who had a personality that conflicted with my own. They really weren't bad people. We just didn't get along because we were too dissimilar.

Getting to know people can often make a difference. It's more difficult to be mean to someone you know and get to like. It's those people who develop apathy or contempt you have to watch. They often come for the weak and unsuspecting rivals. Stay ahead by being engaged at work. Know what's going on and what your job is. Stay abreast of trends in the industry and do your homework. You can become a real asset if you work at it. We can't all be promoted at once, but we can catch the eye of the supervisor or boss. It pays to be known as the person they can go to to ask questions.

Do your job, do it well, and move on. Keep an eye on your co-workers, and get to know them. You may make friends... and discover who to keep a close eye on.

Above board

If you want to be respected, you'll need to have some class. Always be above board and don't play the games of the lesser people. Treat everyone important, from the CEO to the cleaning crew, they are all people with jobs that have to be done. Not everyone appreciates the work of others, as we do not see how it impact us. Dismiss the cleaning staff and see if you miss them when your wastebasket is overflowing and the dust is gumming up your desk and keyboards. All that cleaning - it keeps the workplace safe, and healthier. Would you want to run out of toilet paper and need to bring it from home daily?

Treat people with respect, and act respectfully. Sit up straight, and mind your manners. Know how to do your job and show interest in how others do their job. It may surprise you to learn how your work impacts others, and vice-versa. You may discover that you could work together to make both of your jobs easier. Something you do different and something they do different could work together to make significant improvements to time, productivity, or outcome. It's one of the perks of being proactive and doing your job right - no matter what your job is.

People hiding in the shadows pretending to work do not do these things. They shrug off their work onto others and fail to meet deadlines. They are deadbeats. People like this are often seen making excuses and blaming others for their failures. Watch these people. They not only look to take down others so they look better, they are a drain on the company and everyone around them.

Watch your six.

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An outdoor enthusiast with a passion for travel and adventure. John is a professional consultant and photojournalist.

Johnson City, TN
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