How To Survive and Thrive Once You Get The Job
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How To Survive and Thrive Once You Get The Job

How to hold the job once you've gotten it, confront challenges from the incompetent or micro-managing employer to enemy co-workers, who see you as a threat to their existence. How to fade into the background for a few months before dazzeling them with your brilliance and ability so that no one takes you as a treat and makes it their life's work to get you fired.

If you have 'aced' the Interview  and gotten the job, you still have a lot of rough terrain to navigate through. You may wind up working for the kind of Micro-manager which has you ready to jump off the balcony.  You may have one of those extremely incompetent people who needs to exert his/her authority by having ridiculous rules and demanding everyone obey them.  

You may have the kind of backstabbing co-workers who climb the corporate ladder on the carcasses of other employees who sabotage your work at every opportunity.  

And you may actually get a good job, with good people, doing what you love.

If you wind up, as most of us, getting stuck in a dangerous quagmire, there are ways to survive.  Sometimes even thrive.  Just as long as you can slide your mind into a 'safe room' so that none of the insanity effects you, you can ride the tide.

Some people can't deal with pressure; even the slightest challenge has them bouncing off the walls. If they have authority they will be throwing you at the walls.  You have to know how to function.

Besides the information given in the first article hypertexted above, there's a bit more you need to get through your first weeks.

1. Don't Be Too Smart

No one likes a guy who walks into the office on Monday and by Tuesday has developed seven different optimisation systems.  Maybe on T.V. these folks get ahead; in real life everyone feels threatened and he's the one being disposed off.  Maybe later down when you've ranked up a few months you can 'btw' submit some idea, but never in your first three months.  Do what you're told as you're told, and only in the rarest of circumstances make a suggestion. 

2. Don't Do More Than the Other Guy

You may be able to complete a week's worth of work in two days;  don't. If you do, don't tell anyone.  If there are five people here you don't want them, who have made their lives easier by setting 'quotas' , to dispose of you.  Too many newbies want to show how great they are and the moment the boss says word one to the oldsters which suggests they are coasting or you are streets and lanes ahead of them, be prepared for sabotage.   Do just a much as the Other Guy for the first three weeks when you are 'learning' the job.  Then you can do a bit more; but just a bit.

3. Blend Into The Environment

Don't try to be noticed.  Always stay in the back, pose no threat.  Always do the work you were assigned as quickly as possible so you can have more time to relax and -.  Don't jump up with; "I'm Finished!"  Wait until you are asked for the item unless the Boss tells you to do something and get it on his desk immediately.  Continue to dress and act like everyone else.  This proves you 'belong' here.

4. Seize the Time

After at least three months on the job, have a brilliant idea. You may have realised on day one that having everyone take lunch at 12 is stupid and Lunch should be spread out over three shirts.  But don't mention it.  Especially not to co-workers.  Never share anything with them.  Be friendly, talk sports or television shows.  Now, at a staff meeting, 4.2 months from the day you were hired, distractedly mention a staggered shift.  Don't be passionate, don't become a champion of it, just mention.  It will be attacked and boxed away.  Eventually it will be implemented.  Put your ideas and changes in this kind of 'train' so that during the eight months you become the 'idea guy'.

5. Underplay Your Hand

If you've ever played poker in real life with wet ware you'll know that there comes a time you pull a Royal Flush and you have to keep them betting so that you get a large pot.   You have to know how to be modest, unassuming, how to bet, how to hold that 'poker face'  and not raise any suspicions.

You may work with guys who make Forrest Gump look like Einstein, but don't let them know you know.

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Comments (4)

What a really great article.  Excellent work.

Thank you Martin

These are very insightful ideas!

Thank you P. Guims