Turn your working life into a well-oiled machine.
Is your career moving along smoothly, like a finely oiled automobile? Or is it sputtering along the highway at a slow pace, in obvious need of a major tune-up? The following guide will help troubleshoot your particular career problem.
Are you a chronic complainer? You might suspect something is seriously wrong with your car if it continually makes knocking noises; the same goes for chronic complainers in the workplace. If you gain the reputation as a whiner or critic, you can put your career up on blocks or commit to rebuilding your attitude. Negative thinking is a bad habit, but it can be changed. Pay particular attention to everything you say one day. How many complaining remarks do you make? You may be surprised! Now, make a conscience effort to find the positives. Your engine–and career–will serve you much better by running smoothly rather than knocking constantly.
Overheated radiators are a pain. They bring the car to a quick stop and affect the entire engine. You may be experiencing a similar phenomenon if you are not in control of your emotions at work. How well do you get along with your peers and supervisors? Do you find yourself at odds with them frequently? Do you spew out your aggressions in front of them or behind their backs? The ability to get along with others is a key success factor in the workplace. A lack of emotional maturity in this area can limit even those with the highest intellect and best work aptitude. Check the thermostat on your career radiator frequently by maintaining a cool head and choosing your battles wisely.
If you are not tooting your horn occasionally at work, don’t be surprised if you aren’t noticed. Striking a perfect balance in horn-tooting skills is tricky. Too much noise is downright annoying. Consider the egomaniacs in the workplace who can’t seem to stop saying great things about themselves. On the flip side, those who patiently wait in the shadows for someone to notice them fare no better. Telling your boss and others of your successes and milestones is an important step toward visibility–and visibility does matter! It’s equally important to toot other people’s horns occasionally. There is great power in a sincere compliment and the favor will invariably be returned.
Cars won’t start if they have a faulty battery, just as your career won’t start without a solid motivation level. Is it hard to get up in the morning to go to work? Do you feel depressed on Sunday evenings, knowing another workweek is around the corner? Do you lack the initiative to volunteer for projects and extra assignments? Poor motivation is difficult to hide, but you can commit to change it with proper discipline and attention. Personal attitude is within your control, not others. Don’t allow yourself to rationalize low motivation by blaming external factors. Give your battery a jump by surrounding yourself with positive people–and going the extra mile at work.
Wheels Out of Balance
When the wheels on a car are out of balance, the tires get run down very quickly. Without proper balance between your personal and business life, you won’t achieve maximum mileage results, either. “Workaholism” is nothing to be proud of. Any positive behavior (including work, exercise, sleep, or eating) can become detrimental when taken to excessive levels. If you find yourself frequently dwelling over work matters at home, or if you are working an inordinate number of hours per week, you need to examine the balance in your life. Neglecting family, hobbies, entertainment, and quiet time for your job will put an unpleasant tread on your life. You will actually perform better at work when other aspects of your life are not ignored.
Worn Shock Absorbers
Shock absorbers are designed to help a car manage inevitable bumps in the road. If you are unable to maneuver over obstacles at work effectively, it may be time to examine your resilience level. One wise man put it well: “Success seems to be largely a matter of hanging on after others have let go.” Are you able to hang on when the going gets rough? Are you easily discouraged and ready to throw in the towel when things go wrong at work? According to another wise man, “If you don’t have problems, you don’t have a job.” If you want to succeed, you must maintain a healthy attitude toward problems and obstacles. Viewing them as challenges rather than nuisances is an excellent way to glide over any bumps in the road.
Take Time for Tune-ups
Tune-ups make cars last longer and improve their performance. Smart car owners take the time for proper maintenance and achieve the best results. Your career tune-ups are just as important to ensure maximum mileage at work. You’ll be on the road to success in no time.