There’s one in every office: the annoying co-worker who is clearly the boss’s favorite but not because he or she is a the hardest worker in the office.
As annoying as these people can be, don’t be too quick to plot their demise. In fact, you can pick up some of their habits that will enhance your career and even propel you up the corporate ladder.
Lesson No. 1: Attitude is Everything. Even if your colleague’s attitude seems phony, offensive or downright annoying, he probably has a can-do approach and seems to take on every challenge and task with the attitude that nothing is too big to handle. Your attitude and how you approach your job responsibilities have a major impact on your career advancement.
No. 2: Control Your Buttons. No matter where you work, you will always encounter people who push your buttons, and for the sake of your career (and sanity) you must learn to cope with these people. The truth is, people can't push buttons in you that aren't there. You must learn how to remove them, or they will rule you and will likely prevent you from being successful.
Lesson No. 3: You Don’t have to be the Smartest Worker. Relationships are key to succeed in business. After all, skills can always be learned with experience. Establishing a wide range of alliances with colleagues, bosses and other industry professionals, you are setting yourself up for long-term success.
Lesson No. 4: You Need Face Time with the Boss. Bosses are more likely to give a raise or promotion to workers they have a lot of face time and interaction with, so don’t be afraid to seek out help or guidance. Some workers limit their time with the boss to avoid having their colleagues view them as a “suck up” but that can be a career drainer. Sure, you want to make sure you have healthy relationships with colleagues, but constantly worrying about what others think will keep you from what you’re truly capable of achieving.
Lesson No. 5: Don’t Become the “Office Suck Up.” It’s important to have the boss think highly of you and your work, but don’t do it in a manner that alienates yourself from your colleagues. While the worker might get constant praise or be the first to be promoted, at some point, the lack of well-rounded professional relationships will have a negative long-term impact on a career. After all, you can’t be an effective leader if you don’t have people on your side, and you never know when a subordinate or peer will become your boss down the line!
Lindsay Broder, The Occupreneur™ Coach (on Twitter @occupreneur), is a certified professional coach based in New York. A Wall Street veteran, she specializes in Occupreneur™ coaching, strategy and crisis management services for executives, business leaders and organizations who strive to improve their businesses or careers.