The Rules of WorkA key thought to begin The Rules of Work with is that this is a summary of just over 100 different topic areas, to help you learn about yourself and what you need to focus on. It's not an in depth textbook on any of those 100 areas. Rather, it gives you an overview of different areas to learn about. If you realize that you have serious problems with step XXX on not swearing, then it's time to get a book to help you with that task. If you know that you whine all the time and step XXX instructs you to stop whining, then you focus on that task. This is a "first pass" at improving your work world.
You could certainly argue that many of these steps are common sense, but we also all know people who do these things, so clearly the book is needed! For every step that a person feels "well everyone knows that", we could also easily think up examples of people who do NOT know how important it is. That's why the book exists.
So what are these tips?
Do your job *well*. Be unflappable and unstopptable. Build contingencies into your deadlines - never be late or short. Learn what others do wrong, and make sure you do those correctly. Cultivate an aura of calm - don't run, don't panic. Smile, be confident, have a calm handshake, speak and write clearly. Focus on your objectives in life and create step by step goals.
Don't take sides. Don't lose your temper, don't get personal. Don't gossip, moan, or complain. Never lie, keep records and notes, don't steal. Try to be respectful to everyone. Don't backstab.
Some might complain that a portion of the tips are about fitting in. However, being realistic, fitting in to a group is fairly key in success. You want to dress neatly, be a team player. It's a measureable fact of work life. It's not shallow or strange to help people learn how to fit into a group situation. It's what working in a team is all about.
Also, I'm happy that a key item mentioned here is *ENJOY YOUR JOB*. Find something you genuinely want to do. It will make all the other tips so much easier.
On the down side, the book is clearly focused on a person whose main priority are money. Every tip is geared towards money, money, money. I certainly understand that, especially in this economy, many people are desperate for money and would go for anything at all to get it. However, I would hope that even there that people would also have values of having a supportive community, giving back to their local area, spending time with family, whatever they are. I would have liked to see a rounder set of priorities presented. There are many people I know who would be happy with a career move where they made the same money and had more time with their family, for example.
Still, it's a fairly minor complaint. Hopefully you already know your values before you pick up a book, and you're using the tips for guidance. The tips are quite valid, and undoubtedly with 100 or so tips there will be some that speak to each of us. Person 1 might think the tip on "don't gossip" is common sense - and person 2 might gossip regularly and not realize how much it's harming their career. I enjoyed reading this, and I'll be passing it along to someone for them to enjoy as well!
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