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Don’t be a zombie

Maybe you can do your job on your ear.

Phoning in your job, never going out of your way to help those around you, and never showing any enthusiasm. That’s an office zombie.

Whatever your job is, don’t let it make you a zombie. And don’t run away from it by using your work time to do anything but work.

Part of showing you’ve got the right stuff is to help people whenever you can, and to be positive about whatever you’re asked to do.

My first university job involved comparing two lists 30cm thick to make sure that customer names and addresses matched on two different databases. I worked solidly for three days before they asked me to do something else. When I did that right they offered me enough work to pay my way through the next year.

And it applies beyond entry level jobs. A client was stuck under a very political boss who gave her the worst and most boring projects. But she was so unfailingly positive and focused (and competent) that she got noticed. And ended up a Global Director inside 5 years.

It can be hard to take. You have to spice it up, use helping others to make things interesting, and always focus on doing things better and faster. It’s either that, or be one of the walking dead.

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