Get a Personality and Save Your Job

6 ways to become the employee that your boss wants to manage and your colleagues want to work with.

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Sure, you might be efficient, effective, fluent in six languages, able to recite large chunks of the employee handbook, and never complain about the freezing cold or feverishly hot office thermostat settings.

But if you have no personality, you might get canned. MSNBC reports that in a tight economy, bosses tend to hang on to the people they like, while loners should "start sprucing up" their résumés.

Why is this helpful to know? Because of all the ways to avoid getting fired, it might be easiest to get personality! It takes time to get experience, and it's pretty tough to regain youthfulness—but personality can be developed quickly.

Here are six tips, drawn largely from our slate of On Careers: Outside Voices bloggers:

Become a social coordinator among your colleagues. Not only is workplace isolation bad for your career—it's also bad for your state of mind.

Listen to the people below you. You can't pretend to listen, and you can't do it passively, either. It's an important skill that takes work but pays off in respect. (Hat Tip: Michael Wade of Execupundit.)

Own your mistakes. Showing responsibility, some remorse, and an ability to rebound can ease the minds of your managers. (HT: Alison Green of Ask a Manager.)

Get comfortable with sales. Whether you design bathtubs, deliver babies, or clean swimming pools, you need to learn to sell yourself and your ideas. Being convincing can earn you confidence, respect, and a new set of tools. (HT: G.L. Hoffman of What Would Dad Say.)

Take pride in what you do. When you feel like your work is insignificant—it shows. Take the time to record your own accomplishments. (HT: Andrew G.R. of Jobacle.)

Put your ego on hiatus. Try giving a great assist to another employee, rather than shoving him out of the way to hog the spotlight.


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