By Edward M. Bury, APR (aka The PRDude)
On this Labor Day 2013, I’m taking a few minutes between important tasks, like planning what protein to grill tomorrow, to offer some advice. The following can be followed by my colleagues in the public relations arena and just about anyone who works in an office environment.
- Increase awareness by 100 percent at the conclusion of reading this post for the value of these tactics.
- Achieve acceptance for the benefits of these tactics by 100 percent of those who are still with me.
- To have 100 percent of readers incorporate these tactics when they return to their desks Tuesday.
Lofty. True, but why not strive for a “Mt. Everest” level of success? Here goes:
- Know When to Approach the Boss. He or she is a busy guy or gal. (Well, they should be.) So, it’s best to be judicious when seeking approval or direction on assignments. If you sense the boss has a pressing task at hand, it’s probably best to hold off for a few hours or until the next day. But if you smell smoke coming from the break room, don’t hesitate to yell, “Hey boss!”
- Follow Business Meeting Etiquette. One general rule, of course, it to show up a few minutes early or at least on time for meetings. But also, be prepared to contribute. Follow the lead of the person who called the meeting. Study the agenda in advance and have constructive and positive comments. Take copious notes.
- Review Meeting Notes Immediately. To follow up on the previous item, review your meeting notes as soon as you return to your desk. Even if you take notes on a tablet or laptop — or still prefer to scribble on a legal pad like me — it’s always advantageous to review your thoughts while they’re still fresh. (If you’ve seen my penmanship, you’ll understand why I follow this practice religiously.)
- Learn How to Prioritize. Each day, I have perhaps a dozen or more tasks, meetings and assignments that I plan to initiate or complete. What to take on first? That’s always a judgment call, but one guideline I believe in is to get quick stuff — phone calls, email correspondence, minor research — done first. Then I tackle the more substantive work.
- Study the Corporate Culture. Every office I’ve worked at, and that’s many over my career, has a culture that’s built upon the nature of the business, the office environment itself, and of course, the people who work there. Each has been different, and each required that I adhere to a singular set of rules. Learn your office culture and find your place in it; you’ll be happier and more productive.
Over the course of publishing this blog, I’ve shared Labor Day advice for those seeking work and advice for public relations professionals entering the work force. I hope my thoughts have been well-received and offered value.
To those in the work force, wishing you continued years of productivity; to those seeking employment, may you be delivered “from the service of self alone.”*
*Adapted from the 1928 Book of Common Prayer.