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Career Focus

Office Survivability

By LISA TRUDEL - January 9 2020

What is office survivability? It is understanding that career success is not only about accomplishing your job tasks and your performance goals, it is also about relating appropriately with a group of people that you might not know or even want to know.

This is not always easy and might require a review of the following 7 tips so you can develop and improve your office survivability.

1) Avoid gossip: workplace gossip can cause unwanted office tension. Most of all, work productivity diminishes when you whisper behind closed doors.

2) Acceptance: if your boss believes something is important, treat it like it is.

3) Ridicule: never mock anyone.  Avoid telling jokes or stories that could offend someone even if they are not present.

4) Communication: understand that what you say may not be what the other person hears and what you hear may not be what the other person means.

5) Complaints: if you choose to whine to the boss, focus on the resolution you want instead of the details of the situation that is bothering you.

6) Pause: avoid speaking when you are upset. You can never unsay what you have already said.

7) Attitude: try to maintain an optimistic approach at the office. 

Having a positive attitude can become a learned behaviour. Refresh yourself by reviewing the following 5 tips:

1) Start every workday as if you expect it to be a good one.

2) Treat yourself as if you are the most important person in your life. Believe that you matter to many people and that your time is of value.

3) Remember that the most important conversation of your day is the conversation you have with yourself. If you hear yourself being negative, reframe your thoughts to something positive.

4) Let go of frustration.  When you are aggravated, ask yourself if it will matter in the future, and if not, let it go.

5) Learn something new every day. When you are heading home after your workday, ask yourself what you discovered about yourself or from the people or situations that either annoyed or encouraged you.

If you choose to be an employee and work in an office, make 2020 the year that you improve your personal office survivability. Your career success might depend on it.

To learn more about workplace retention, or job search, contact your local Employment Ontario Career Centre. 

This article was submitted by Lisa Trudel, Career Specialist with the Centre for Education and Training. She works at their Parliament Employment Services location in downtown Toronto where she assists unemployed job seekers navigate new career directions. She can be contacted at:

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