1. Avoid gossip
It happens far too easily. It’s important to remember that gossip is a form of information sharing, but to understand that the intention (whether good or bad) is irrelevant. It’s best avoided, not only because of the impact it has on interpersonal relationships, but because it is also a toxic experience for the person doing it. Our words and thoughts hold so much power and have the potential to shift our experience of the world.
2. Speak up
This ties back to using words wisely. If you’re in a situation where you feel you have been treated unfairly, don’t shy away from speaking about it. Set a time to meet with the relevant person and discuss it from a professional place. Legally, there are laws that protect you. You don’t ever have to feel like you’re vulnerable when you know your actions are legally compliant. It’s also better for inter-personal relationships at work to keep communication flowing openly, honestly and professionally. The last thing you want to do is build up a store of grudges or feelings of resentment.
3. Manage upwards
As much as you have people you report to or a manager whose job it is to manage you – you also need to manage the people who you report to. It’s important to know what ticks them off and to go about business in a strategic manner. Ultimately, business is based on tactics. If you can master this, without manipulation, you’re already winning.
4. Practice professional courage
Yes, you might be aware that that job you have in mind is slightly out of your league. It could be, but only for now. If there is a position you are after and you know that you’re capable of meeting the requirements in a foreseeable timeframe. What’s stopping you from going after it? Go for and don’t shy away from learning, and embracing new challenges. Bravery and business go hand-in-hand.
5. Use your time
Sometimes you’re going to miss deadlines or meet them, but miss out on aspects of your personal life. You’re going to wake up some mornings feeling properly run down, despite having gone to bed at a respectable 10pm. The point is, that we all have 24-hours in a day and we need to own the amount of time we spend on the various tasks each day presents. Make sure you honour what is truly important. If, on any given day, resting becomes that thing – so be it. You can’t only work and you certainly can’t only spend your time having fun – but somewhere between it all there must be engagement, enthusiasm or a sense of purpose about the way in which you spend your time.
6. Expand your network
Push your boundaries. If you do a cost-benefit analysis, comfort zones aren’t feasible. It makes sense for you to make a conscious effort to connect with people within your field and those in a variety of other fields. You never know when those relationships can help you – better still, you never know when those relationships present an opportunity for you to help somebody else.
This article originally appeared on marie claire South Africa.