How Creativity Can Backfire in the Workplace

Want to get a job or want to keep your job? There, that ought to cover just about everyone between the ages of 18 and 120.
As Obama and the rest of Washington draw up job plan after job plan, let’s make sure we do our part rather than waiting on the government to do their part; it may take them a while anyway.

I love being creative and coming up with the next  ‘new thing,’ being adventurous and trying those ‘new things’ out(, and just having fun. Yet, at times, you just have to get back to basics and follow the instructions. Here are a few…

To Get a Job:

  1. Research the company. Employers often ask questions to guage your interest level in the position and the company. No research, no interest, no job. Sorry Charlie, you just shot yourself in the foot.
  2. Follow the instructions. “Please fill this out and when you’re done, let me know,” the job screener says. Then why are you sitting there waiting for someone to call your name after you filled it out? You’ll probably hear something similar to “we’ll let you know” when they snatch away the clipboard you should’ve handed to the proctor. If you can’t follow very simple instructions at an interview, here is what an employer thinks: he doesn’t listen well. She won’t follow procedures. I can’t trust that person. Let’s not waste our time.
  3. Be real. Enjoy the interview, rather than dreading it. Show genuine interest in the company and the people who are interviewing you. Rule of thumb: you will always communicate proportionate to how you feel. Feel scared? That’s the way you’ll come across. Feel under qualified? They’ll smell it with every word you speak. Be you (unless you’re a hot mess, in which case, be on the lookout for people just like you in places you spend money and try to work there. You’ll fit right in).
To Keep Your Job:

  1. Listen to your boss. Listen to what he says. What he doesn’t say. Act accordingly.
  2. Keep your promises. If you’re not going to do it, or capable of doing it, don’t do it. If you say you’re going to do it, then do it. If you don’t know how to do it, but want to do it, then learn to do it.
  3. Take responsibility. Don’t blame others for your failures, but give others credit when you succeed. Ouch, that may seem painful and humbling. It is, but heck, you’ll still have a job and people will respect you for it.

Not a lot of creativity in those tidbids. It’ll come later after you have the trust and respect of your employers. Maybe then they’ll want to listen.


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