Workplace Rights

Weekly (10/24/11)

Topic of the Week  Finder's Keepers: How to keep your job

Finder's Keepers: How to keep your job:

  • DO change one thing.
  • DO mange your boss.
  • DO listen to peers.
  • DON'T wait to contribute.

Finder's Keepers: How to keep your job:

Today the average length of time that it takes to get a job is 40 weeks, the longest on record. With it so tough to get a job, once you do get one you want to be sure that you do everything you can to keep it. Which reminds me of a recent item I read in the news, a federal judge in Detroit said that there was nothing that he could do after a couple of government officials totaled a $750,000 confiscated Ferrari after taking it for a joy ride. Apparently federal law gives the government immunity from lawsuits over any loss of evidence that is being held for a criminal investigation, even when it happens for a really dumb reason.

Those government workers could take advantage of a joyride, but you can't when you're starting a new job. And this is a big deal because according to a Leadership IQ study, 46% of new hires fail in the first year on the job. Believe it or not, the failure rate for bosses is even higher according to DDI, 53%. That's why I'm providing three Do's and one Don't for starting your new job off the correct way. For more workplace strategies, check out

DO change one thing. A new job is like the first day of high school you can reinvent yourself. Look back at your previous jobs and talk to former colleagues for a few things that you can change in your new gig. For example, did you get feedback that you talked too much at meetings? Then always bring a cup to future meetings and before you speak up take a sip. This will allow other people to contribute. Make the commitment that you'll change one thing in this job.

DO manage your boss. The biggest mistake that most people make at work? They think that it's their bosses job to get along with them. This entitlement mentality has gotten a lot of people in trouble. It's your job to make the relationship with your boss work. I think the best relationships between an employee and a boss are one part provocateur and one part suck up. There are times when you need to challenge your boss and other times when you need to let the boss know you've got their back.

DO listen to peers. Get to know your new coworkers by listening to them. Ask a lot of questions and genuinely appear interested in what they have to say. Most people only focus on their boss, it is a terrible mistake to overlook your colleagues.

DON'T wait to contribute. You want to always be on the lookout for a chance to contribute. It's never too early to hit the ground running. And this is another reason why coworkers are so important, you can bounce your ideas off them to find out what's worked and hasn't worked in the past.
Follow these strategies and you'll get a lot of joy from your new ride at work.

Bob Rosner is a best-selling author and award-winning journalist. For free job and work advice, check out the award-winning Check the revised edition of his Wall Street Journal best seller, "The Boss's Survival Guide." If you have a question for Bob, contact him via

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