Hello, and welcome to May! I recently returned from studying the noble art of sumo wrestling in Japan, which isn’t at all true but which would be a killer career for me to pivot into. I think all I’d have to do is learn how to tie that giant diaper thing correctly and gain about 423 pounds. I should be ready by August.
And just like I’m hoping to someday be pulverized by a handful of enormous diaper-wearing monster people, millions of people at this very moment are excited about starting on their own professional journey. In honor of graduation season, and as some of you already know, we’re in the middle of our Save the New Hires! campaign (link to this), which is our admittedly unorthodox way of trying to teach the world’s newest employees that “finding great deals on Groupon” probably isn’t in their job description. (Some of them also think that sweat pants qualify as ‘business casual.’ Honestly, it’s amazing that some of them are even able to dress themselves at all, bless their little hearts.)
So in an attempt to save us all from ourselves, we’ve decided to share a few common habits you should probably avoid whenever you’re on the clock. If you’ve never held a real job before, you should probably keep reading to find out what they are. And if you have had a real job, you should probably keep reading too. Because I’ll bet anything you’ve done at least one of these yourself in the last month. I know I have!
Develop a Habit of Showing Up 5-10 Minutes Late For Everything!
I was born 2 weeks late, which I have always taken to mean that time is an arbitrary figment of our imaginations and that it’s not all that important to stick to a schedule. My mother, on the other hand, is fond of occasionally telling me that before I was even born she already wanted me dead, since it’s the rare pregnant woman who is still glowy and exuberant 19 months into her pregnancy. And your colleagues and superiors will develop the same desire for your untimely demise if you consistently show up to everything just a little bit late. After all, if you’re crazy late once in a while, you can pass that off on a traffic accident, an unexpected important phone call, or even a lapse in judgment. But if you’re always consistently just a little bit late, all you can really say is, “Yeah, I knew what time to be here, but I just couldn’t bring myself to care very much. And I never will!”
Cultivate a Passive-Aggressive Attitude!
Passive people tend to do what you tell them or to wait for a healthy amount of information before making a decision about how to proceed, which means they’re thoughtful and reliable. Aggressive people tend to push people beyond their comfort zones and to refuse to accept ‘no’ for an answer, which means they’re positively disruptive. But passive-aggressive people tend to talk down to others, say one thing while planning to do another, and smile with only their lips and never their eyes. Which means they’re just begging to be whacked upside the head.
Focus on Potential Obstacles Rather Than Potential Solutions!
A friend of mine (what you’re about to read is all completely true, by the way) recently ran in a Zombie Run, which was essentially a six-mile obstacle course where actors dressed like zombies occasionally come charging out of the woods and chase you. (Side note: It sounds like a ton of fun, and I totally want to do one now.) At one point during the race he was confronted by a long pool of “blood” sprinkled with fake intestines that he had to swim across. After making sure there were no pretty girls around, he gleefully jumped into the pool of fake blood and intestines to avoid capture by zombies and continue the race. He could have concentrated on how gross it all was and given up, but he was determined to succeed. What’s my point? It’s that if you focus on the goal, you’ll eventually get there. But if you focus on the pit of intestines standing between you and your goal, then you’ll eventually get eaten by zombies. It’s that simple, and I couldn’t possibly think of a weirder analogy to describe the business world if I wanted to. (But I promise I’ll keep trying!)
And that should do it! I’m sure there are some other horrible practices you should flee from at all costs, but I think this should give everyone reading a good head start on their competition. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go buy some diapers and eat a lot of ice cream and bacon bits. Only 423 pounds to go!