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Far easier than finding a new job is to hold onto the one you already have. I manage a small business with a couple of employees, like many others, business is currently down. So far I’ve avoided laying anyone off, but if things don’t improve, that will have to change soon.
With this heavy in my mind, I’ve been thinking about the traits I like and those I dislike in each of my employees. Weighing the pros and cons of each, I’m watching and mulling it over.
While I have not reached a decision, I have reached a few conclusions which may be helpful to those in the same boat as those I manage.
1) Be on time most of the time (these days you may want to be on time every day). This seems simple but my employees are late more than they are on time, and just because your boss doesn’t ream you out does not mean that he doesn’t notice. On time means at your desk starting work, not walking in at the deadline in need of a chat at the water cooler and a ten minute restroom trip.
2) Don’t complain about co-workers. All your boss wants is the work to get done, nothing more nothing less. He doesn’t care how the work gets done, but he notices. When it comes time for lay offs, he will know who gets the work done but he will also know who makes his day more stressful by whining about the work ethics of others. The best way to show up slackers is to go above and beyond what is required of you. Instead of trusting your boss to choose between the adequate and the inadequate, give him the choice between the stellar and the inadequate.
3) Leave the drama at home. Your co-workers will be sympathetic through one or two crises a year, if you create more than that in your life then keep it to yourself. You not showing up for work (or worse, showing up and being unable to do your job in the proper manner) creates a crisis for your boss. If you have a weekly crisis, suffer in silence and do your job.
4) Learn the skills necessary to do your job. Usually when you hire in, you have most of the skills to do a competent job. But if you have been hired into a position that you are not qualified for, then learn the skills necessary to do your job. Relying on others to do the part that you can’t is fine for a week, a month at most. If it has been years and you still can’t do your job properly, be prepared for the unemployment line.

Those are the ones that come to mind now, I’ll add more as they come to me.

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