How to tell if it’s going to be a bad day (and what to do to make it better)

Part of my mission as a writer is to collect and communicate success strategies of people more successful than myself. But Fridays are great days to deliver less than stellar news. And, I believe that it is best to be prepared. Watch out for these telltale signs that things won’t be going your way in the near future:

1. You get a free copy of Who Moved My Cheese. It’s sitting there, right on your chair, when you arrive in the morning.

2. You get “invited” to the “other” meeting down the hall. It’s in the smaller conference room or even offsite.

3. You log on and your email or Internet service doesn’t work (or you get a call from a friend saying that a recent email sent to you bounced).

4. Someone from facility management inventories your office furniture or painters show up and then realize that they’re a day early.

5. George Winston music – or the like – is playing in your boss’ office and you remember that he/she doesn’t like George Winston.

6. Your co-workers invite you out for lunch (don’t worry, they say, it’s on them) or for a few drinks after work (let’s go at three).

7. You get introduced to a guest of your company as being “most recently with” (drop in current employer name here).

8. People start telling you about the benefits of getting a realtor’s license or they start asking if you still have that dream of opening a bed & breakfast.

9. Your boss tells you to skip the client meeting and meet him/her for breakfast at a quiet restaurant far away from the office.

10. You’re asked to present your portfolio to your new boss and you realize that you have not produced anything that makes you proud in the last six months.

Seriously, bad things happen to some very talented people in this industry. Clients leave, jobs get cut to boost profits, people feel threatened because you are younger, older, their age. Even some of the most successful people in the business have experienced extreme low points in their careers.

At the risk of sounding obvious, there’s only one thing we can control on my list—the quality of our portfolios. It’s also the only thing that could help save our jobs or enable us to get new ones should something happen. So here is my question: What have you done for it today? Ask this question every day. And, every day, you should be able to give at least one answer.

I truly hope you have a good day. If not, remember, tomorrow will be a better one, especially if you focus on improving the quality of your portfolio.

16 comments:

M Guy said...

So, seriously, I came into the office last week, and sitting square in the middle of my desk was an 800 page, $65 Successful Managers Handbook - never been opened. No one will fess up to putting it there and I'm still a little concerned. Oh, and my wife loves George Winston. Am I screwed or what?

Laurence Minsky said...

No, it's only when the person doesn't like George Winston and is still playing it.

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