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Is Your Workplace Game Good Enough?

By Miriam Fry

As more and more people become unemployed and are forced to re-enter the workforce, competition for available jobs increases, and we have to learn to step up our workplace game. It’s important to create your own personal brand on the job so that everyone there knows that you’re serious. Two recent Cosmopolitan articles with conflicting advice on what’s appropriate at work made me wonder: Do the women who read these articles take every word seriously?

With a lack of jobs already prevalent and another class of college graduates entering the workforce after May graduation, I wanted to establish my opinion on what Cosmo printed and on what workplace rules some women live by. Chelsea Handler’s “Chelsea Lets Loose” article has a section titled ‘When Your Boss is a Bitch,’ which includes her suggestion that you should explain your sex life to your boss in order to get her to loosen up. Neither your sex life nor any other aspect of your personal life should be discussed on the job, and you should especially make it a point to not talk to your boss about it! One, it’s just unprofessional and two, chances are she doesn’t care and would rather you put your energy into your work — after all, that’s what she hired you for.

While I hope readers do not take Handler too seriously on this topic, Kelly Cutrone, head of the PR firm People’s Revolution, had some worthy advice. Cutrone’s Cosmo article addresses the personal life issue, stating that if a co-worker is always stopping by your desk to chat about her personal life, you should suggest the two of you talk after work and then apologize to your boss for the unprofessional behavior. In addition, Cutrone said that we all should strive to be the one employee who volunteers to stay late. “If somebody is competitive, sincere, and willing to go the extra mile, I really appreciate it,” she wrote. Cutrone thus emphasized the importance of making yourself stand out in a positive way amidst your co-workers.

Standing out amongst your co-workers is the most important part of your personal brand. You want your boss to know your work when she sees it. What are some other ways to show your boss you’re serious? Show up before her and leave after her. Never sit around doing nothing; people don’t like it when you waste their time. Ask for extra projects or clean out the smelly refrigerator that everyone complains about. Finally, make sure your boss knows that you are there to promote her, instead of yourself.

What have you found really impresses your boss?


  1. Post comment

    Hi Miriam,

    This is a great blog. I spend so much time focusing on my jobs that I forget the importance of marketing myself as well. I agree that standing out amongst your co-workers is the most important part of your personal brand. This is what gets you the projects that lead to advancements in your career.

    In all of the internships I’ve done finding work without being asked has always impressed the boss. I have also been told to always put my name as a header in the work I create. This allows for credit to go where credit is due. Nothing is more disheartening then watching others take credit for the work you have done.

    Christine Kapurch


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