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Succeed at work and life

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in Career Management,Workplace Communication

Richard Moran, author of The Thing About Work: Showing Up and Other Important Matters [A Worker’s Manual], offers this advice for excelling in the workplace—and in life:

Finish. Complete your projects and tasks, do what you say you will and work toward your goal. If you gain a reputation as someone who does not finish, you’ll ruin your career.

Respond. When you are unresponsive, you waste everyone’s time and slow progress. Return calls and voicemails within 24 hours. Respond to texts and emails the same day, and when an issue is urgent, respond immediately.

Focus on the tough stuff first. People often go after the “low-hanging fruit,” but as Moran says, the low-hanging fruit is the last to receive more sun. Easy work is easy, but the difficult stuff is often more rewarding.

Don’t make things so complicated. Moran recalls a time when he was interviewing a candidate in Starbucks. The candidate ordered a complicated drink with 10 different instructions. He thought “This person will be too high maintenance,” and that among other things kept him from hiring her. Do your best to keep things simple, drama-free and efficient.

Buy business cards. Moran thinks it’s a mistake to forgo business cards and rely only on technology to connect with others. Get some business cards and hand them out.

— Adapted from “Keep Your Coffee Order Simple, and Other Practical Workplace Tips,” Harvey Schachter, The Globe and Mail, www.theglobeandmail.com.

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