Starting off on right foot


Most people know that landing a new job or getting a promotion is hard, but did you realize that succeeding in a new position can be even tougher?

A story in National Business Employment Weekly, August 25, titled "Starting Out Right" is worth reading. Excerpts: "Before you start in a new position, review relevant company information such as mission statements, strategic plans, organizational charts, etc. . . . Identify who you'll be dealing with on a regular basis . . . Talk with your boss . . . Get to know your staff; interview each subordinate . . . Meet customers; ask them what is and isn't working well and solicit suggestions for improvements . . . Cultivate peer relationships; take low-key but systematic approach to developing friendships with co-workers."

SEPTEMBER SONGS: "Reward your boss with a sincere compliment or note of appreciation when he/she has done something outstanding, like closing a major sale." (Winning Office Politics by Andrew DuBrin) . . . "Career-plateaued people are prime candidates for demotion, layoff or early retirement. Common characteristics: poor attitude, poor performance, complacency, resistance to change, etc." (Goodrich & Sherwood, outplacement consultants) . . . Hurrying to work, do you skip breakfast? "No-breakfast/heart attack connection: skipping breakfast increases platelet activity by 2 1/2 times of those who eat breakfast, a factor responsible for blood clotting, strokes and heart attacks." (Newfoundland Memorial Hospital study).

MARYLAND MEMOS: When I asked the owner of a downtown men's clothing store, "Is business pretty fair these days?" he responded, "Even 'fair' would be good." . . . The owner of a large Baltimore uniform rental firm told me, "Business hasn't picked up as much as we thought it would. After a brief flurry of uniform rental 'add-ons,' layoffs are terrible again. I've rarely seen it this 11 bad." . . . "Did you know that since 1978, it has been illegal in Maryland to use automatic dialing machines for telephone solicitations? If it happens to you, play along, leave your name and number on the caller's machine and when you get a call back from a real person, get as much information as possible and file a complaint with the Baltimore Better Business Bureau (347-3990). We will take it from there, possibly disconnecting the company's line." (BBB Bulletin)

BALTIMORE & BEYOND: "When Baltimore's McCormick & Co., the largest producer of spices, discovered in 1986 that profits were flat, executives favored the conventional solution: downsize. But instead, CEO 'Buzz' McCormick poured millions into new product development and marketing schemes. Profits are now growing 10 percent a year." (Success, September) . . . "If you want a friend, get a dog." (Caller to local radio talk show) . . . A real estate man told me that this market is the worst he has seen in 20 years, explaining, "the banks just won't lend any money." . . . "The IRS has added $6 a month to the amount employers can give employees tax-free to subsidize their use of mass transit; clip this item and send it to your personnel department." (Kiplinger's Personal Finance, September) . . . "If you must ask for a raise, time your request to coincide with one of your major accomplishments, your company's success and/or with one of your boss's better moods." (Smart Moves by Sam Deep and Lyle Sussman).

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