You won’t find this in any Warren Buffett book on how to become a billionaire, but from the Suzanne Boyd file – learning how to be successful at your career is as easy as studying one of the most mind-numbing reality shows.
“Big Brother” is the CBS guilty pleasure that puts strangers in a house without TV, internet or any connection to the outside world. They live there for up to 3 months, voting each other out and the last man (or woman) standing gets a $500,000 prize. All you have to do is watch the characters on the show to realize: what wins Big Brother also wins in real life and could land you that promotion you’ve been hoping for.
Make Yourself Valuable
In the Big Brother house, the person who cooks and cleans usually stays longer than the slob who expects everyone to clean up after him. Same at work. Learn how to do as much as you can. There’s nothing a boss wants to hear less than “that’s not my job!”. Be the first one there and the last one to leave. When your boss gives you an opportunity – jump at it.
This is one of the most important aspects of winning the Big Brother show. Those who create alliances – no matter how strange – go further in the game. That holds true at the office. Find out who can help you at work and create an alliance with them. I have my go-to photographers, assignment editors, producers and managers at CBS 12 – the people who have my back and vice versa. Even the receptionist – who holds the keys to the coffee and the front door – calls me her “sister from another mister” because we’re always looking out for each other.
Fake It Til You Make It
Your boss asks you to do something, but you’re not really sure how. Don’t say you’re clueless! Ask someone. Get it done. You think anyone in the Big Brother house really knows how to “play the game”? They don’t! They figure it out as they go along.
Play the “Social” Game
Be funny. Be nice. Lighten the mood when things get too serious. Listen to someone when they have a problem. Notice people when they aren’t being noticed. Compliment them. These are all social traits that work well when you’re competing on a reality TV show *and* when you’re competing for a promotion at work. Bottom line – bosses want to keep people around who are positive and make the office a happier place.
Don’t Cause Drama
Don’t let your personal issues spill into the workplace. It’s okay if you have a bad day once in a while, but leave the drama at home. Reality show producers love those who create drama because they make good TV, but they don’t make good employees and they rarely win the game or a promotion.
When You Leave, Go Graciously
This is HUGE! You’re probably thinking – I’m leaving, so who cares if I say nasty things? Well, on Big Brother – one housemate who gets kicked out wins $25,000 based on America’s vote. Those who are gracious almost always win that prize. If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years – no matter the profession – you will see and deal with some of the same people over and over and over again. NEVER burn a bridge.