These 2 things predict success at work

I went to the doctor's office today for a follow-up. While there, I couldn't help but notice how chaotic the environment was. All three ladies at reception seemed to be tending to three things at once, leaving me to wonder when I was finally going to be attended.

We try to adjust our working style and personality to fit the nature and pressures of our job, sometimes with no success.

Some of us work in fast-paced environments where having to meet multiple deadlines within a short time frame is par for the course.

Others might work in, say, a government agency where the tempo is much slower, people have the breathing room to tackle one thing at a time, and projects might take weeks if not months to be finalized.

I find myself in the latter camp. While my job tends to get boring sometimes because of endless red tape slowing things to a crawl, I prefer this to a position where I feel overwhelmed -- with too much work but too little of me to go around. I've been in that situation too, and it prompted me to quit my job on both occasions.

I'm very detail-oriented and thorough. I am at my very best when given the opportunity to throw myself wholeheartedly into one project at a time. "Fast-paced" and "multi-task" simply aren't in my vocabulary.

I realize this is expected of employees at many companies these days. But many employers have discovered that people have dissimilar working styles.

This is dictated in part by our personality. Some of us can't stand the thought of being at a cubicle all day and are instead always running around the office. Then there are the those perfectly happy being holed up in their cubicle until 5:30.

Thus, you should only work in settings that compliment your working style and personality. If you couldn't bear working with children and being on your feet most of the day, don't even think about becoming a cop, teacher, or construction worker. If you want a job that lets you work at a more deliberate pace, you might want to consider working at a bank or library.

If your job imposes demands on you that conflict with your working style and personality -- and you're unable or unwilling to change either of them for the sake of the job -- you won't last very long in that post.

The best thing to do is ask plenty of questions during the interview to get a better sense of what the job entails and what kind of person they're looking for. You may not get a good feel for what is expected of you until you're on the job, but hiring managers will usually be quick to point out the qualities and working style they seek in the ideal candidate.

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