The Dangers of Being a Go-Getter

Tired of just going through the motions at work? Are you ready to get ahead? Your supervisor will probably be pleased -- but that may not be true of everyone else in your office.

Get Ready for Resistance.

You may have decided that you're ready to reignite your career, but your newfound enthusiasm may not be contagious. In fact, a lot of folks may be resistant to your renewed fervor for your job.

Don't fault coworkers for not being on the same page as you. Don't insist that your team members go above and beyond the call of duty if they aren't willing. Just focus on changes you can personally effect at your company. Your passion may turn out to be infectious eventually, but real change -- in attitude, enthusiasm, and energy -- takes time.

Be Prepared for Resentment.

It's no secret that some people are only interested in a paycheck. Most of these folks coast through each workday, doing just enough to satisfy the requirements of their positions. When someone starts to shake up the status quo by exhibiting an intense interest in work, the "clockwatchers" may start to feel like you're making them look bad.

To avoid bitter feelings, make sure you go through proper channels as you try to make changes. Don't suddenly begin acting as though you're a supervisor when you're not. You won't win any friends and the projects you were pursuing won't get the support they need for completion. Rather, enlist people to help you by asking for assistance -- if they have the interest and the time.

Suspicious Minds Aren't Far Behind.

Your fresh attitude toward work may leave coworkers feeling wary of your motives. If you suddenly begin championing a project or change that sounds like it's coming from upper management, your colleagues may start treating you like you're a spy. They may (mistakenly) believe you're trying to ferret out folks who aren't team players or go-getters. As a result, you could get a certain amount of ribbing ("When did you go over to the dark side?") and find that you're excluded from water cooler conversations.

If you are bothered by the teasing or feel disconnected from good work buddies, set the record straight with a direct conversation. Tell people, "I like working here and I want more responsibility. I'm really hoping to advance." Don't talk about anyone else's apparent lack of interest or motivation and don't apologize for your desire to do a good job and build a better career.

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