Top 10 Ways to Survive Today's Office

Life at work can be fun, serious, harried, confusing, and rewarding. Sometimes it happens all in the same day. In a world where the only thing constant is change, here are 10 things to learn, not only to survive, but to thrive!

By Ann-Marie Latoski

  1. Don't expect anything - like someone to always tell you what to do
    Have you ever sat and waited on others for direction. (They should be telling me what to do right?) If someone wanted to tell you what to do, trust me, they would have done it already. Be confident and move forward.
  2. If someone else is making a decision, let them own it Wishing you had the authority to decide something on another's plate won't change their decision. It also doesn't do them any favours if you are trying to hold on to whatever they need to do. Allow them to do what they believe is right.
  3. Fix what you can, don’t sweat what you can’t
    If you have the ability to make something better at work, to clear up a misunderstanding, make a decision, or recommend a better process, then do it. If you don't have the ability to change it, simply let it be.
  4. Everyone wants to do a good job
    Really! People don't set out to get it wrong, or miss the mark. They act on what they know, and what they actually heard of the directions.
  5. Let your head drive business, and your heart guide your head
    Use your brains, it is what got you to the job you are in, but always pay attention to your gut, if something doesn't feel right, it is worth digging into, and if it feels good, go with it!
  6. A lot of it is point of view
    You may work hard producing something that only gets 5 minutes airtime at the meeting, but without that piece of information, the meeting may have revolved for hours around the lack of that knowledge. A certain piece of information means something different to different people in different areas of the organization, and most certainly to different levels of management.
  7. Effective direction conveys the intent and allows the other to develop the content
    Paint a clear picture of the desired result, the best end state (including anything you don't want along the way), then give freedom and space which allows others to use their knowledge, skills and creativity to build something beyond your imagination. Of course, if you know exactly what you want, and how you want it done, then just say that. There is a time and a place for each.
  8. Don’t just react, write the e-mail, walk away, then re-write it a couple of times without the negative emotion
    Peel it back to facts and data, don't assume, and clarify information. Perpetuating negative emotions can make them grow exponentially. Make it your standard to always drop the bad feelings, and get on with business.
  9. A leader stands in their own space and allows other to do the same
    Leaders understand their own ability to influence any situation they come into contact with, and they accept that responsibility. They respect all others, acknowledging that we all have purpose in being here, and that no one of us is greater than another.
  10. Don’t take work or yourself too seriously
    There will be times when things go wrong, when work piles up or needs to be re-done, and stuff happens. So why not enjoy it anyways?

Ann-Marie is a dynamic leader, speaker, author and coach. As former Marketing Director for the printed SuperPages in Canada, Ann-Marie is known for her vision, passion and business success. Her first book, Sweet Success and Integrity is full of practical wisdom and guidance for surviving life at the office. Visit her at or email

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