Books: Real Talk: An Office How-toBy
The Thing about Work tells us what we need to know about how to act and react in the office, on the road, and in our personal lives. This book by Robert Moran is a worker’s manual, a great compilation of ideas, observations, and advice in easy-to-read, short blurbs that are often as funny as they are informative.
In a world where we’re all connected, everything is public information. One chapter, “What Happens on the Road Does Not Stay on the Road,” explodes the “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” myth. We—or someone else—is always Instagramming, tweeting, or posting group pictures on Facebook. What we need to remember is that what happens both inside and outside the office can make, or break, a career.
Dogs in the office? Tattoos? Performance reviews? Meetings? How to dress? Holidays? Business travel? Moran weighs in on all of these and many more issues encountered in a career journey. His advice is based on his experience and a lifetime of close observation of many workplaces, with an emphasis on California-based tech companies.
This is a must-read for everyone starting a career or wondering why they may not be advancing in or enjoying their work. Moran covers what no one tells us directly. Most of us have had to pick up this insight over time, from trial and error, if at all. But this book also answers questions many people don’t even know to ask. Chapters like “Career Paths Are Accidents” and “Welcome to Abilene” had me laughing and nodding in agreement. Do you really want to be warming up those odorous leftovers in the company kitchen? Or being the pariah who leaves food in the shared refrigerator until it ferments? While I don’t agree with some of these ideas (I am much more in favor of virtual work teams, as well as dogs and children at the office), almost everything else is spot on.
I really liked this book. Grab a copy and take it all under consideration. At least some of the advice will be useful if, for example, you are dealing with a new or unknown colleague, manager, or company or if you have just moved to the United States or are starting your first office job. You can learn how to fit in at work and fit work into your life. I hope you find it to be another useful tool in your library of information and enjoy it as much as I did.