How to Idle Your Way to the Top

 
 
By eweek  |  Posted 2012-05-28
 
 
 

How to Idle Your Way to the Top

written by Deborah Perelman; illustrated by Brian Moore

How to Idle Your Way to the Top

How to Idle Your Way to the Top - Preface

Ever feel like your manager is a moron and you sit with brown-nosing, hopeless workaholics? Pretty sure your career is going nowhere but don't have the guts to quit? Rejoice-help has arrived! What you're doing is working too hard. Bookstores have long been packed with self-help tomes about how to work harder, get ahead, blah blah-essentially, how to be a better Dilbert-but a small-yet-growing segment teach you how to slack your way to the top. Sure, they're a little tongue-in-cheek and a lot subversive, but if a little "demotivation" goes a long way, who are you to argue?

How to Idle Your Way to the Top - Preface

How to Idle Your Way to the Top - Perception Is Everything

"It isn't what you do in the office, but what others think of you at work that matters," said K.P. Springfield, author of "The 5 Habits of Highly Successful Slackers." Convincing others that you are the hardest working guy in IT while you're actually watching a ballgame is the cornerstone of his prescribed slacker habits; get this down, and success will follow.

How to Idle Your Way to the Top - Perception Is Everything

How to Idle Your Way to the Top - Don\t Be a Slave to Technology

Mark Saltzman, author of the "White Collar Slackers Handbook," teaches workers how to wield technology to their advantage. "First, turn off those telltale messages, from 'Sent From My BlackBerry Wireless' to 'Idle' messages on IM. That's none of their business! Then, use your Outlook times to automatically send e-mails after-hours, like at 11p.m.: 'Hey Boss, just got that project done! See you in a few hourse!'"

How to Idle Your Way to the Top - Don\t Be a Slave to Technology

How to Idle Your Way to the Top - Immunize Yourself from Workplace Drama

Avoid getting emotional when things turn south at work-projects will always get cut short, computers will always Blue Screen, layoffs may loom indefinitely. Caring too much will only wear you out and get in the way of your good time.

How to Idle Your Way to the Top - Immunize Yourself from Workplace Drama

How to Idle Your Way to the Top - To Beat Them, Join Them

"Be a team player," Springfield says. "It will offset your lack of productivity." Managers are far more patient with less productive members of a group or meeting than they are with lone individuals lazing through the day.

How to Idle Your Way to the Top - To Beat Them, Join Them

How to Idle Your Way to the Top - Idle Hands Are the Successful\s Tools

"An Urgent Action e-mail is very rarely just that," says Kipling. Always respond that you're "on it" and, more times than not, it will go away. "There's no point in jumping on the task until you've received more than two of these e-mails."

How to Idle Your Way to the Top - Idle Hands Are the Successful\s Tools

How to Idle Your Way to the Top - Keep Your Head Down

Having a low profile is an essential part of being an effective workplace slacker. "You need to be able to sneak out at lunchtime with your bag and your jacket without overachievers paying attention," Kipling says.

How to Idle Your Way to the Top - Keep Your Head Down

How to Idle Your Way to the Top - Avoid Promotions Like the Plague

In "Bonjour Paresse (Hello Laziness)," Corinne Maier, a French economist, warns that one should never accept a position of responsibility for any reason. You'll only have to work harder for what amounts to peanuts. Theres a reason they call it "middle manager hell."

How to Idle Your Way to the Top - Avoid Promotions Like the Plague

How to Idle Your Way to the Top - Beeline for the Most Useless Positions

Having a useless position-"strategist", "development" or "special projects"-makes it impossible to assess your contribution to the wealth of the company, said Maier. Better yet, once you get one of those positions, never move. "It is only the most exposed who get fired."

How to Idle Your Way to the Top - Beeline for the Most Useless Positions

How to Idle Your Way to the Top - Look and Sound the Part

That old saying about not dressing for the job you have but the job you want goes a long way for slackers, too. Wear jeans and old t-shirts, you give yourself away too easily. Jargon works, too: Speaking only in tech-ese will make people suspect you really know what's going on, plus keep them from asking you too many questions.

How to Idle Your Way to the Top - Look and Sound the Part

How to Idle Your Way to the Top - Smart Slackers Finish First

Most importantly, realize that there is a difference between the stereotypical slacker and the successful one. "The traditional slacker is lazy and reclusive and doesn't want to do anything. The successful is actually a motivated person who wants to be successful, but the understand the concept of futility and don't want to waste time and effort on unproductive work," said Springfield. This person always gets ahead.

How to Idle Your Way to the Top - Smart Slackers Finish First

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