From the desk of Penelope Alice, Britain’s most fabulous PA – PA Life Club

From the desk of Penelope Alice, Britain’s most fabulous PA

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Do you spend too much time gossiping by the water cooler? Or maybe you’re the first person to leave the office each day, or then again perhaps you just can’t handle feedback? If you recognise yourself here, my dear readers, then it may be time to pull up your proverbial socks.

A new report from our American cousins suggests that such unsavoury personality traits could seriously compromise your chances of promotion. Failing to show enough initiative isn’t going to enhance your prospects either and neither is offending colleagues or using profanity (that last once can prove a little tricky when the email system goes down for the third time in a day and you’re desperately grappling with the four-letter expletive that’s on the tip of your tongue).

I can understand why these nasty habits, plus a lack of the prerequisite skills (that’s why I’m such a big fan of training courses, worth their weight in gold as far as I’m concerned) would rule you out moving up the food chain, but it says here that apparently being “too good at your job” is also likely to count against you. So, let me get this straight: you shouldn’t perform too poorly in your role in case you get the sack, but you also shouldn’t shine too much, or else you’ll become indispensable and then your boss won’t want the hassle of looking for your replacement.

That sounds like a remarkably interesting discussion point and I would love to stick around and explore it further, but you’ll have to excuse me, as it’s nearly 5pm and I have to check out if that rumour about Derek in accounts and the incident with the photocopier is really true…