Imagine yourself in your new job, doing your best to make a good impression—and your boss asks you to do something that doesn’t feel right, like fudge a sales report, or lie to a customer. You have no idea how to handle the situation, and your boss is hovering. When you’re caught off guard, under pressure from someone more powerful, it’s easy to make a mistake. And having made one, it’s easier to rationalize the next one.
The Young Professional’s Survival Guide shows how to avoid these traps in the first place, and how to work through them if you can’t avoid them. Many of the problems that arise in the workplace are predictable. C. K. Gunsalus, a nationally recognized expert on professional ethics, uses short, pungent real-world examples to help people new to the work world recognize the situations that can lead to career-damaging missteps—and prevent them. Gunsalus offers questions to ask yourself (and others) to help you recognize trouble and temptation, sample scripts to use to avoid being pressured into doing something you’ll regret, and guidance in handling disputes fairly and diplomatically. Most of all, she emphasizes, choose your mentors for their characters as well as their titles and talents.
You can’t control the people around you, but you can control what you do. Reliance on a few key habits and a professional persona, Gunsalus shows, can help you advance with class, even in what looks like a “casual” workplace.