1. Your first response to any new assignment should always be “No!” When asked again, take a minute to think about it, and still say, “No!!!” Be ready to back up your refusal with various reasons about how this assignment is not feasible. A typical reason could be, “This doesn’t align with our new strategy of putting Cloud before everything.” (If the assignment is a Cloud based one, you could say, “Without getting a sign-off from various stake holders, this would be suicidal!”) This strategy saves you countless hours.
2. Meetings are make-up time for lost sleep (all that sleep you lost due to Netflix binge watching). During these stress filled Covid days you would get a break from both work and your family. Stagger your meetings throughout the work week. Add salt to taste.
3. The more your boss shouts at you, the less he/she knows what the heck is going on. The key here is emotional equanimity. The wise employee knows he/she is being used as a punching bag and would let this obnoxious behavior slide for the greater good of the company, and, of course, his/her job.
4. Both high and low visibility are bad. (Not for nothing, a term like “middle-of-the-road” has been coined.)
5. All-hands meetings should always be attended. The good thing is these are usually a couple hours long and don’t really need any active participation from you these days. Accepting them, automatically blocks your calendar. Caution: You need to be signed on though, in case somebody, like the Boss’s admin, is keeping tabs.
6. Two bosses are better than one boss. While you shirk work given by one, the other assumes you are busy. Try your best to get into dotted-line projects. Where there is will, there is a slacker.
7. Two wrongs make it right. Three make you a team player. Four make you a leader. Five make you a manager.