Although we would all love to be popular at home and in the office, at work the task is not to be liked, but to be effective, says computer sales executive Andrea.
"This is possibly the single most important lesson we can learn. You can't always be popular. You shouldn't have to be; it's not what you're there for. Progress depends on having your own ideas and sticking to them. And that means having the guts to make difficult decisions when you have to," she says.
We're aware from day one in our first job that every decision we make is either a building block or a stumbling block on our career path. We should use the time to lay the groundwork of future respect by being professional, responsible, innovative, diligent and reliable.
Respect is never given for nothing. Claire knew that she was offered a move to Paris with her finance company because she had gained a reputation for keeping cool under fire. And the next step up the ladder would depend on her performance in Paris. "It's essential to build regard if you're going to be able to do what you want in your job," she says. Winning respect enhances all you do. A proposal for change is more likely to be well received; an application for a raise or a request for promotion is more likely to succeed.