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May 13, 2009

Job tip #2: Make time for lunch (with people)

If you're a high achiever like me, you're often at a crossroads whenever lunchtime comes around. You ask yourself, "Should I have lunch with so-and-so?", or, "Should I eat in my office to make sure I make my deadline?" Most of the times, the second option seems more sensible for your career, but you could be in danger of isolating yourself if you choose it too often.

Lunchtime is a rare opportunity to get to know people and form a relationship with your otherwise busy co-workers. Sure, you may have to work a little later to make up for your leisure hour away, but you get to build on trust and camaraderie in turn. That trust and camaraderie can go a long way during challenging times at work... Think about it, would you rather help your friend out of a ditch or an aloof associate?

Lunchtime can also be a great way to set up a one on one interaction with the big boss... or your direct reports (if you're the big boss). Since the big boss is always busy, but needs to eat, a walk down the block to grab a sandwich is just as good as a 30 minute pow-wow meeting. In fact, it may be even better, since the BB will see you outside of the "office" element and will perhaps loosen up a bit. Vice-versa, the big boss needs to build loyalty with the staff, perhaps paying for an occasional lunch or coffee is enough of a treat to build favor among the troops.

So, take some time out to have "lunch", their is a business purpose to it after all!

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