Here’s something that has been forgotten, overlooked – or just simply unrealized in the workplace: You’re a guest. Think about it: You’re an intern, employee, freelancer or anything else at the invitation of your employer. And, if you can be invited, you can be uninvited, too.

Our goal? To be great guests, naturally. After all, if you’re at a dinner party and dazzle your companions with your witty banter and funny jokes, you know it’s only a matter of time before you’re swamped with invitations – because we all want to have people we know, like, and trust at our gatherings. The same rule applies in the workplace – because people do business with people they know, like, and trust.

So, are you a great guest on the job? Are you known? (How is your networking going these days?) Are you liked? (How are you building relationships with clients over the long-term?) Are you trusted? (What would your boss, your clients, your coworkers say about you?)

Chances are good that most of us already think that we are fine guests. We assume that if we weren’t, someone would tell us. Careful, there – after all, if one of your dinner guests got mud all of your white carpet, are you really going to call him up the next day to tell him how annoyed you are? Don’t assume that anyone will tell you that your guest skills aren’t up to snuff – it’s up to you to ask (delicately), get feedback (graciously), and make improvements (consistently). Great guests are made, not born – it’s up to us to become them.

Author's Bio: 

Elizabeth Freedman is an expert in career and workplace issues. She is the author of Work 101: Learning the Ropes of the Workplace without Hanging Yourself and The MBA Student’s Job-Seeking Bible, and was a 2005 finalist for College Speaker of the Year, awarded by the Association for the Promotion of Campus Activities. Elizabeth runs a Boston-based career-development and coaching firm; clients include PricewaterhouseCoopers, Thomson Reuters and The Gillette Company. To bring Elizabeth to your next association event or workplace meeting, please visit