So we're reading Businessweek online and spot this story: “Pursue the Passionate; Avoid the Zombies.” And even though it's an article about careers and management, let's face it, "Avoid the zombies" is just solid life advice, period.
We all know that water sinks to its own level and, in effect, the same is true when it comes to people. Jocks hang out with the jocks, nerds hang out with the…well, of course, we wouldn't know that.
Moving on, that truism extends into any office. Look around the cubes. Notice who hangs around with whom and the common traits they share. Are they ambitious? Annoying? Constant complainers? Helpful? Smart?
To simplify matters, you can categorize your coworkers thusly: Are they passionate or zombies?
"The people you choose to spend time with in the office can affect your learning curve and, consequently, how prosperous you become,” writes author and business expert Mark Hopkins. “To learn everything you can to achieve your vision, you need to surround yourself with colleagues, employers, and clients who are on fire — people who have a clear vision. This is true of friends and even romantic relationships, but it’s especially true of the people you work with."
If you want to advance at work, yes, be thorough and creative, but also, consider those with whom you’re keeping company, having lunch, etc. If your work crowd is more Walking Dead than Shark Tank, start hanging out with the rising stars, the ambitious, the motivated and the successful.