"Anything happen at work today, darling?" "Oh, not much. Steve's moving over to a new role in the national accounts department next week, so I'll be working for Pat from Monday." Oh dear. Big mistake. Not much happening at work? The next biggest thing to starting a new job is getting a new boss. In fact, getting a new boss is tantamount to getting a new job, and that is just the way it should be treated. If not, give it three months and the conversation could run something like: "So how was work?" "No better, Pat doesn't seem to understand. "From the day Steve moved on, it just hasn't been the same I didn't get off to a good start with Pat, and it has gone downhill from there." I'm sure you get the point. Just because your title, role, responsibilities, salary, car, pension, desk, laptop (okay, I'll stop there) are all the same, it doesn't mean your job is. New boss, new job New boss equals new job' is just one of the simple maxims for keeping your career alive and, I hate to say it, one I had to learn the hard way. So, for that matter, was learning to respect company politics. The chances are that you, like me, have a healthy disdain for all the intrigue, backbiting and brown-nosing that is generally associated with office politicking. But there's a price to be paid for being a bit of a renegade and disdainful of it all. Of course, to a point, everyone loves a renegade and at some stages of your career the renegade in you can be a positive boon. But behave like that for too long and colleagues and managers tire of it. That's because of simple maxim number two: People lose their jobs more often because of their behaviour and attitude than they do due to any real incompetence in their ability to do their job.' The third maxim (this article is beginning to sound a bit like a sermon) is to remember what went wrong with your last job'. It's a funny old world, but to read your CV or mine, you'd never believe that anything had ever gone wrong. After all, a CV is probably one of the most biased, one-sided sales pitches you'll ever have the pleasure of writing (or displeasure of reading). But tucked away in the dusty corners of all our careers are things which went horribly wrong and it's well worth spending time understanding why that was and making sure history doesn't repeat itself. It's also worth remembering (maxim number four coming up) that no matter how important you are, your career will always mean more to you than it will to any employer'. However concerned your employer might seem about honing your skills and developing your career, the simple fact is that it's your career, not theirs and you are its sole custodian. Remembering it is someone else's career is also a point managers would do well to bear in mind. Leaving? Good! How often have you heard of someone handing in their resignation, only to be bought back' hours or days later with an improved package and/or promises to make the world better? More often than not, it won't be too long before that same individual is off on his or her tiptoes having been offered yet another job. How much better would it have been if, in the first place, the manager had got up, shaken their hand warmly and congratulated them on landing a better job (even if all that was going through their mind at the time was how inconvenient finding a replacement would be)? So there you have it, four simple rules for keeping your career alive and I promise not to make it such a sermon next time. n Simon Howard is a founder of Work Communications and writes the Jobfile column for the Sunday Times. And, if you hadn't guessed already, is the son of a preacher. {{JOBS & CAREERS }}