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I once read an article that had some really terrible career advice. The author suggested that it’s good to give the appearance that you’re harried, so busy that you don’t even have time to finish lunch. He said you can accomplish this by leaving a half empty cup of oatmeal on your desk in the morning and a half eaten sandwich on your desk in the afternoon. Not only does this have a high "yuck" factor, it brands you as someone whose professional life is out of control. Even if you’re feeling a little out of control, don’t let it show (especially if you're trying to get a promotion). I bet you know at least one person who always responds negatively when you ask how he or she is doing. You know what I’m talking about – answers like “just peachy,” in a sarcastic tone, or “same stuff, different day.” Don’t be one of these people. Present yourself as a well-organized professional, someone who is in control.

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