You don't have to fly to the Bahamas to swim with the sharks. Each time you step into your workplace, you're entering shark-infested waters. They're circling all around - people who are competing for the same things you are: a fat pay packet, a fancy title, a hot project. If you're not moving forward, you're shark bait. How do you shark-proof your career? For answers, we went to Harvey Mackay, CEO of Mackay Envelope Corp. and author of the best-selling Swim with the Sharks.
When are people most susceptible to a shark attack?
"Whenever there's a big change: Your company is being acquired, or it's downsizing your department. To protect yourself, build your network of contacts, so you'll always know what's going on around you."
What should you do when a shark comes after you?
"Buy time. You need to discover the person's hidden agenda and to consult with your network. No matter how big the problem is, never let yourself make a quick, emotional decision."
Have you ever gone swimming with those other sharks - the underwater kind?
"My family and I went scuba diving off the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, but we didn't see any sharks. We had 60 minutes of instruction before the dive, which is just ridiculous - and unsafe."
Coordinates: $12.95. Swim with the Sharks: Without Being Eaten Alive. Fawcett, 800-733-3000, www.randomhouse.com
A version of this article appeared in the June/July 1998 issue of Fast Company magazine.