It's a dog fight for work.
That's the same if you are looking for a full-time position or another assignment in the gig economy. So much of our focus has to be on outfoxing the competition.
The good news is that one book covers the social parts of the earning a living process so that we can get that down cold. That frees up more of our attention to be able to land the kind of work we need.
That book is the 2015 "Tricky Art of Co-Existing: How to Behave Decently No Matter What Life Throws Your Way." The author is Sandi Toksvig. And here you can order it from Amazon.com.
The objective is to not get in trouble
The genius of the book is that it cuts through all the different subcultures' rites and rituals to provide the rules which will keep us out of trouble. Maybe we won't be recognized for our inherent leadership qualities or be selected as brand ambassador for the organization. But we won't be knocked out of the box in a job application or terminated on a job because of our behavior.
No margin for error on mood front
For example, in myriad ways, Toksvig hammers the need to be pleasant in public. Ditch grumpy before you enter the door. We just can't pull that anymore. Times are too stressful. And since every workplace is a version of the lean startup we are jammed together. Also, science has documented that moods are contagious. (Read all about the dynamics of what are called "mirror neurons.")
Don't cross line from friendly to familiar
Another must-do is to maintain a friendly persona. But don't cross the boundary to familiar. No matter what, we have to show up at work the next day. And so must the colleague who burst into tears because his wife is having an affair. If we are not familiar, no door is opened to those kinds of confessionals.
Takeaways are respect others, steer clear of intimacy
In essence, the message of the book is to respect others and not hunt for intimacy where we have to be to earn our bread.