Tuesday, April 23, 2013

What I'd Tell My 20-year old Self About Work

Act #113:  Let your life define your work - not the other way around.

1.  Start every morning reading your organization's mission out loud to yourself. 

2.  You will never know it all, run out of room to grow, or master everything.  Oh, yeah, in case you forgot, you're human.

3.  Apple cores and banana peels will attract gnats.  Don't throw these away in your office trash can.

4.  Always back up your files.  No seriously, just do it.

5.  If you find yourself in a leadership position, make sure you know enough about the jobs of those you lead.

6.  Schedule weekly time for reflection and planning.  One minute of planning saves you 10 minutes of execution.

7.  Always share credit when it is due.  Karma is a bitch.  Speaking of credit, I totally heard the last sentence in #6 from somewhere, but I can't recall where!

8.  Don't rush back from maternity leave.  Trust me, your colleagues will survive without you.  Your newborn however, won't.

9.  Being a boss is easy.  Being a leader takes a lifetime of learning.

10. Don't ever walk away from a jammed copier.  You should be hesitant about trusting people who do.

11.  Be prepared (but don't be deterred) to hear the following:  We always put the pretty college girls up front.  We'd like to know how you plan on fitting a baby into your career timeline.  Can you get me a cup of coffee dear?

12.  No one is too good to take out their own trash.

13.  You will not land your dream job the day after you graduate from college.  Your definition of "dream job" will change at least 3 times throughout the course of your lifetime.

14.  Surround yourself with women who are confident enough to empower you rather than compete with you.

15.  Never eat lunch at your desk. Fresh air is a temporary cure for just about anything. 

16.  Do not confide your deepest, most private thoughts with males at your place of work.  When you spend more time with male colleagues than you do with your own husband, boundaries are essential.

17. Show the same respect you have for your leaders (supervisor, boss, board) to those who make it possible for you to do your job (administrative support, technology support, maintenance staff.)

18.  There will be a time when no amount of money or job security is worth compromising your integrity.   You'll know what to do.  Listen to yourself.  It will feel good.

19.  Cherish the commute home.  Breathe out work.  Breathe in life.

20.  Don't let your work life define you.  Let your life define you.


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