Work Lessons for my children and other young people in the work force or soon entering it. These are examples and suggestions that I've accumulated over the last 40 years of work.
1. Don't work for a jerk. If you have a bad boss and a toxic work environment, get the hell out. There are other places to work.
2. If you struggle getting out of bed in the morning, it's time to look for a new job.
3. Keep your options open. Always keep looking for a new job and build your brand and LinkedIn in the process.
4. Speaking of LinkedIn, if you've been complimented at work by a superior or during your studies by an administrator or professor with your project or task, consider asking that person for a recommendation on LinkedIn. If they agree, you could assist by typing out the potential recommendation and send that to them in email. We're all busy so this may help get that recommendation published on your LinkedIn profile.
5. Stop thinking of yourself as an employee. You are the CEO of a company that has your name on it. You are providing services to the company you are working for. Place giving quality service at the top of your personal mission statement. If you provide a valuable service, in a needed line of work, you will always have a job.
6. Be open to change, a new job, a new place, a new skill. Many jobs you may qualify for have not yet been created. Having a wide skill set can put you in a position to leverage your skill set regardless of the job title.
7. Keep a mirror near your desk and when you're on the phone look into the mirror. If you're not smiling or have a challenging disposition, it's time to change it.
8. Before leaving for the day, list a few accomplishments for that given day. Also, create a list of those things you want to accomplish tomorrow and for the rest of the week. It will help your productivity at the start of a new day.
9. Not only listen to what is said but what is done. I had a director who kept saying one of the most satisfying parts of her job is to develop her employees or finding areas where they were flourish. This director requested that I "brush up" my resume and send her additional things I wanted to do. I created a job description including my experiences, skills, passions, knowledge and sent to her along with my clean resume. She said she didn't know of anyone that could help me. Even after follow ups, nothing came of that. In addition, this same director said the same to my colleague and when he produced the material said, "use your experience and skills on your current job" even though he was interested in something else. Her actions showed she either didn't have the network contacts or time to assist. Unfortunately, you may learn the truth in a more time consuming way.
10. Work is a consensual relationship. If it is good for both sides, keep it going. If not, take your business someplace else.
11. Perception is greater than reality. If you can be perceived as someone who gets the job done or is a mover and shaker regardless of your performance, that may bode well. It's cynical but true.
12. For larger companies, if you have the opportunity to do a rotating job, take advantage of that. You'll learn new skills as you broaden your network within a company.