12 Things I (Re)learned In Another Year Of Work

1. The formula.

Show up no matter what + do everything you’re assigned well (not just what you signed up for) + know your place.

PS. This doesn’t guarantee anything.

2. Don’t tell people how to run their business.

You work there, that’s all. So even if they ask for your opinion, don’t take over their show. Offering a suggestion confidently when it’s solicited and spitting out criticism (because you ‘know better’) are light-years apart. One makes you valuable, the other makes you the enemy.

3. They’re not your friend, sorry.

They, as in your boss. Even if you were friends before you started working together, separate the role from the person. When they try to get personal, put them back where they belong.

4. Emotions are best left at the door.

Work isn’t Sunday brunch with your family. Frustration, displeasure and tiredness will ultimately make you act out if you don’t move your feelings to a private arena.

5. Passion can be manufactured.

No one likes a downer. Even if it’s all for the money, you can at least put on a show of enthusiasm until you can no longer muster the energy for it.

6. You’re probably going to need therapy.

Save for it like it’s your retirement.

7. Everyone makes some kind of sacrifice.

Stop reiterating yours. It’s quite tiring to hear anyone go on and on about everything they’ve given up for work. And frankly, no one cares.

8. Leave your past behind.

Or at least be quiet about it. It doesn’t matter how ‘it’ was done where you came from. Shut up already and get with this program.

9. Work friends could save your life.

Respect them, look out for them and definitely don’t throw them under the bus. You never know when you’re going to need them.

10. Complacency will rob you.

Keep putting yourself out there – wherever the place of optimum visibility is for your profession.

11. Trying to unionise in a private company is daft.

Unless you work for the government, there’s no point.

12. Being professional is the only dignity there is.

Stay composed, no matter what. Even when it’s killing you. If you can’t keep that up, you may need to walk away.