I’ve been making a list over the past six months of commandments about work. I get requests all the time to bundle them up into a post. So here they are:
1. Be the go-to person in your area.
Know your industry inside and out, you won’t do well if you just know your job. Learn what’s happening, who’s up, who’s down, any new processes and practices, who are the stars, etc.
2. Cultivate and consistently grow your contacts.
You can never have too many friends, colleagues, or connections.Learn how to communicate, both written and verbal. Most people stop once they start a job — this is death for any career. It’s not only what you know — it’s who you know too.
3. Ensure your superiors and clients ALWAYS look good.
This is not the same as brown-nosing — do the right thing and take care of the people that sign your check. When they move on to bigger and better things they will call, every time.
4. Know your strengths and weaknesses well.
Strengthen your strengths and keep a tab on your weaknesses so they don’t sabotage you.
5. Be totally honest in everything you do.
Even if it hurts in the short run. Solid ethics always trumps sharky snarkiness.
6. Don’t ever get trapped into a dead-end position because you’re scared of change.
Move. Change is good and will open new doors. Trust me.
7. Treat everyone from the CEO to the janitor with the utmost respect.
Yes, you do have time for everyone — I start conversations with security guards. When my battery is dead, guess who offers a quick jump?
8. Never stop learning.
Stay hungry for knowledge and experience. Not only does it feed itself, it becomes fun.
9. Listen. Don’t talk all the time.
People you meet everyday have the most interesting and powerful things to say that can change your life.
10. Mix with other successful people.
To play better tennis you must play tennis with better tennis players. Seek their advice, listen to what they say, and apply it. Go find where they live.
Can you think of any others? Which ones have rung true for you in your career so far?