enlightened motherhood, among other things – thought-provoking things to think about… :)
So my dad sent the following bit of advice along in an email to me, and I wanted to share it with the world… Written by Gary Rich, this advice he prepared for his college-aged daughter, a week before her first corporate internship, seems quite useful.
Here’s what my dad had to say about it in his email, which led me to read the rest immediately: “Y
My dad was right – I am guilty of eating at my desk, among other things that I won’t disclose at this moment… Just take in the rest, and remember that you don’t have to agree or disagree! 🙂
1 Be there. Which means don’t get to work on time. Get to work thirty minutes early. (“OMG. Are you kidding me?”) No. And while you’re at it, stay thirty minutes later than most of the people working there or until your boss leaves, whichever is later. And if your work is finished, ask for more. I’m not going to tell you why because it’s too early in this list for me to see you roll your eyes and want to poke them out.
2 Attitude. Your boss will never talk to you about your attitude. Lawyers and HR people put a stop to that long ago. But when you’re not around, people will definitely be discussing your attitude. So make sure it’s a good one. Smile a lot; even when it suddenly occurs to you that you totally should be the next American Idol and not be forced to do regular work. Act happy even when you’re not. Be positive and ready to accomplish anything. Never, ever, complain about anything. Offer to help other people out anytime you can. Positive energy is something we old people like to be around. So have a lot of it. Energy vampires are a drag and we want to drive a stake through their hearts.
3 It’s not about you. I know, temporarily suspend your disbelief. None of it is about you. It’s about a company where people need to figure out how to get the company to earn an acceptable profit. It’s about customers and shareholders and a myriad of other things, none of which include you. Figure out how the company makes money and what’s important to the people running the company. Learn who they compete with and how, understand the strategy and goals that have been set. Know what your department does to help achieve those goals and figure out what the work you are doing does to fit in with all that. So learn about all of those things and what everyone there does and forget about “you” until “you” leave for the day. Then it can be all about you again.
4 Politics. Never talk about anyone else unless it’s to say something positive and supportive. Never say anything for that matter that you wouldn’t want to see printed on the front page of the NY times the next day. Forget about secrets, they don’t exist.
Be sure you are as respectful to the cleaning people as you are to the president.
5 Quality. Focus on doing very high quality work. You are not the only smart person there. Some of those really old people (over 30) working side by side with you are just as smart as you are and were once doing your job. They sadly never got a letter like this from their father. Do work that you are proud of. Be organized and clear and for heaven’s sake check your spelling. Every morning figure out what you are going to accomplish that day and every evening ask yourself if you more than earned your pay that day.
6 Your boss is your boss. Not your friend. Not your mother or father. They do not love you and might not really even care about you. Despite that outrage, your job is to help your boss get their job accomplished. So you better know what they’re trying to get done. Make sure you understand what they ask you to do and if you aren’t clear, ask questions. If you have any ideas on how to improve things tell your boss, then listen to what they say. Make sure your boss knows they can count on you. And don’t worry about getting credit for your work. Your boss will know what you do or don’t do.
7 Work is for work. Do not use that computer for anything personal. Right, not even Facebook. And turn your cell phone off before you walk in the door and I mean off, not vibrate. In case you’re wondering what that thing on the desk is, it’s an old fashioned desk phone. Do not make personal calls on that one either, if you ever figure out how it works. Oh, and I know I don’t have to say this but leave the iPod home. I know the music helps you concentrate on your work but I don’t care.
Don’t even think about what other people are getting paid. It’s not your business.
Don’t eat at your desk and don’t go outside for cigarette breaks, it takes company time, makes you look stupid and kills you fast.
8 Decorum. Dress nicely, look well-groomed, and only fill two of the eight holes I have somehow allowed you to put in your ears over the years. Make sure no one at work ever sees the piercing in your navel much less the ones I don’t know about.
Only use words as they are defined in a dictionary. Don’t say “sick” if you mean great, don’t say “word” if you mean yes, never use any profanity and if you slip up do not say “my bad”.
Girls, showing your bra straps is not business casual and guys…pull up your pants.
This is not a dating service, or a nightclub. Keep your eyes on the road.
9 Don’t be defensive and don’t make excuses. Nothing makes you look more like a baby. When someone corrects you, thank him or her. They really are making you better and it’s hard to find gifts like that in life. While we are on the subject. Don’t wait around to be told you’re doing well; I know it’s nice to be acknowledged but in the end you’ll figure out that your own approval is really the thing that matters most.
10 Try to have fun. Make yourself proud. I know you will. ”
Gary Rich is the President of Rich Leadership, an executive development firm and Cofounder of The Leadership Room, a leadership development program.”