10 Rules for the Workplace (That Just Might Help in Social Media and the Rest of Life)
This week marks 34 years since I started my first full-time job (and more than 40 years since I started part-time work).
While thinking about that time I realized that I’ve developed some internal “rules” about working that might equally apply to my time on social media and, in fact, life in general.
I don’t know that working in 11 jobs across four countries and five time zones gives me any special qualifications for this, but I feel compelled to share it.
Therefore, here are my 10 Rules for the Workplace (That Just Might Help in Social Media and the Rest of Life) – I hope one or more prove useful to you:
1. Having fun is essential: There are always deadlines and pressures to get things done so if you’re not having at least little fun why are you doing it? If you can find ways to inject extra fun into your work you and those around you will benefit.
2. As much as is possible, get along with everyone: Work (and life) places us in situations where we must be with people we don’t agree with or would avoid at any other time, but be there we must. And because you never know when that person you don’t see eye-to-eye with may need to “have your back” a best practice is to find a way to get along with them.
3. Say what you mean and mean what you say: Double dealing and insincerity are toxic fumes. If you play it straight – you win; it’s that simple. Rarely this truthfulness will cost you something, but over time those small costs will be outweighed by bigger rewards.
4. Be helpful and giving: No matter where you are on the workplace ladder or the journey of life there are always those above and below you – and the more you can help others get what they need and want the more your stock will rise too.
5. Always do more than is expected: You may not be the smartest person in the room or on the network, but you can always be the hardest working – and many times effort is more valuable than smarts.
6. Be able to take criticism: Getting feedback from others is always a good thing and you can always dismiss any that isn’t relevant. But over time I’ve learned that inside even the most off-the-wall criticisms there usually lurks a truth.
7. Separate the work from the person: When critiquing the efforts of others be able to separate what they do from who they are. Just as someone’s work does not define them as a person neither does what someone posts to a social network fully define them.
8. Avoid small-minded people: The gossips, the mean-spirited, the thin-skinned and the trivialists are out there; don’t let them infect you and your efforts.
9. Be willing (and able) to fire someone: Sometimes the best thing for you and what you do is to fire someone else. It’s never easy, but over time I’ve seen that if it is done for honest (and not petty) reasons it leads to a greater good for everyone.
10. Live more; work less: It will always be true, no matter how much you work, when you reflect on your past it is unlikely that your work will define your life. Therefore find ways to live more fully in the real world – experiences there are the ones that make the warmest memories.
I hope this helps someone entering the workplace or someone reassessing their work lives. Equally I hope these guidelines might also help people figuring out their place in social media. What do you think? Are there things I’m forgetting?