- Wise Words -
The Nice Do Win.
Don't Be An Ass & Other Good Advice!
by len ostroff
Take pride in your writing.
Writing is one of the most fundamental ways that you present yourself to the world, especially professionally. I am constantly surprised, and disappointed, by the writing in the emails and other correspondence that I receive. Emoji’s and acronyms like LOL, JK, ROFL and LMAO have seriously diminished people’s writing abilities, 4reelz. I see spelling, grammar and punctuation mistakes in more writing than I care to remember. This is truly inexcusable. Computers are so powerful that spell-check happens on the fly! So slow down. Take a deep breath and take the time to re-read what you have written prior to hitting the send key. After all, you never know who may have been an English major in college, WTF.
(Related column: "Business Reports & Presentations")
Your first job does not define the rest of your career.
Your first job is important, but it’s not forever. Take it from someone who has had ten jobs in nearly 30 years. It used to be that ‘job hopping’ was frowned upon. I now look askew at someone who has worked at a company for more than five or six years. Things move so quickly that working at a company for too long will make you stale, and diminish your skills. Perhaps you’re one of the very few who find the perfect opportunity at the perfect company and stay for life. Unless you’re in a profession where that is accepted, such as a doctor or lawyer, spending your entire career at one company causes you to miss out on experiencing different environments, careers, and cultures. Your first job is like your first step as a baby. Wobbly, unsure and you’ll likely fall on your ass more than once. You’ll eventually figure it out and soon enough you’ll be running towards your goals.
(Related columns: "Career Journey", "Career's Happen" and "Discomfort Is Good")
Don't be an Ass. Be nice.
No, this is not a rip off of the famous not-Kurt Vonnegut commencement address to ‘wear sunscreen.’ I’ve actually saved the most important tip for last. There really is only one rule in business…and in life.
It takes much more effort to be an asshole. You don’t want to be an asshole. Being nice opens doors. People go out of their way to help you. Trust me, then next time you need to schedule a meeting with the VP, or your computer is acting up, or you’d like an introduction on LinkedIn for your next job, people will remember how you treated them. You’ll be amazed at how far a little thing like being nice takes you. Oh, and wearing sunscreen is always a good idea.
For more on how "nice" can help you in your career read "The Power of Nice" by Ronald Shapiro with James Dale. Related columns: "Be a Giver" and "Teamwork as Leadership"
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