Re: Don’t settle on your values
At work, especially with negotiations, you will be forced to compromise. However, this doesn’t mean that you need to back up off of what you value. In fact, don’t forget your values when it comes time to compromise. You will feel better about it in the long run, and, odds are, the deal will come out better.
As any Facebook stalker will tell you, obsessions take time and effort. The ability to scroll through pages and pages of information, looking for what you want to find. The ability to sit, hunched over, mulling over the details while your eyesight becomes blurry and your thoughts become muddled. The ability to sit late into the evening considering this information while everything else in your life falls by the wayside.
At work, obsessions can be useful. They can catapult you into a legitimate career and provide a path to success in your job. At home, usually obsessions are useless. So it’s worth channeling the energy you use to check up on your ex-boyfriend into organizing all your spreadsheet tabs in alphabetical order or investigating the fraudulent accountant. Same skill set, but useful purpose.
Re: A sense of humor
Anyone who has intelligent social interactions is going to need to laugh. Laughter is often at the expense of other people, as any comedian will demonstrate. If you are well-liked, one of these days someone will make fun of you. Go ahead, laugh with them and try your best not give in to the insecurity that goes with hearing the crowd’s laughter. Any confident person can handle being the subject of good comedy; be that confident person and laugh along.
Re: Being in Charge
Out of nowhere one day, you will suddenly find that you are in charge of things. While “being a boss” is the lore of rap songs and undergraduate dreams, often the situation is uncomfortable and the responsibility feels overbearing. And even if you are simply in charge of making sure that the filing system is up to date, the power is all yours (should you choose to accept it).
The real burden lies when other people’s emotions, paychecks, and careers are at stake. The discomfort of telling the truth, of doing the right thing, and at times, being the bad guy, is not to be underestimated. But it’s true what they say: doing the right thing and doing the most difficult thing are usually the same thing.
Re: Learning new skills
Sometimes you will take on a new job or a task or a project which requires an unexpected skill. Most often, there is no way around it and you must aggressively learn the thing all by yourself.
A couple tips for when this occurs.
Firstly, check your pride at the door. So what, your expensive liberal arts school required a year of a foreign language but never required that you learn Microsoft Excel? Just learn it. Take a class, you’re smart, take the time.
Secondly, (as previously mentioned), just dive in. You’re smart (said it before), you can do this. In the words of Nike, “just do it.” You will get there if you try. Odds are, it’s not something you cannot do in the first place. You just, for whatever reason, never learned how to do that particular thing.
Thirdly, if your resume stated (or states) anything to the effect of “quick learner,” now is your time to shine. Learn it quickly.
Do the damn thing.
Re: Animals at work
The only acceptable pets in the office are the ones you see on youtube, memes, animated gifs, or other entertainment. Excessive talking about your pet makes you appear crazy, so it’s best to channel the fact that you prefer your cat to your colleagues into a mere discussion of “that talking dog on youtube.” Try and pretend you haven’t contributed to over 30 views. Everyone else will understand.
Re: Burying the Hatchet
After years of working with someone, you will inevitably hold a grudge against someone for much longer than necessary. As badly as you want to forgive them, it’s work, so they likely don’t move to the top of your “To-Forgive” list. However, unless they did something so asinine and egregious, odds are they are the easiest to forgive. Bury the hatchet with that person, because you probably see them more than you think. Also, it’s good practice for when you need to forgive the more important people in your life. Have a cocktail, apologize, and move on.
Re: A Personal Computer
A modern gal’s guide to the workplace is like this: keep work at work and keep home at home. This extends to the computer. While it’s tempting to use the work laptop for damn near everything, it also means that your work could find about that time you googled for “best cat litter” or “why are some bosses so annoying?” It is best practice to do those things at home. Other perks of personal computing include: creative time, facebook stalking, online dating profiles, uploading a music collection, and no one can judge you for all those pictures of your dog in different costumes. It’s worth the expense.
Re: Get off the Payroll
Your parents’ payroll, that is. Have a little self-respect: pay your own phone bill, your own credit cards, your own rent. Also, have some respect for them, lest you desire to pay for their retirement later on. They have lives, and they’ve done their part. Being independent includes financial independence. Get there, already.
Re: Repenting for your transgressions
We have all been there. We did something naughty, we said something awful, we broke all the rules. At work, as in life, we commit transgressions—against ourselves, against others, against the man. When you’re stuck in the 9-5, however, you are faced with the chills up your spine that you did something bad.
But here is the thing: there is nowhere to confess your sins. Gossiping about yourself is useless. Apologizing to others gets annoying, and you eventually collapse from all of the sleep you’ve lost. So whatever you did, work is the place where you are going to bury yourself and get over it. Keep on trucking; if you want your paycheck, you don’t really have a choice.