I’ve been a consultant for almost 30 years. Before that, I worked more than 20 years in writing and editing positions, most of those years as an editor and manager at daily newspapers.
During that half-century, I’ve learned a few things about how to do my work well and how to conduct myself in the workplace.
I recently received a call from someone close to me who was struggling in her work. She asked my advice and I did my best to help her.
After that conversation, I sent her the following. I call it “25 on-the-job ideals.”
I thought I’d take a side road from design this month to share my note with you.
Here’s the list:
- Be yourself. Everyone else is taken.
- Be a leader.
- Serve the company.
- Bring solutions (not problems) to the table.
- Be the “go to” person.
- Always say “yes.” You can backpedal later.
- Promise low, deliver high.
- Share your time freely…when you can.
- Demand respect.
- Face opposition firmly…but gracefully.
- Be professional in everything you do.
- Control the things you can control. Let go of the things you can’t.
- Be responsible.
- Be accountable.
- Take the high road.
- Admit your mistakes…and learn from them.
- Never claim credit for yourself. Those who matter will know.
- Lower your expectations of others. Foolish and lazy people aren’t worth the space you give them (rent free!) in your head.
- With rare exceptions, you’ll never be able to change what someone thinks about you. It’s usually not worth the effort.
- Get a mentor—someone you can talk to.
- Be a mentor—someone needs your help.
- Leave ’em laughing.
- Leave ’em wanting more of you.
- Never think of it as “just a job.” It’s more than that to the people who matter.
- Remember: it’s “just a job.” Never let your work define who you are as a person.
I’ve tried to live by these ideals during my entire career. There’s been occasional slip here and there, but following these principles sure has made my professional life easier, more productive — and more fun.
Mull these over. I’ll bet they can help you, too!
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IF THIS COLUMN has been helpful, you may be interested in Ed’s books: Henninger on Design and 101 Henninger Helpful Hints. With the help of Ed’s books, you’ll immediately have a better idea how to design for your readers. Find out more about Henninger on Design and 101 Henninger Helpful Hints by visiting Ed’s web site: www.henningerconsulting.com
ED HENNINGER is an independent newspaper consultant and the Director of Henninger Consulting. On the web: www.henningerconsulting.com. Phone: 803-327-3322.
Ed Henninger | Director | Henninger Consulting
firstname.lastname@example.org | www.henningerconsulting.com
Ed’s Blog: www.henningerconsulting.com/blog/
Ed on Twitter: @edhenninger
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