37 Ideas About Work To Live By, In Order Of Easiest To Hardest


Humble suggestions from someone struggling in the field, a few inevitably obvious, parroted, and/or learned from reading popular books and articles. Every one of these (and their order) may not be relevant to your situation, but I think they’re worth considering.

Don’t discuss business at drinks until you’re having a good time.

Respond to emails as quickly as possible.

The word people love to hear the most is their name.

If you can’t figure something out, Google it before asking it.

Drawing attention to someone else’s shortcomings in no way improves your own value.

Get over yourself and get a ‘business card.’ Give it to people who make a good impression on you.

Follow up over email, the same day or next day. If they don’t respond, follow up one more time, a few days later. If there’s no response after a week or so, assume there’s no current opportunity for you two to work together.

Respond to emails ‘after work.’

Not helping with a project is better than making it known that you don’t want to help with a project but are doing it because you ‘have to.’

Don’t do your job halfway — that forces someone else to do the rest of it.

If you’re not working as hard as those above you, at least work harder than those at your same level.

Always work harder than those below you.

Being not-greedy is easier than people thinking you are greedy.

Err on the side of giving credit (rather than taking or denying it).

Help others before you help yourself.

Don’t blame, don’t shame, don’t get defensive.

Be honest with yourself about who has more leverage.

Create more value than you’re being paid for.

Take care of information.

Understand the most rational motivations held by the people around you.

It’s easier to say sorry than it is to ask for permission.

Say yes more than you say no.

Don’t add work to anyone else’s plate.

Try not to think of your higher-up as a modern capitalist archetype. She has the experience of dealing with a different set of daily responsibilities. You cannot know this experience.

People who require constant motivation and guidance are not good hires.

The person with the most information wins.

Find opportunities that make you the conduit between a potential partner and your employer.

Hire people for their brains, not for their technical expertise.

Under promise, over-deliver.

Confront when necessary — if you manage people and are afraid of confrontation, you are not the best candidate for your position.

Be an expert at prioritizing opportunity.

“I’m not getting paid my market value” is in most cases a contradictory statement.

It’s much better to be wrong than it is to have not tried.

Be open to ideas that make you uncomfortable.

Always be open to 180 degree change.

Try to think of risk as an experiment.

Accept risk as a given.

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