10 Work Rules for Success, Happiness and Progression

Constance C. R. White, Editor-in-Chief of Essence Magazine, included a letter from the editor about working rules for Black Women in the April 2013 issue. This letter was incredibly interesting to me as a young professional attempting to navigate a pathway to career progression within the field of higher education. I think the letter is relevant to more than just Black Women and can definitely apply to any career field. Within the letter were 10 rules to live by concerning work/careers and maintaining balance within oneself. White offered the following thoughts,

“Even though a job may be essential, it should never be central to your spirit. Never lose who you are because of what you do. Your job does not make you grand and not having a job does not diminish who you are.”

Whether you are deciding what job or career path to follow, making a transition or some other career change, these 10 rules can be used as a guide to help you stay true to yourself and to what you love and truly want to do:

 

  1. Think in terms of having a career you love. What makes your heart sing? What are you doing? Is this a dead-end job or a stepping-stone in your master plan?
  2. Network! Get to know people and reach out to someone who is doing what you want to do or who is where you want to be.
  3. Read the book Who Moved My Cheese: An Amazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life by Spence Johnson
  4. Have a friend in the office. Studies show that people who have a best friend at work enjoy their jobs more and weather job difficulties better.
  5. Learn how to manage your boss! How does she/he like to do things? Who are her/his favorites? What’s important to him/her?
  6. A bad boss is the number one reason people quit or suffer stress-related illnesses. If you an abusive or bullying boss, take action. Do not suffer alone hoping the situation will improve Leave or seek assistance. But see number 7
  7. Don’t assume HR is your friend! HR is there to serve the company. Before you complain, ask for advice from a trusted coworker or mentor who can help you think through various solutions. And see number 8
  8. Document EVERYTHING! It’s helpful for clarity, it provides a handy record of what you are doing well, and it will be key if you are ever discriminated against
  9. Pay yourself first. It’s called saving
  10. Bring your best work. But make sure you nurture yourself by spending time with friends, taking regular vacations, seeking spiritual sustenance and enjoying family.

In short, “work to live; don’t live to work.”

Good Luck and much success!

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