Ten ‘work-life’ principles I learnt as an employee.

Long before I caught the exciting bug of Entrepreneurship, I was an employee. One of the very first jobs I held was a Management Trainee position at Honeywell Group. As a fresh engineering graduate straight out of University, I was excited about the challenges ahead and the interesting projects I would be involved in.  And of course, the fantastic experiences and skills that I would gain in the process.

Fast forward to almost thirteen years later (2012), and I realize that the most important things I remember from my first job are not projects or bonuses or awards, rather, the coaching I received from my professional mentor at the time-the wonderful catalyst of trans-formative change: Mr Alex Taiwo, Human Capital Advisor.                                                                                                            
These are the ten principles he espoused:

1. Be clear on what your values and principles are. Form habits in consonance with your core. Clarity makes for better choices in seemingly challenging situations and gives you a sense of direction;

2. An authentic  and curious spirit that encompasses self-leadership, respect for others, collaboration, accountability, responsibility and drive towards a common goal as key to productivity, creativity and long-term profitability;

3. Never join a clique or group. BE a team player. You owe it to yourself to be a loyal and goal driven employee and not a high school student. Create benign structures that support productivity and cohesion within teams and leave the drama at the entrance gate;

4. Avoid discussions on race, politics, sexual orientation, wages, bonuses and commissions with colleagues. If you need any clarification on these matters, ask the appropriate HR personnel;

5. Sincerity and Humility are never old fashioned; they will serve you well both at work and in life. Do not play the compare and contrast game; No individual is better than the team, notwithstanding his/her vast skill-set or experience. Everyone has an important role to play, respect all;

6. Understand the culture and values of the companies you work for. Know also that culture evolves but the underlying values may remain the same;

7. Do not gossip about others. If you must gossip, always play the ‘reverse gossip game’: saying as many wonderful things as you can behind someone’s back! Learn to shake things off, never take things personal;

8. Priorities and synergies change, new power blocks are constantly emerging. Be good and fair to everyone, from Founder or CEO to Gate-man or Janitor. Put your best foot forward, always;

9. Develop your problem-solving skills. Be the ‘go to’ person for solutions and become a value provider. Talk well but  learn to listen better. Be the one who gets the job done and not the one who gets all the praise. Do not make yourself a conflict generator or ‘crap magnet’;

10. Be a mentor to others because in coaching others, we learn new perspectives and allow ourselves to be guided too (reverse-mentoring)!

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The preceding is a guest post from Juliet Ume, MBA –Wealth Management Consultant & Lifestyle Coach at Whole Woman Network. This is a post from the YRSBiz Blogging Circle. The York Region Small Business Club helps small businesses in York Region connect online and in York Region. Their goal is to provide free or low-cost opportunities for local businesses to connect and engage with each other and ultimately to help small businesses succeed.
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