I continue to follow along with Danielle LaPorte’s Burning Question series. This time the question was easy to answer:
What is the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
Throughout my life I’ve been fortunate to have been surrounded by wonderful, caring friends and family. These people influenced my life and helped me grow into the person I am today. I will forever be grateful to them for the little gems they have passed on to me over the last 40+ years. I have also been fortunate enough to have great mentors in my professional life as well.
At the age of 19 I began a career that was far away from my life at art school. I had no experience in the corporate world and I closely observed the management methods of those I admired. In my early 20’s I attended one of the company events and was stunned to see some of the outside-work behavior of people I had great respect for. My opinion of them changed rapidly and I no longer viewed them in the same light. It troubled me so much that I spoke to my own mentor about it. His simple advice:
“No matter what the situation, NEVER forget that you are at work.”
I’ve always remembered that. I was never the party-girl type to begin with but I’ve always made sure to be gentle with my reputation. Your name is everything. I want my name to be synonymous with class and professionalism and compassion and warmth.
I would pass that advice along to anyone entering the business world. The world is a lot smaller since the introduction of social media. It takes a lot more discipline and care to protect your name but it’s worth it. Treat people with respect – including yourself.