Career and life advice, A to Z

Throughout my career, many people have graciously guided me along with way. Some offered words of advice and encouragement, while quietly others led by example.

In appreciation of their lessons, here are some favorite tips, from A to Z.

A
Always do your best. Whether you’re meeting a potential client account, interviewing for a new job, or working on a critical project, you’ll never regret giving 100 percent.

B
Books. Read more. They open your world, change your perspective, and can improve your work skills, lifestyle, favorite hobby, etc.

C
Count your blessings.

D
Doing the right thing is always the right thing to do.

E
Everybody brings something of value. Years ago, our team was working on a new product launch. One of the campaign’s best ideas came from an intern.

F
Find your passion. Life is short — do something you enjoy.

G
Google, Facebook, Twitter … the internet and social media are great tools that can make your life easier (and more fun).

H
Honesty really is the best policy. If we can bend the rules and add a second “H”, humility is pretty cool, too.

I
“I” is the most overused word. Use “we” or “you” to improve your communications.

J
Jack-of-all-trades or specialist? Not sure where I stand on this one, but it seems that the Jacks are widely appreciated for their versatility, but the specialists seem to be promoted more regularly.

K
Kill them with kindness. My late uncle’s favorite saying. And he was right.

L
Let people off the hook when they make mistakes. They know they screwed up, and don’t need anyone rubbing it in.

M
Manners. People notice when you use them — and when you don’t.

N
Noon. Eat lunch with coworkers, run an errand, or go for a walk. Just don’t eat at your desk.

O
Overtime is the new 40 (hours, that is). Plan on it, but remember that you have a life outside of work, too.

P
Persistence really does pay off. Set a goal and work toward it. Remember the words of Thomas Edison: “Success is 10 percent inspiration and 90 percent perspiration.”

Q
Quitters never win, the saying goes, but sometimes you just need to move on and direct your attention and efforts elsewhere.

R
Relationships are critical to success in work and life. This may be the most important of the list.

S
Share credit. Other people probably played a role in your success.

T
Treat people with respect. Especially those who work for you.

U
Understand people and what makes them tick. An exercise like the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) can teach you volumes about others — and you’ll learn some things about yourself, too.

V
Volunteer. Studies show that people who give back are happier.

W
Writing is becoming a lost skill. Don’t lose your ability to communicate in clear, understandable terms.

X
Xiphoid process — the small chest bone that you use to align your hands when doing CPR. Basic First Aid is great to know, just in case.

Y
You are responsible for your actions. Accept the blame when things go wrong. People respect that.

Z
Zumba and other forms of exercise. Don’t forget to make time for yourself.

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