May 13, 2015

10 things that will never fail you

Now that I am an affluent member of Linkedin (meaning, I check in often to see who is creeping on my profile) I have found various articles written that speak to job seekers and employers on a multitude of topics.  Booorrrrriiinnngggg.

And then I came across this list, and realized how amazing it is. Let's delve into the details, shall we?

1. Honesty- This. All day every day. You make an honest living, you reap the rewards of a fulfilled life. You speak honestly about what you want, you get what you need in your life. You are open and honest to your husband, in turn, he will respect and treat you like the queen you are.
Honesty really is the best policy. I have left jobs in the past because how they were running their company spoke against every morale grain in my soul and I just couldn't be a part of it. I have left relationships that just weren't open and honest. You can't force someone to be honest, but at the end of the day, you can sleep better knowing you were as forthcoming as possible.

2. Integrity- This is a word you will find plastered all over everything. From your office mission statement to girl scout cookies, integrity is key. But what is integrity? Integrity is an adherence to moral and ethical principles. Going along with honesty, it's what keeps you on the straight and narrow. It drives a company to make an honest product. In the days chock-full of fillers, GMO's, chemicals, false claims...the list goes on, those with integrity stick to their guns because they know it's right.

3. Hard work- I have said it a million times, Life. Is. Hard. It takes hard work to get ahead, to get moving, hell, to just get up in the morning. There is NOTHING more rewarding than putting in a days worth of hard work. I don't care what it is you do; whether you are a SAHM, a career woman, a Blue Collar worker, or a CEO, hard work is hard work. If you work hard for something, even if you fail temporarily, you have set yourself up to do better next time, or try something different. Bystanders in life aren't living.

4. Being nice- There is a fine line between being a push-over and being a nice person. Sometimes you need to be a bitch, and that's okay. But being a bitch in a casual setting, or at a family affair, or in general ain't gonna cut it. Neither is being a push-over. You don't always want to be the Yes (wo)Man. Difficult situations take a bit of finesse and it is usually better to start off as being pleasant and dig your shoulder in later, if you have to. Being nice is actually difficult for me sometimes (shocking) because I look at situations with a bit of a pessimist eye and judge far too easily. But, it hurts my chee to be a shitty person and it's nice to take a step back and just be....nice.

5. Be excellent at what you do- I have been at far too many interviews to count recently. It has been exhausting but has helped me immensely by defining what is IS that I am good at. Over the years, I have found I'm not excellent at any particular thing, but that is what makes me excellent. Bear with me. See....with all my job titles, Showroom Manager, Office Manager, Executive Assistant, Designer, you are required to learn a set of skills and make them great. And while all of those skills are fine and dandy, they aren't unique to me. Most people can be taught to negotiate a contract or fax a file or clean up an office or whatever.
I am an excellent read of character and situations.
And that statement is hard to sell someone on when you are looking to land a job.
I love learning mannerisms of people....what makes them tick. I can tell, almost immediately, if someone is full of shit or genuine. I learn your quirks, I read your facial expressions, I can tell if you are lying, and it has helped me leverage my career with client and vendor negotiations, my own salary requirements, and life in general.
I am the one people go to when a fire needs to be put out (metaphorically speaking). I can find a solution to anything, or have the experience to put to work that others don't.

6. Exceeding Expectations- what sets you apart from others? When you are given a task, what do you do that makes you better than everyone else? At one job, my first week I went to Starbucks with my new boss and we told our orders to the barista. I made sure to remember his complicated order (seriously, I still remember it. Iced triple grande, 2%, no-whip, easy-mocha, mocha) and the next regular meeting we had, I brought him that silly order. It was a stressful time in the office, but it took the edge off of the tension. Going that extra step, sometimes, helps you in life.
Please don't be an ass-kisser on the reg, but going the extra mile can only help you and your surroundings when the time calls for it.

7. Spending less than you earn- This one is a no-brainer, but since everyone has a credit card (or two, or three) these days, this one is easily overlooked. You can't get ahead if you get your paycheck and blow it all the next day. You just can't. And whatever your definition of getting ahead is, whether it's paying off a debt (car, loan, etc), buying that new shiny thing, or simply living simply, you can't do it if you max out your finances all the time. Because what happens on the karma-train? Shit hits the fan and something traumatic happens and you are left with a huge bill because you didn't anticipate it.
Bad things happen in life, and while you can't always be prepared, having a bit of cushion (for the pushin') helps ease the blow (twss).

which leads me to...

8. Save as much as you possibly can- We handle this one in a weird way, I think. We save to spend, these days. We don't have a huge nest egg, although I do contribute to retirement plans and they are slowly building. Every paycheck that comes in automatically gets a hunk taken out for savings. And those savings will ultimately pay for something that we can't afford right because I won't play the credit card karma game. We will save for a kitchen until we can pay for it in full. And that will drain our savings, and then we will move onto the next thing. The key to saving is you must pay to your savings before you pay for fun, day to day items, otherwise, you will never have any.
Don't pay for savings with "what's left" at the end of your paycheck. Because guess what? There won't be any, or there will be much less than what you wanted.

9. Be charitable with your time, talents, and money- This doesn't mean give your change to every homeless person on the street. You'd go broke if you did. Especially in Chicago. What it means is...if you can do something really well, be open to lending a helping hand if someone can't do that thing. I am really good at painting, and I willingly help friends paint rooms in their own homes from time to time. I will get tipsy and come across a dog that needs help with some sort of live-saving surgery, and will dump a few bucks to the cause. My mom will need help moving photos from her camera to her desktop (the files are IN the computer?) so I'll spend a few minutes showing her how. Don't run yourself ragged trying to be Mother Teresa, but if the opportunity presents itself, jump on it. Tacit knowledge is powerful and is always much more efficient to do if you can't teach it. (now go Google what the phrase tacit knowledge is...I had to learn it at work!)

and finally...

10. Your sense of humor- Dudes, life is fucked up sometimes. And sometimes it just gets so overwhelming that all you can do is laugh. You are guaranteed to look like a crazy person, but laughing really is the best medicine. Don't take yourself or others too seriously. Learn the art of sarcasm. And if all else fails, you can always tell a dick joke.
In my interview that landed my new job, I think I quoted Office Space a couple of times. I can't help it. Funny movie quotes are my jam. Life can't always be serious. And if you find it to be that way, you can always turn to me for a laugh. I'll be sitting at the wedding table in the corner with the light "burned out" over top. You know, the inappropriate table?
Pull up a seat and your big girl panties and let's get it rockin'.

Have a great day!


  1. This is such a perfect list. And you're right, it applies to so many things in life!

  2. Where's the like button? The only thing I'd change is #4. Be nice/polite. Great list, can't put it any better than what you and that fella said! xoxo, ganeeban