25 on-the-job ideals
I've been a consultant for almost 30 years. Before that, I worked more than 20 years in writing and editing positions, most of those years as an editor and manager at daily newspapers.
During that half-century, I've learned a few things about how to do my work well and how to conduct myself in the workplace.
I recently received a call from someone close to me who was struggling in her work. She asked my advice and I did my best to help her.
After that conversation, I sent her the following. I call it "25 on-the-job ideals."
I thought I'd take a side road from design this month to share my note with you.
Here's the list:
- Be yourself. Everyone else is taken.
- Be a leader.
- Serve the company.
- Bring solutions (not problems) to the table.
- Be the "go to" person.
- Always say "yes." You can backpedal later.
- Promise low, deliver high.
- Share your time freely ... when you can.
- Demand respect.
- Face opposition firmly ... but gracefully.
- Be professional in everything you do.
- Control the things you can control. Let go of the things you can't.
- Be responsible.
- Be accountable.
- Take the high road.
- Admit your mistakes ... and learn from them.
- Never claim credit for yourself. Those who matter will know.
- Lower your expectations of others. Foolish and lazy people aren't worth the space you give them (rent free!) in your head.
- With rare exceptions, you'll never be able to change what someone thinks about you. It's usually not worth the effort.
- Get a mentor – someone you can talk to.
- Be a mentor – someone needs your help.
- Leave 'em laughing.
- Leave 'em wanting more of you.
- Never think of it as "just a job." It's more than that to the people who matter.
- Remember: it's "just a job." Never let your work define who you are as a person.
I've tried to live by these ideals during my entire career. There's been occasional slip here and there, but following these principles sure has made my professional life easier, more productive – and more fun.
Mull these over. I'll bet they can help you, too!
WANT A FREE evaluation of your newspaper's design? Just contact Ed Henninger: firstname.lastname@example.org | (803) 327-3322
IF THIS COLUMN has been helpful, you may be interested in his books: "Henninger on Design" and "101 Henninger Helpful Hints." With the help of his books, you'll immediately have a better idea how to design for your readers. Find out more about "Henninger on Design" and "101 Henninger Helpful Hints" by visiting his website: www.henningerconsulting.com
ED HENNINGER is an independent newspaper consultant and the director of Henninger Consulting. He offers comprehensive newspaper design services including redesigns, workshops, staff training and evaluations. E-mail: email@example.com. On the web: henningerconsulting.com. Phone: (803) 327-3322.