As a young woman in today’s workplace, I have learned that navigating one’s career is something that comes with experience and cultivating good habits. In light of this, I thought I would share 6 habits that I learned from the incredible people I’ve had the honor of working with, which have served me well (and kept me sane)… I hope you find them as helpful as I have in paving my career path:
- Make check lists.
Being an excellent multitasker is a must in this day and age. Between all of the various technologies and people that have instant access to you throughout the day, it’s important to maintain some sort of order in your work life. One of the most important things I do to keep myself organized is to make two separate checklists: The first lists all of the things that I need to have done at the end of the day. The second lists everything I need to accomplish over the course of a week; these items are usually not too urgent. It may seem redundant, but I rewrite my daily to-do list each day so I know exactly what I need to prioritize and I can update it as needed.
- Oreo cookie it.
No matter your profession, at one point or another you will need to give someone feedback or bad news. I learned that the best way to communicate these types of difficult conversations is to “Oreo cookie it.” First, give them something good (and be honest), then provide your feedback in a constructive way, lastly end it on a positive note. Not only are people more receptive to this type of criticism, but it will help maintain a positive and trusting relationship.
- Manners matter.
No one displays the success of on-point office manners better than Lauren herself. All dealings in the business world—no matter how informal the situation might seem—require grace, kindness and thoughtfulness. The bottom line? Make a habit of saying please and thank you.
- Exercise the two Ps.
Be prompt and proactive. These are two habits that will always serve you well in the workplace.
- Bite your lip.
I was very fortunate to have an amazing boss and mentor at my previous job who taught me one of the most important lessons of my career: It’s okay to be wrong (even if you’re right) if it means you can maintain a relationship. So when you feel like you need to have the last word, make a habit of holding your tongue! Over time you learn to relish how good it feels to be the bigger person and people will come to respect you for that level of self control.
- Walk it out.
This might seem odd but I am a firm believer in not only being mentally sharp while on the clock, but physically as well. Since I am a morning person, I typically kickstart my day with a morning sweat session. The endorphins make me feel good and the physical activity really gets my wheels turning… Even if you can’t work out regularly, make a habit of taking two 10 minute walking breaks during the day. It’s amazing what fresh air and a little sunshine can do! And between you and me, I always come up with my best ideas during my little midday walks.
Last but certainly not least, don’t forget to lean in, stay positive, dress for success, stay on top of your industry (read, read, read!), and most importantly make time for yourself!