‘Work hard but don’t work too hard’
I hope the combination of my experience within the media owner, media agency and executive search sectors will provide at least some nuggets of wisdom. If I could just paste the poem If by Rudyard Kipling here, then I would, as my lessons are mostly about people. I’m sure there are no great surprises, but here goes…
UNDERSTAND WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY. No matter where you are on the career ladder, establish what is driving you. Is it status, wealth or achievements? Are these things making you happy? Being happy is your choice. Establish your motivations and you will be brilliant. You have to be true to yourself as you’ll never be good being someone else.
BE BRAVE. If you want to do something, then don’t procrastinate too much. There will always be a hurdle to overcome. Take the risk, believe in it and do it.
FIND THE BALANCE. Work hard but don’t work too hard. Ensure you have a balance that works for you and the people close to you, and make sure you carve out quality time to spend with the people who mean most to you. You, your job and everyone else around you will be better for it.
LEARN HOW TO SAY NO. Saying no is difficult. Have the courage to express what you can and cannot do, or you will make it impossible to balance work, relationships, children, health and friendships. Don’t think you need to be good at all of them all the time to be successful. You will only feel guilty if you set yourself unrealistic standards.
BE CURIOUS. Be a sponge – listen, absorb and ask lots of questions. Make sure you are constantly learning from the people and world around you. If you’re not learning, then it may be time to move on. Consider travel or work in a different country, and take in all that you can from the different cultures you explore.
SURROUND YOURSELF WITH AMAZING PEOPLE. People of all levels and who are going to be better than you.
BE HONEST. Don’t muck about. Be straightforward and don’t overcomplicate things. Always try to deliver on your promises but, if you can’t, be honest about it and manage expectations early on so as to not disappoint people. People always appreciate honesty.
INVEST IN PEOPLE. Give them your time and be a good listener – you may not always be able to help with something tangible but one of the greatest gifts you can always give people is your time. Nurture your network and your friendships, and give back as much as you want to get out of them. Everyone has stuff going on in their world and it’s about being there, supporting and helping them in a real way.
BE A GOOD PERSON. If you’ve never read If, then do. I have a framed large print of it at home for all the family to read. Treat everyone with dignity and respect and as you would want to be treated. Have good manners and be polite. Be genuine, be lovely, be kind.