I interviewed a young man for an entry-level producer position today. He graduated from college in December, was highly recommended by his department chair, has done a bunch of projects since graduation and now he’s very likely to get a good offer for his first “real” job in television… being mentored by me.
Now comes the fun, learning how to succeed at work. Here are ten lessons I learned the hard way. These are universal, they work at any job. Take notes, there will be a test. [send this to someone you care about, there are handy links at the bottom of this post]
- 10. Being awake means being at work. Few jobs in this industry, and definitely not your first job, last from 9 to 5. Don’t just hang out, work hard and be noticed. (but also maintain a personal life)
- 9. Learn how to take care of your boss, and what he/she needs to do to take care of his/her boss, and then anticipate their needs.
- 8. Write things down. I prefer Moleskine notebooks but find one you like and carry it everywhere, especially when you’re with the boss or in a meeting. (you’ll want a dependable pen as well)
- 7. Banish the word “can’t” from your vocabulary. Make friends with good people who will help you learn. These potential friends include people you’ve never met, but that you respect.
- 6. Think before you speak. Do not ever utter a word in anger. Don’t spread rumors or trash people. It will someday come back to haunt you.
- 5. Face-to-face communication is best, phone is next, email follows that and somewhere down the list, way down the list, is a phone message or a post-it note. Don’t become lazy with communicating.
- 4. Keep refreshed — personally, physically and spiritually. Do not get permanently worn out.
- 3. Become indispensable.
- 2. Tell the truth. Always. Honesty opens the door for grace.
- 1. You ultimately work for God. Get busy.