Career Advice from Mom
Just be yourself
Your mom is always going to like you, so it’s easy to dismiss the advice “just be yourself” in the business world. You may feel pressure to hide who you really are and put on a veneer of what you think you should be. Of course, being yourself isn’t license to show up to the office, but the truth is we all want to do business with someone who appears genuine, authentic and trustworthy. Putting up too much of a false front will backfire and lead others to distrust and question you. Be professional, but be yourself.
Everything in moderation – including moderation
Mom was right, that extra helping of Halloween candy that you snuck did give you a stomach ache. Too much of a good thing at work will have the same diminishing returns. Especially early on in your career, you may feel the need to try to do everything at once to get ahead. Sometimes staying late and working the weekends to finish a big project will pay off. But joining every committee and burning the candle at both ends over a long period of time is a recipe for burnout and lower quality work. Remember moderation.
Go play outside
When mom told you this, it usually meant you were watching too much TV or playing too many video games. In context of your job, this is good advice for work life balance. Think outside the box of the office to get exercise, network and also become closer with your colleagues at social occasions.
Sleep on it
Whenever you were facing a big life decision, your mom likely told you to get a good night’s sleep, rest up and think it over the next day. This may prevent you from making any hasty decisions you might regret, but it also has the benefit of restoring your energy reserves. Research has shown the several “micro-decisions” over the course of a workday degrades your ability to make sound judgements later in the day. So rather than emailing a colleague at the end of the day, close your laptop, get some rest and resume work in the morning.