20 things I have learned over 20 years at work

By the very youthful and fresh-faced George Hulbert:

Can I really have been working for 20 years? It can't be…. but it is! Unbelievable but true. I started my very first 'career' job 20 years ago this month.

With a minimum 20 more years of work still ahead of me, I have had a bit of a 'half-time' pause to think about some of the lessons I have learned along the way so far.

There's no particular order, except for the first and last points:

1. Don't be boring

2. Enjoy your working life - if you're not enjoying it, change it

3. Work for the role and company you really, really want

4. Only you will make it happen

5. The days of being the youngest in an office are gone in a blink

6. Treat people as you'd like to be treated yourself

7. Celebrate when you do something well

8. Try not to dwell on failure: learn from it and move on

9. Enjoy your age – there are advantages to every age and stage

10. Don't poke the payroll!

11. Feel uncomfortable - that's when you're learning

12. Check in on people when you want nothing from them

13. Play hard - life's too short

14. Employ people who scare you by how good they are: you really do succeed as a team

15. Build your own brand

16. Don't leave 'yourself' behind when you walk out of your front door in the morning

17. Office politics are a complete waste of time

18. Winners and losers should behave the same

19. Be better than the very best

20. If you run your own business, believe - work will come

21. Don't worry about not having a 5 year goal…

22. …but work out where this job - and the next job - will take you

23. Change it if you need to

24. Idiots are like cowpats - sometimes hard to spot, but not always too hard to shake off

25. Redundancy can be a massively positive opportunity

26. Change is good - it is a given - how you choose to respond to it is what makes all the difference

27. Try to work with people who impress you

28. Seek out projects that scare you

29. Be kind

30. Credibility tops coolness every time

31. Words matter

32. Every company is a people business

33. If your people are your biggest asset, treat them well

34. Don't always stick to the rules! (If it says 20 things, you don't always have to stick to 20…)


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