Things About Work I Wish I Knew Earlier – Part 1

(This is the first post in an ongoing series for Friday’s post about work.  These posts are some guidance to others after my 20+ years in companies ranging in size from Fortune 10 to three people.  Topics are presented in no particular order.)

#1 -Don’t Complain or Make Waves

Seems obvious, right?  No one likes a complainer.

What I’ve learned, however, is that this is an absolute statement.  Never complain about anything or even joke complain about anything.  Seriously.

  • Don’t like the food in the cafeteria?  Don’t tell anyone.  Don’t eat there or find something you like.
  • Think the elevator is slow?  Don’t even joke about it.  Take the stairs.
  • Don’t like the pens the company provides you?  Don’t say a word.  Buy your own.
  • Think your boss dresses poorly?  Keep that to yourself.  Deal with it.

I’ve learned that you can’t “joke complain” because there is truth at the root of all jokes and people know that. A joke complaint is when you say “Can they give me a smaller office?” as you pat your colleague on the back.

I’ve learned that you can’t “soft pedal” a complaint for the same reason.  You soft pedal a complaint when you say “You know, it’s not that big of a deal, but I wish we all had bigger offices.”

No one likes a complainer, because being with a complainer becomes tedious.  No one likes a complainer, because no one wants to be reminded of their own frustrations or complaints.  No one likes a complainer, because inevitably a complainer complains about a decision you made or a close friend made.

Your goal should be to have someone say the following about you:

I don’t know how he does it, but [you] never seems frustrated by anything around here.  It’s amazing that he never says anything negative about anything.  What a great guy.

When other describe you like that, they want you on their team, and they want you in their company.  They want to give you more work, and they want to promote you.

If you are like me, you will be frustrated.  Not complaining,  however, will get you a long way.

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4 Responses to Things About Work I Wish I Knew Earlier – Part 1

  1. Pingback: Things About Work I Wish I Knew Earlier – Part 3 « Life With Spidey

  2. Pingback: Things About Work I Wish I Knew Earlier – Part 5 « Life With Spidey

  3. Pingback: Things About Work I Wish I Knew Earlier – Part 6 « Life With Spidey

  4. Pingback: Things About Work I Wish I Knew Earlier – Recap of Parts 1-6 « Life With Spidey

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