I worked in hospitality from 15-20, so when I got my first office job, the environment was a bit different to what I was used to. I was only 20, and to be honest - I definitely acted it. I was used to being the boss and being super friendly with everyone I worked with. I was used to everyone knowing my personality (loud, sarcastic) and I wasn't prepared for getting in trouble for being honest or trying to be funny. I quickly learned and I was at that job for about 5 years, until I moved to America.
For the majority of the time I worked there, I had this one boss. It was weird though, he was my boss but he wasn't my direct supervisor and we worked in different areas, so he wasn't really my boss. Anyway, he was really good about dealing with me and shaping hospitality Kristen into office appropriate Kristen.
The best piece of advice he ever gave me was this:
Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude.
Obviously he didn't coin this quote, but it had the biggest impact on me. I was a bit of a brat, to be honest. I took everything personally and acted like I was in high school because that's what my previous jobs were like. After he shared that gem with me, I started to realise that no-one was going to hold my hand and lead me up the ladder, no-one is going to put up with a snarky person who doesn't seem like they take their job seriously, no-one would value or appreciate someone who didn't seem to enjoy their job.
The thing is - I did enjoy my job, I did appreciate it and I did take it seriously. I just didn't know how to show it. Ever since then I have really monitored my attitude and how I come across. I can choose to be happy and enjoy my job (within reason) or I can choose to hate my workplace and what I do.
I'm not a very career driven person, I never have been. Don't mistake that for not being a hard worker - I enjoy working, I work hard, I am a good employee (in my humble opinion). But I have no desires to have my own company or climb the ladder very high. I just want to be happy and enjoy what I do. Simple.
I remember this boss and his advice all the time, even though he didn't even say goodbye on my last day and it was several years ago. I appreciate him taking me under his wing, and I have applied this advice to every aspect of my life.
I'm not talking about faking happiness or being someone you're not, I'm just saying that how I react to, perceive and overcome things, not to mention the ability to enjoy my life, including work, is all in my attitude. My attitude is within my control, therefore my happiness is in my control.
The worst career advice I ever received was to work as poorly as possible so that you get fired and have to go on the dole (welfare). Um, yeah okay.
What's the best advice you've ever received - work or otherwise?