James's Rules for Personal and Professional Success
Time We Jog
This is a simple slogan to organize factors that will contribute to your personal and professional success.
Those who know me will realize it is a complete coincidence that these factors sum up to a reminder to be physically fit....
T – Trust
Be trustworthy and reliable. People will want to work with you and will give you more opportunities if they trust you and if you reliably deliver.
I – Integrity
When evaluating a company, the integrity and ethics of management are vital. You shall reinforce the importance of integrity with your own behavior.
M – Motivation
Understand what motivates you, so that you can apply those levers to your work and your life. You will have to motivate yourself often, so know how to do it effectively. Once you have decided on goals, be persistent, push, and never give up.
E – Example
Always set an example with your personal behavior of what you expect others to do. Be a role model, on both personal and professional topics.
W – Work-Life Balance
Performing at a high level sustainably requires you to acknowledge the different priorities in your life: not just work, but also family, health, community, society, etc. You will not achieve work-life balance by accident, so plan to spend time on it often.
E – Emotional Intelligence
To perform at a high level, you need self-awareness and emotional intelligence, which includes knowing how you interact with others. Ask for feedback, and take it seriously but not personally. If you can, cultivate a positive mindset. Not only will you be happier, but people like being around optimistic people, which generates opportunities for you.
J – Judgment
This is perhaps the most important professional attribute for any knowledge worker, because you must constantly balance risk management with pragmatism. Your value comes from your judgment on what risks it is appropriate to take, and in setting priorities.
O – Opportunities
Make sure to ask for what you want. At the same time, be open to opportunities to do more, to do different things. Your big break may come in an unexpected area, so take a chance, volunteer. Trust that you will be able to add value in new areas. This is what helps you grow.
G – Good Job
Do a good job in your current job. This is a reality check against the prior point. No matter how keenly you want the next step in your career, you will never get there if your performance in your current job is lacking.
Have dreams for the future, but focus on what you are doing right now. Nothing helps you do a good job so much as following continuous improvement principles. Just start with where you are and steadily improve.
For some thoughts on how Stoicism can help you manage your career, check out The Stoic Career Path.