Did you ever have a rock tumbler? Perhaps like me, you had one of these as a child. But if you’re not familiar with what a rock tumbler is, let me quickly explain. First, you scavenge your yard for some rocks with jagged and rough edges. You then place them in your “rock tumbler”, a small cylinder machine that spins around like a clothes dryer. After a few hours you remove the old jagged rocks, polish them up and voilà! You are left with smooth, shiny, and polished rocks. It’s an amazing transformation!
In many ways, the rock tumbler is like a career.
Each of us graduate from school excited and ready to conquer the world. We accept our first position and walk, like jagged, rough rocks into the rock tumbler. Decades later, after endless bumps, bruises, ups, downs, and lots of tumbles we come out the other side polished and refined.
For those that have been through the rough and tumble of years in the workforce, there are always valuable lessons to be shared with everyone following behind (or beside us). And since it’s always better to learn from other’s mistakes instead of making them ourselves, I offer a few words of advice:
- Stay in contact with peers and mentors that leave your current company. Those contacts may come in handy at a future date.
- Never cook fish in the office microwave!
- It’s not how you treat those “above” you that matters, it’s now you treat those “below” you than counts. Always strive to help others, even if it has no direct benefit to you.
- Remember you are not owed anything. If you want success, it’s up to you.
- Never present only the problem. If you are ever required to present a problem, always make sure you have a recommended solution to go along with.
These are just a few of the many lessons I’ve learned along the way – but I’d like to hear some of the lessons each of you have learned along the way. Please share your one piece of advice below, and each of us can benefit from the collective years of experience accumulated here at Pink Petro.