I've been compiling this list for a while now. Adding to it and editing as I see fit. It's evolved over the years as my role has evolved, but there are some truths that have stood the test of time and will continue to do so.
I'm publishing this for my work friends as a going away present. It falls under the category of advice, and we all know how great unsolicited advice is. But hopefully, it'll help them feel a little less alone.
No one can make you feel small. You either let them, or you don't.
Anyone can open the door for you. It’s up to you to walk through that door and prove that you deserve to be there.
Most people think they can write. They can't.
"I'm not trying to art direct you, but..." never leads anywhere good. Neither does, "I just took a stab at rewriting this..."
Talented and nice wins the race.
When you manage people, treat them how you wish you'd been treated, not how your bosses actually treated you.
Fight for your teams. If you aren’t a champion of their work, you’re failing them. And then they will fail you.
No matter what department you’re in, we’re all on the same team.
Fight your own battles. Only bring in the big guns if you can’t solve it yourself first.
Choose your battles wisely. Your reputation depends on it.
Change your mind gracefully when warranted. This is not a sign of weakness. It is a sign of maturity.
Bad behavior usually stems from insecurity.
If you’re not doing great work, take a night off to recharge. If your bosses insist on you working, see above about bad behavior.
Sometimes the best way to get great work is to leave the office.
Put your phone down when you talk to people. No exceptions.
Listen. You can only hear the truth if you pay attention.
Read books. Watch movies. Take walks. Explore the world. Stay current. Exercise your body and your mind.
Some competition is healthy and productive. Too much competition breeds fear and contempt.
Thank you often goes farther than a raise. But both breed loyalty.
Talent comes in strange packages.
Ask people what they think before you tell them what you think.
You don't ask, you don't get. (h/t Missy Robertson)
When you decide go freelance, tell everyone. Your gigs will come from the most unexpected places.
The more you sleep around, the less people will take you seriously.
Too many men, you get a frat house. Too many women, you get a hen house. A balance is always best.
Use your sexuality wisely. Every tool is a weapon if you hold it right.
Good ideas come from smart people who pay attention. They are not necessarily in the creative department.
Your job is to tell the truth in the most creative way possible.
Trust your gut.
You will see these people again. Act accordingly.
And last, but never least: It will always, always be okay.