Respect and Serve: Career Words of Wisdom

good-ideaSometimes, you get to hear what you need to hear at just the right time. Recognizing that you’ve just heard what you need to hear, ah, that’s the real trick!

My mentor has a knack of dispensing timely words of wisdom for any situation. This is part of the reason why he’s so qualified to be a mentor (whether he asked for that job or not).

These particular words revolve around respecting and serving, and can be applied to many scenarios:

  1. Respect the position, especially if you can’t respect the person in it. 
  2. Sometimes you have to give people exactly what they ordered, even if it’s to their own detriment.

Use them, apply them, and pass them on in turn. You never know when they’ll strike that necessary chord.

What words of wisdom have helped you? Did you recognize them for what they were right away, or did you realize it later?

R-E-S-P-E-C-T: Has it Changed at Work?


One of my friends just asked me, “Is this the new normal–not having respect for employees?”

Tim* has been in the same industry for several years, and likes the field he’s in. Yet a pattern seems to persist.  In job after job, it isn’t long after he’s hired that his boss starts adding on duties from other jobs that don’t really align with the original job description–or Tim’s personal goals.

“It’s as if they say, ‘Oh, you’re good at this job–now do this entirely different job too,” he said.

But since this has happened in the last few jobs, what Tim doesn’t know is if the problem’s with him–or them.

This goes a little beyond micromanaging. A lot of companies are still more interested in increasing productivity than hiring new people.

Do you think the changing economy has affected how managers treat their employees? Is there a widespread issue with respect?

*Name changed

The Cold-Call Conundrum: Respecting Time

I’m not a salesperson, but I still understand salespeople need to, you know, SELL to get business and feed their families at the same time. It’s what they do. It also seems like it could be a very stressful job at times (Death of a Salesman, anybody?) and the burn-out factor is high.

So when I’m cold-called at work, I am at the very least prepared to give a listen to what the other person has to say. Unless it’s an automated message, that voice on the other end of the line is a living, thinking human being trying to connect with another living, thinking human being. I can respect that and respect their time as well.

Where my patience gets a twist is when my time isn’t respected in turn.

What I don’t get is the assumption that:

  • They’ve reached the right person
  • This is a good time to talk
  • You’re even interested in their product
  • You’re going to open the gates wide to your company

Perhaps this is the way sales works: Get through to someone, anyone, no matter who. Even if that person isn’t the right one, they might know the right one.

Hmm, sounds a lot like networking! EXCEPT: Networking is a lot more about give than take. And with networking, you usually say how you found the other person, right? My work number is not publicly listed, for example.

So with a call like this, I’d have preferred if the person would have asked if I had anything to do with their subject BEFORE launching into a 2-minute spiel right after the Hello, I am Mr. X from Company-You’ve-Never-Heard-Of-That-I’ll-Say-Too-Fast.

That’s all. Just that one simple question. You’re working, but so am I. My time is important too.