When we got a reporter request (Family Circle Magazine) for working moms to submit three to four examples of how to be an outstanding working mother we asked our resident SuperMom/Senior Account Executive Leah Leahy to jot down a couple things off the top of her head.
The catch - It was an A to Z list so every response had to coincide/incorporate one letter of the alphabet.
Not only did Leah rattle off three or four…but she tackled the whole damn alphabet.
The reporter (if we’re lucky) will only take one but the whole list is too good to waste so below is Leah’s complete A to Z list of being an awesome working mom…from someone with four kids under the age of 7…she oughta know.
Check your baggage at the door. No one wants to work with a mope. Positivity is everything at a workplace. That doesn’t mean to be peppy like a cheerleader, but avoid complaining, whining, or gossiping. Exude optimism.
Don’t go airing your dirty laundry. Don’t go asking the boss personal questions. Don’t be a close talker. Remain respectful of people’s personal space and don’t over disclose about your personal life.
C- Computer Literate
Welcome to 2018. No one said you need to be the next Steve Jobs, but if you’re resume lists “Microsoft Word Proficient” that’s sad. You’re 9 year old niece is also Microsoft Word proficient. Step up your game.
D- Drama Free
That’s right, leave the drama for your mama. Don’t like Suzy from the cubicle down the hall? Keep it to yourself. Margaret showed up ten minutes late? Unless your job requires you to take attendance, leave it be.
No one wants to associate with someone who’s full of themselves. You may shine at work right now, BUT, there’s always someone younger, smarter, more talented, and willing to do the same job for less money. Be gracious.
We’re not talking yoga here, we’re talking true team player. Show that you can step outside your role, go that extra mile, show that you can adapt to change.
G- Go Getter
Show that you are goal oriented. Don’t tell the CEO that you one day want to take their job, that’s off-putting. But make sure people know that you don’t want to be stagnant, and that you want room for advancement within the agency.
No matter what your accomplishments are, stay humble. Earned employee of the month? Go you. But next month you’re old news. Spend less time bragging and more time continuing to perfect your craft.
Arrive early- but an “eager” early, not a “desperate” early. 15 minutes is good. Shut your phone off. Give eye contact. Be honest; now is not the time to perfect your on the spot storytelling abilities. If you don’t understand something, ask. Market yourself, don’t sell yourself short!
The average person works 44 hours a week. It’s fine to spice that time up with some office humor, but know your audience- keep the office jokes clean!
K- Know your role
If you’re not the boss, don’t act like one. Don’t over-step. Take orders from the top, and unless your job title has the word “supervisor” in it, don’t go around giving orders.
Market yourself as a learner. Don’t know something? No big deal, you can learn quickly! Note: This is different than marketing yourself as a know it all. A learner means there’s room for growth and an eagerness to get better.
M- Mo’ Money ‘Mo Problems
Get a raise and people are going to expect more from you. Be ready for added responsibility before you go asking for a bigger paycheck. But at the same time, know your worth, and know when it is an appropriate time to talk to your boss about stepping up a pay grade.
AKA Schmooze when you need to. Keep your business card available at all times, you never know who you might meet at the nail salon, at the gas station, or when buying your lunch at the nearby food truck. While you’re at it, go update your LinkedIn profile.
O- Open Seating Etiquette
Work in an open office? Just be considerate. Keep your eye on the prize- meaning, don’t be looking over your shoulder at your officemate’s work. No one wants you spying on their emails. Just look ahead at what you’re doing. Be mindful of your scent. Don’t overdo the perfume/cologne. Be thoughtful of the food you eat at your desk- fish, brussel spouts, cauliflower- just a few ideas of things to not eat at your desk.
Have a hard time getting to your meetings on time? Set your watch ahead. Set an alarm. Set two. No one has time to wait for you. Check your diva at the door and make sure you get to wherever you need to be on time.
Know when to throw in the towel. Can’t sleep, can’t eat, and cry after work? Put your mental health first. It’s not called giving up- it’s called knowing your limits.
There’s a million resume do’s and don’ts, but let’s start here. Tailor your resume to the job description- this isn’t your autobiography so if you’re beyond two pages you’ve gone too far. We know you want to stand out, but don’t that by experimenting with a whacky format or font. Don’t spray your perfume on the resume. You can wow a recruiter or hiring manager with your experience, not a colored font. Not job hunting at the moment? Doesn’t matter- keep that resume updated! Years from now you’ll forget those relevant job trainings or accomplishments, so put it in writing!
S- Social Media
Know your organization’s social media policy. Never send a friend request to your boss. In fact, just keep your social media pages set to private. And always remember this- if you call out of work, make sure no one tags you at a party.
T- Say Thank You
Had an interview? Send a thank you. A co worker or subordinate did something above and beyond for you? Say thank you. No one is asking you to delve out trophies or hang up the sticker charts, but do something to show you are appreciative of people or else you’ll hear crickets next time you ask for a favor.
U (don’t) Underestimate
If R. Kelly believes he can fly, you need to believe you can succeed at work. Don’t be afraid to try something new, take chances.
Make sure to sound professional. Drop the slang and the swears. If you don’t know what something means, don’t say it, or at least quickly google it first.
Don’t forget to bring that WOW factor to work. Crush that deadline, speak up at the staff meeting, be the first to respond to the email. Make people think, “well how does (s)he do it?”
Don’t know what xenial means? Neither did we, but you can’t do a careers A-Z without an X word. But I think this definition sums it up: of, relating to, or constituting hospitality or relations between host and guest. Thanks Webster.
Y (Do) YOU
You need to know when to step away from the screen, shut off the emails, say no to the overtime. You’re no good to anyone if you’re over tired, overworked, and downright miserable. Book a vacation. You earn time off for a reason- use it. Do you.
It doesn’t matter if you’re slinging burgers, show some passion for what you do!