We all want that same astronomic rise to the top. But there are a few standards we should not be willing to compromise in the interests of success. Here are 6 examples of things not worth sacrificing on the altar of the corporate ladder.
Don’t let yourself be abused, ridiculed, belittled, or harassed. There are plenty of systems in place to protect employees from these sorts of things. Show that you have a little backbone and some unflappable dignity and take advantage of them. At very least, you’ll be helping to ensure the next person doesn’t suffer similar maltreatment.
It’s not all about the Benjamins. Success won’t be worth much if you’ve sold your soul to get it. Remember that your self worth is not tied to the size of your paycheck, or the fanciness of your car or your apartment. Not everyone can have a private jet. If you’re ever tempted to do something mercenary just to get paid, don’t. Take the high road instead. You can’t buy happiness. And once you spend your integrity, it’s very hard to build it back.
It’s important to fit in to your workplace culture, and to espouse the kinds of values your bosses emphasize. But doing something that feels wrong or abhorrent in any way to you just because you feel it’s what’s expected of you? That sucks. If you start to hate yourself for conforming to the questionable standards of others, then start looking for another job. Staying isn’t worth it.
Your values are important. Shedding them out the window on your way to the top of the heap? Lame. Loyalty, honesty, empathy, graciousness… these are important things that probably helped get you where you are. Protect them at all costs.
If you have a hard time figuring this one out, make a list of the values most important to you and tack it up somewhere you will see it often. If you ever feel in danger of compromising any one of them, stop what you’re doing and re-strategize. When you still like yourself at 80, you’ll be glad you did.
In the savage quest to succeed, it’s so easy to give up on all the so-called creature comforts like whole, healthy foods, nutrition, exercise, sleep, self-care. The list goes on. Take stock of your health and then do a thorough realigning of your habits. What good is success if you’re too exhausted, depleted, depressed to enjoy it? A work-life balance is important and will keep you fresher and sharper longer.
You’re so busy trying to get to the top of the next horizon that 5 or 10 years have gone by and you don’t remember why you went in this direction with such tenacity in the first place. Remember to have a bigger goal—your calling, if you will—and keep that goal in sight. Try and make every move somehow in service of this greater dream. Ask yourself where you want to be in 25 or 50 years, and make sure you’re taking steps, however incremental, to get there.
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