Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Great Life Advice++

1. Get good at summary slides - helps people who aren’t in your project/field be able to quickly digest your work. Also helps them understand and report if you’re doing a good job.
2. Tell someone lateral to you when you have good news, even if that good news is you solved a previous mistake you made.
3. Understand what you can control and are responsible for versus how to remain invested. There’s a healthy line between being invested and overly committed. Don’t get too emotionally attached. One way is to try several fields / projects! Also if you’re in too niche of a field, have a back-up field / plan.
4. Understand that if you’ve done all that you can towards “the right thing” and nothing changes, let it go. You’ve done your best. Don’t waste more emotional energy / time. You’ll just feel tired.
5. Finding the right manager / team is as important or more important than the work itself. This is independent of big company vs startup vs academia.
6. Don’t “fight for truth”. If in an uncomfortable spot between doing “the right thing” versus “being loyal” - get yourself out. You’ll lose either way. Don’t compromise your sense of self with a) excessive moralism nor b) by being bullied into political silence. Best strategy is to exit the situation, zoom out one layer of abstraction, and reevaluate “the right thing” again. Rinse and repeat until you know “the right thing”, but at a level with the least conflicts of interest. Act accordingly. It’s ok to leave - sometimes “the only winning move is not to play.”
7. Understand your personal worth is more than your perceived reputation. Betting your entire self-identity on “intellectual expertise” or “sense of authority” or “seniority” will lead to insecurity. True respect is never gained through titles, but earned through integrity. Likewise, understand your personal worth is more than just your work. No one project / field encompasses the entirety of your personal “success”. Self-identity and worth are far more complex than any one or two things.
8. Don’t let failure devastate you. Accept failure with grace, find next steps for corrective action and move on. Stop “spinning” your mistakes as successes - you’ll become less honest and unconsciously insecure.
9. Try putting on someone else’s hat and looking at the problem from their perspective. Listen. Give the benefit of a doubt. You can be wrong too. Don’t go full neurotic though.
10. Loyalty is for friends and families - not companies. Always have a support system - never take them for granted.