Office Lessons

This post does not pertain to my job search or resume or cover letter writing, but I think it is still very important. Today’s post is on affirmation. No, I’m not going “love languages” on you. I’m merely pointing out the effectiveness and necessity of affirmation in the workplace.

One of my weaknesses is giving and receiving compliments. I feel fine without being complimented, so it never occurred to me that others may really need that verbal encouragement. I know it sounds like I’m giving a relationship lesson, but continue with me. Affirmation is very important in relationships, both working and non-working.

Last week I watched a webinar on the myths of careers. It included many great lessons, but one of them was on the myth of modesty of your achievements. The speaker said it is important to express your successes, not hide them. She said that when you or a team you’re on have finished a project successfully, a great way to recognize the success is send an email highlighting the project and the people who worked on it. Do you see how this is beneficial for you?

When you send that email out saying thank you to everyone for making this project so successful, not only is your name tied to the success (bonus points with your boss?), but you are affirming your co-workers. Happy co-workers are always a good thing. Who doesn’t like being told thank you or that they did a great job? I am confident that if you are consistently affirming your co-workers, then they’ll begin affirming you and working harder for you.

One example of this happened to me Friday. One of my tasks as an intern at the Career Center is to plan two orientation breakfasts a semester. I invite another office on Auburn University’s campus to come to the Career Center for breakfast and a discussion of our services. The main goal is education of our services and an improved relationship between the two offices.

This Friday was our first breakfast, and everything went really well. There were zero crises. After it was finished, most, if not all, of the career counselors told me how wonderful I had done. Some of them even told me twice! As I said earlier, I’ve never been the person who craves compliments or pats on the back, but I must admit it felt nice. An email was even sent out thanking everyone for his or her work, and it highlighted me specifically! The rest of the day I was so happy, and even did work on my way to North Carolina for a family trip. If it motivated me, the “I don’t need compliments” girl, to go above and beyond, then what could that do for others?

The lesson here is one I am learning, and I want to impart to you. Encourage co-workers. Not only can it make their day, but it also can help you out when you’re in a pinch!

Paige Robinson '12
Career Center Intern

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