50 things I learned from my coworkers

Today you headed back to the office after a two week hiatus for the holidays. I’m guessing you were dragging a little and maybe even apprehensive about having to show up and be productive after such a relaxing break. One thing I am sure of is that your motivation to get out of bed this morning was that you got to reunite with one another. So while today I officially hang my virtual “open for business” sign and stamp “entrepreneur” on my LinkedIn profile, I spent most of the day thinking about how much I’m going to miss you.

I’d been at my job for nearly five years. Some of my you were there before I arrived and others started just six months ago. All of you made your marks on my life and I am incredibly grateful. And lucky. I know from previous jobs that your coworkers can make or break your work life. Not only did you give me a reason to come to work every day, but we actually wanted to hang out even more after we’d already punched the clock. It didn’t take long for you to become so much more than colleagues

It sounds like a line from a cheesy movie, but I learned a lot about who I want to be because of you. I won’t always recall every painfully useless meeting we endured together {most of them}, or every inside joke we came up with {swoop and poop, HOP, Mean Girls, and on and on and on}, but I will always remember the things you taught me about being a good coworker, friend, mother and wife. Here are my top 50:

  1. Collaborate as often as possible
  2. Brainstorming sessions will improve the quality of your work
  3. Delegate when you can
  4. Ask for help
  5. Show appreciation
  6. Don’t take credit for something you didn’t do
  7. Handwritten notes have not gone out of style
  8. Family comes before work always
  9. Take time off when you can
  10. Let the little things go
  11. Pick and choose wisely what colleagues you decide to become Facebook friends with
  12. Apologies go a long way
  13. Change happens
  14. No one has done everything
  15. Think twice before you hit “reply all”
  16. Be on time
  17. Vacations are time well spent re-energizing
  18. Don’t leave a meeting without a plan of action
  19. You’re never too old to learn something new
  20. Sometimes you need to pick up the phone
  21. You don’t have to like everyone
  22. Not everyone is going to like you
  23. Hair lice can keep coming back if the mother ship doesn’t get exterminated
  24. Always go to the funeral
  25. Be fiercely loyal to those you care about
  26. Teen boys smell really bad after dancing
  27. Know when to voice your opinion
  28. Know when to be quiet
  29. We wear pink on Wednesdays
  30. Holding a grudge is unattractive
  31. When you build a website, you will dream in code
  32. Make fake award certificates for yourself if it motivates you
  33. Random gifts can brighten someone’s day
  34. Bring food to the office for any reason or no reason at all
  35. If you have the opportunity to drink a purple cocktail made with champagne, just ask for the champagne
  36. Own up to your mistakes
  37. Win graciously
  38. Lose graciously
  39. Sometimes you just need to ugly cry and be hugged
  40. Takeout Chinese food for lunch can turn a day around
  41. Don’t keep your basement refrigerator stocked with liquor if there are teenagers in the house unless it has a lock
  42. Traditional white lights aren’t the only way to decorate for Christmas
  43. Some people are cold literally all the time
  44. Those people travel with space heaters
  45. If you say you’re going to do something, do it
  46. People mellow with age
  47. Don’t lie to your employer
  48. You get out of it what you put into it…it being work, friendship, marriage, parenthood or anything else you decide to do
  49. Mayo and sriracha sauce make a great dip
  50. Distance makes the heart grow fonder

I know there are many more {and I hope you call me out on them}.

So while today I am enjoying the peace and quiet of my new home office and the comfort of my yoga pants, I know that some days it will feel more like loneliness. So, dear coworkers, my Mean Girls, I hope you weren’t quite done teaching me lessons yet, because you can expect to see me often.

I miss you already.

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