The best advice I ever got
The guy who gave it to me was an asshole but the advice was solid
I’ve been working for almost 20 years now, and I have the privilege to say that all that time was spent as a part of the IT industry. Either as a developer, a team lead, a manager or whatever else I did in the middle, it’s always been related to IT.
During that time, I’ve heard and directly received countless unsolicited and solicited advice from colleagues, bosses and even from clients. But the best advice I ever got, that piece of wisdom that instantly clicked inside my head was given by one of the biggest assholes I’ve ever met.
Just to give you some context, this was during my very first job as a Jr. developer. I worked in that company for almost 2 years. It was a small startup and he was the General Manager.
The day I quit, he called for a full company meeting, with me included, and he literally said: “Fernando is leaving us, but don’t worry, we’ll find someone better to replace him”.
I was there, in front of everyone, when he said that.
If you’re ever in a similar situation, do not do that. Do not expose your employees to that experience.
Ironically enough, that asshole is the one who gave me the best work-related advice I ever heard.
And the advice was
“Leave your problems at the door”
It’s simple, yet powerful. Sometimes our personal life gets mixed up with our work life and things that happen outside work end up influencing our performance and the way we work. Granted, we’re all human beings and we can’t just put up a mental wall and isolate every aspect of our life. However, we can try and get as close as possible to that.
Why? Because while our personal problems are important and we should not ignore them, our work is very important as well. Specially so if it’s the only source of income we have. If we’re going through a crappy moment in our lives, the worst thing we can do, is let that affect our work and turn that into another crappy experience.
This is why “leave your problems at the door” makes sense. The moment you start working, close that mental door as much as possible. Don’t let your other problems creep into your mind while you’re focusing on your code, on giving your status during the daily stand-up or whatever else you might be doing.
Leave your problems at the door, you’ll pick them up on your way out.
What about you? What was the best advice you ever got? Care to share?