In job search and in your career, you have to know which rules you can break and when. You have to know the rules well enough to understand which ones you can break. This can be tricky and it usually requires a strong sense of self-confidence.
As a child, you were taught to follow many rules at home and in school- no running inside, no chewing gum in class, do your homework, and the list goes on. When we were young we followed those rules if we knew what was good for us, in other words, if we wanted to stay out of the principal’s office and stay in our parent’s good graces. But as you got older, you tested the rules. In fact, you outright broke them at times. And from this you learned some valuable lessons.
No Calls Please
When job postings state “no calls please” that means you shouldn’t call and ask about the job. You can call a friend or someone in the company you’ve been referred to and ask about the time-frame for filling the job and more insight about the company. No one will get hurt or injured if you side step this rule.
There are few rules in writing a resume; there are only preferences. If you put more emphasis and attention on building relationships, you may be pleasantly surprised how little the resume actually matters.
Don’t Break the Status Quo
On the job, especially if you are new, it is important to fit in. You don’t want to rock the boat. When, not if, you are told to complete a task a certain way, do it that way, just like you followed the rules as a kid. You need to learn why and how their rules exists before you can test it. However, there may come a time to break the status quo. When people or companies get into a rut of doing things a certain way for too long, it can become dangerous to their health and survival.
Don’t Question Authority
In my opinion, this might be one of the all-time dumbest rules ever. Yes, you and I should respect authority (our elders, senior staff, leaders and other high ranking officials) however, it does not mean you can’t ask them questions. You need to learn from them. Never fear authority. Under the facade of their role, they are people just like you and me. Have a conversation with those senior to you. And I am not just talking to the new graduates here. No matter your age, you should respect the thoughts and ideas of others (younger and older).
Do As You Are Told
This does not mean you blindly do everything you are told. If you are asked to do something which goes against your moral values or seems unethical, you need to appropriately question why you are being asked to do it. This takes courage and has to be done with diplomacy and tact.
How You Are Perceived by Others Does Matter
Every decision or choice you make should take into consideration how it will impact others. Your choices must also weigh your own personal benefit. These can be tough decisions sometimes. At the end of the day, you have to be OK with what you have done or not done.