When I began working at age 16, I was exposed to different industries. These industries provided me with a great insight into work that went into a lot of things that we often take for granted. The industries I was involved in were Airline, Shipping, Food & Beverage, Events Management, Tourism, Media & Entertainment, Education and a whole lot more.
And I learnt A LOT from all these experiences and I would like to share 3 of them.
“Under Promise, Over Deliver”
This is a Public Relations strategy that I learnt and often came across when I was in the F&B, Events Management, Tourism and Media & Entertainment industry.
It’s not lying to your customers about what you will really give them, but it’s about you giving them more than what they expected.
This is also closely related to “Value-Adding”.
I also believe that this has been strongly indoctrinated into my attitude as I grew up. I find myself doing more than I should when I get asked/hired to do something.
“Time is Money”
I grew up on this, LITERALLY – at home and when I started working.
I found myself preferring to go to work, instead of staying home to watch a movie, because time wasted on watching a movie, could be better spent on earning money (Even my parents were asking me to go work and earn than to sit home)
Now that I’m running my own companies, this holds even more true because there are always project or proposal deadlines to meet. Your inability or inefficiency to deliver the proposal or the needs for the completion of the proposal before the deadline, may result in a financial loss for the company. It may not be a $10,000,000 project or a $10,000 project, but your attitude towards meeting the deadline even for a $1,000 project will show. And don’t even say, “For that amount of money, it’s not worth my time” because that amount of money or project could connect you to bigger amounts/projects (unless there is a bigger project that you are working on concurrently, then work on both or choose the one which you know you can deliver it better).
Being early to attend meetings (professional or friendly), is also a reflection of your attitude towards time. Being late is a reflection of your tardiness or lack of awareness for time. I wouldn’t be dependent on you to help me run bigger projects if you are a habitual late-comer because you might just be late on the event day. If I can’t trust you to be punctual daily, I can’t trust you to be punctual ever.
Events have to start and end on time. Over-runs cost money. If you don’t have the budget to over-run, you run into debt. If you have the budget to over-run, you’d be dumb if you were willing to spend it when you could save it instead.
Airlines like Singapore Airlines has a very short turnover when they land. Smaller planes have a 30 minute turnover period whilst bigger planes have up to 1.5 hours. Every minute they spend waiting, cost money.
If you still haven’t learnt, go get yourself familiar with a Gantt Chart.
Or ask those who have died, I’m sure they’d tell you they’d find better ways to use their time than to waste someone else’s.
“Build Lasting Relationships”
Malays have a saying, “Kawan biar seribu, musuh jangan satu”, loosely translated, ‘Have a thousand friends but not a single enemy’.
Whilst none of us can avoid or ever know if anyone is a willing enemy, we should always work towards building lasting relationships. Someone you know from 10 years ago, may help connect you with someone influential to help you advance your career or expand your horizons.
It’s not nice to have bad blood with someone anyway.
And yes, whilst there are some people whom I’d rather not work with because of incompatibility in attitude and work ethics, I don’t mind being friends with them BUT I wouldn’t recommend them to anyone.
At the end of the day, ask ourselves, do we want to recommend ourselves to anyone for any kind of work? What kind of work would that be?