My Dad had a knack for teaching me hard lessons in a very blunt manner. A particular period in my life when I needed it most were the months directly after graduating college.

I flinched at every piece of advice he gave me. Now that he’s gone, I’m grateful I listened to him. All of my success has hinged on it.

Here are some powerful bits of advice my Father gave me during my early working years just out of college. I’ve also added some advice of my own.

While in the office:

  1. Stop complaining.

    1. That’s it. Shut up. Nobody cares.
  2. Don’t share your political views at work.

    1. Ever.
  3. Work your ass off.

    1. Then shut up.
  4. Focus on every day due diligence.

    1. The little things matter. Scratch that. The teeniest, tiniest, most minuscule microscopic things matter. Do that stuff great. Every. Single. Day.
  5. Get enough sleep, drink water and exercise.

    1. No excuses, or deviation here.
  6. Do not kiss that person in the office.

    1. Caveat: (so you know I’m not heartless).
      1. Do so only if you are planning on leaving that office for another job immediately.
      2. Or if you are planning on marrying that person.
      3. There are no alternate situations that are acceptable. None.
  7. Do not ask for a raise for the first 5 years out of college.

    1. If you deserve a raise, you will get it.
    2. If you don’t, they will fire you and you can get on with your life.
    3. If you do ask (and you deserved it, they may give it to you) but they will do so begrudgingly.
      1. Now you’ll have a hard time at a job you’re good at. That’s bad.
    4. If you don’t ask and they give it to you, you’re a hero.
      1. That’s good.
  8. Get comfortable in a suit for the guys, and heels for the ladies.

    1. In fact – overdress. Nobody will expect it.
    2. They will think you’re old school and an old soul. This is good.
  9. Don’t give anyone in the office a nickname. You haven’t earned that right.

    1. If they’ve given you one that means they like you. No matter how derogatory said nickname is — If you have one – you’re in.
    2. If you don’t have one. Do more work. Smile while you’re doing said work. And get better at remembering people’s names.
  10. If you want to differentiate yourself show up early to meetings with a pad and pen.

    1. No phone. Try it. People will notice.
  11. Be nice.

  12. Be courteous.

  13. Ask if you can help.

    1. Ask even if you don’t have time to help.
    2. Keep asking until someone takes you up on your offer.
  14. Ask lots of questions.

    1. Ask more than you think you need to ask.
    2. Keep asking
  15. Be humble

  16. Be authentic.

    1. Your boss can smell B.S. a million miles away. So can your colleagues, and you need them to survive.
  17. Make eye contact.

  18. Don’t compete with anyone.

    1. Ever.
    2. Just put your head down and do your thing. It’s all that you can control.
  19. Do everything with enthusiasm.

    1. Every.

    2. Single.

    3. Thing.

  20. Don’t talk about your dating life in the office – your boss doesn’t care.

    1. She’s tired.
    2. She’s managing your team, and she was up last night with her newborn.
    3. Also, her toddler puked on her blouse this morning.
  21. Don’t gossip.

    1. Do I really have to explain this one?
  22. Do work late.

    1. Not because your boss wants slave labor. Rather, because your boss used to work late, and now he can’t.
    2. He has to be at recitals, birthday parties and plays and such.
    3. He respects your dating/social life but it can wait one more hour. His children cannot.
  23. Live with roommates

    1. Cities are expensive. 
  24. Do – go home on the weekends and recharge.

    1. Or don’t.
    2. You’re young, so you can handle it.

On the Weekends:

  1. Don’t go to clubs with lines and red ropes and such.

    1. Don’t do it. Nothing good happens at those places.
  2. Do go to dive bars, and do shots with the regulars.

    1. Do it. All of your great memories from this period in your life will happen there.
  3. Do go on crazy weekend excursions with your new disposable income.

  4. Don’t freak out that you didn’t do something constructive.

    1. Constructive isn’t your thing right now.
  5. Sleep in.

    1. For the love of all that is holy, please sleep in.