You can take the girl out of corporate America…
Ed has been eagerly awaiting the opportunity to model some of the birthday presents he received from friends and loved ones. That’s right, people – some of you actually sent him stuff (thank you xoxoxxo) – I didn’t go and buy these things myself, although I have thought about it.
Finding a job was a hugely stressful component of Business School. Here are some of the things I learned there and in the working/rehab world.
(1) Keep your resume updated. Even if you’re not in the job market, the bullet points you come up with will be a huge help at performance review time. Also, if you force yourself to distill your job into a few bullet points you’ll figure out what you’re really spending your time on which will help you decide whether you’re devoting yourself to the right things. (I googled “resume writing” – and ale.org popped up with this handy word list.)
(2) Dress for success. When I worked for a corporate real estate company in D.C. I knew a young broker who showed warehouse space in Annandale wearing wearing meticulously ironed shirts with cufflinks. Looking respectable and “together” inspires confidence.
Ed is a retired banker. Banking was more of a gentlemanly pursuit than a profession since he is independently wealthy, but that’s neither here nor there. He got this new tie as a gift. Don’t you like the stripes? And then he was THRILLED to receive the chef’s outfit since it helps him look the part of his true calling: being the Next Food Network Star.
(3) Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. I have bean treated by many medical professionals during my adventures in RecoveryLand. I’ve also interacted with many customer service/administrative professionals (e.g. from the credit card company, the DMV) when my parents let me (sometimes they don’t because they want to shield me from stress or are afraid of what I might say – this latter reason was more of a problem when I refused to think anything happening was real). Out of the army of people I’ve met, I’ve only encountered a couple of folks I wasn’t a huge fan of. I think this is a pretty good track record. But even 1 or 2 people is 1 or 2 too many. I have enough reasons to feel bad or unsure about myself – I don’t need anyone else to make me feel stupid (even if unintentionally). I honestly don’t think I’m over-sensitive, but even if I were I’ve heard other disabled/brain injury patients talk about similar incidents that left them reeling. So I’m not the only one this happens to. I am the only one in my family who deals with situations like these, and I am careful about if/how/when I talk about things like this that hurt my feelings since my family members do NOT tolerate even a hint of ill or sub-par treatment of one of their own, and the air around my house is generally litigious (be forewarned).
So whether or not your job requires you to interact with disabled people, the rule of thumb is simple: Do unto others… C’mon – show us that your parents raised you right and that you know how to treat other people with respect and kindness. It’s quite possible that you did not have the opportunity to see this sort of good behavior modeled for you as a child, so show us you know what the right thing to do is anyway because you picked it up on your own.
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