What’s the best advice you can give to someone who is in a new job role or starting as a freelancer?
(Something that is not copy-pasted all across the web, self-help books, and career guides.)
My response would be:
“Maintain professional boundaries.”
People aren’t talking much about this.
Be it your peers, manager, boss, client, or co-freelancers, DO NOT GET TOO CASUAL (too friendly) with them.
Of course, there will always be a few exceptions, but you cannot be the same with everyone.
For instance, at workplaces, there might be a couple of co-workers with whom your vibe matches, and you gel well. That’s fine. And that’s a human need as well.
You can be an open book with them, helpful, and available.
But if you’re too nice to everyone, it will backfire. It’s just a matter of time. It will.
Do not let people get comfortable with delegating not-so-rewarding work/opportunities to you, taking up the credit for your work, blaming you for their failures, and thwarting your growth for their own. Especially, do not let them get comfortable taking out their frustration on you in any scenario, even when you’re at fault.
This could sound like sick advice for many. And it is. But those, to whom it didn’t feel like ill advice, you know this is exactly what’s going wrong with you. You need to fix this. Stop carrying a placard that says “exploit me.”
I know, how I’ve put this is not that well-refined. Maybe, a few years down the line, I’ll get more clarity and will share a more succinct version of this. There are multiple blogs about this on the web, but the ones I read haven’t done justice to the topic. I guess this needs more attention. This inhibitor might be one of the core factors impeding a lot of careers at the bottom of the pyramid.
I would like to emphasize again, stop carrying a placard that says “exploit me.“
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