A lot of people ask me if I miss my corporate job. And the answer is always “No”. But I always think, even if I don’t say it, how grateful I am for all of the positions I have had that have led me to where I am today. Even though “cubeland” may not have been my favorite place in the world, I did take away good skills that I still use in my business today.
A lot of people don’t know that I actually started out doing surf photography. At first it was an excuse to hang around hot surfers. But I found that I really enjoyed it (photography, that is) and I envisioned myself traveling all over the world shooting surf competitions and shooting for surf magazines. But that idea quickly faded away when I saw how expensive the equipment was that I needed to upgrade to (not that weddings are any better!). Nevertheless, I have learned and know the importance of keeping my horizons straight in the background. 😉
After school, I then moved on to work at a real estate association. I was in charge of processing new realtors into our system. I loved processing new members and I was fast. I don’t know why but everything is a race to me. Today, I even feel the need to race my husband when we make the bed (even though I tell him I’m not. Shhhhh). I know, I’m working on it. But I did learn that even though speed can be good, it doesn’t make up for the mistakes that you make along the way. I always have to remind myself to SLOW. DOWN. We also had a standard checklist I had to print out and follow for every new person that was joining. I always thought what a waste of paper it was but I now know that there would have been no way to keep track of everyone without those checklists. Trust me, I’ve tried to do it in my head and it doesn’t work. So today I am checklist crazy. Oh, and nothing beats good ‘ole pen and paper. Slow down and write it down. 
Next came corporate America. I almost feel like everyone should work in corporate America. The same way people say you should work in a restaurant one time in your life (did that too!). There are so many things I took away from that experience. And it’s one of those things you don’t realize until it’s way in the past. I even text my old coworkers and say “you will not believe what I am doing today!” Some of the exact same things I had to do over and over in corporate America. But at least I know how to do them well. I also learned:

1. I like to work alone. I’m an introvert, I can’t help it. But I know it’s necessary to work with others at times and I’m ok with that
2. Document your job! I hate this one. I fight it every day. But the big wigs were right! If you do anything more than once in your job, you should document it! It makes your life so much easier the next time you have to do it and easier for when you need to train someone like an intern or employee. I have to laugh every time I go to make a new “tutorial”.
3. I know Microsoft Excel and Word better than most people and this helps with templates and accounting (woohoo….)
4. Take breaks often. It’s better for your brain and body and you actually become more productive. I was known to take a few coffee breaks here and there…
5. Write.it.down. Again, nothing beats pen and paper. And a checklist.
6. Never assume. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that my brain definitely doesn’t function like everyone else’s. Like you didn’t know.
7. Ask for help. This is still one I’m working on but the good news is I have opportunities to practice it every day!
8. Your job is not your life. We used to say this all the time. Your job doesn’t have to define you or take over your life. Is it good that we get to do something that we love every day? Yes! But it will take over if you let it. You still need a life outside of work, draw your boundaries, and make it home for dinner 🙂

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