Unwritten Rules of the Workplace

Today we are talking about those "unwritten laws" of the workplace. The ones that everyone knows about but nobody admits to. The silent annoyance of cubicle row. Modern office culture has changed quite a bit in the last 10-15 years. In most cases, gone are "casual Friday's", standard benefits, and real perks. It is also the age of political correctness. Some might argue that this is a bad thing, but in the case of workplace courtesies I actually think it can be an asset. 

We have all been there. You are having a perfectly decent day. Maybe you are even getting a ton of stuff done. You are on a roll. Then it happens, someone in the general vicinity of you does something that to you seems like UMM...are they really doing that? To which you realize, YES, Yes they are doing that.

While thank goodness we don't have to live in the day's of Mad Men style offices with cigarette smoke swirling through the halls and sexual innuendo at every turn. There are still a ton of things that happen in modern day offices that are pretty...well, they're annoying to many. Rather than create my own list (keeps me safe from the line of fire) I will actually take my list from the book "Stop Tweeting Boring Sh*t, The New Rules of Work" By Division of Labor.

Never trust a man in pleated khaki’s!
Never trust a man in a shiny shirt!”
— Stop Tweeting Boring Sh*t, The New Rules of Work - Division of Labor & My Mother


WHY? You might ask. Well, it's simple, when I read the back of the book and noticed the line "Never Trust A Man in Pleated Khaki's", I knew this was a book I had to get behind. I have often told people of a rule my Mother taught me, "Never Trust a Man in a Shiny Shirt", so this fit in with that and it just felt like KISMET!

So what are the rules? They aren't really rules per se, as much as they are little "dear co-worker" thoughts. So here we go...

"please stop showing up to work reeking of perfume." an allergy girl who, granted, should probably be in a bubble, this is awful. This should also be a "Dear People on Airplanes" note.  PLUS YOU KNOW WHAT? Soap smells amazing all on it's own. Nothing smells better than clean, especially no White Diamonds or Drakar Noir.

"please stop making cc's on speakerphone from your cubicle."

LOOK...we know there is a lack of conference rooms, or maybe someone stole your conference room, we get it. But pick up the receiver or plug in a headset because between the barking dogs, myriad of musical tastes and the call, who can get anything done? Remember, you are not the only one that can hear the call.

"please stop sighing really loudly."


PERSONALLY...I'm not sure if I have ever heard this one in the office but I totally get it. Deep sighs are hard to handle regardless of where you are. If it is THAT bad, then tell me about it, make the sighing stop.


Obviously this is a lighthearted way to look at the little quirks and peccadilloes that are completely ridiculous to get upset about but we all get annoyed by them, EVEN if we are the guilty party, so we could probably all lighten up a bit and maybe think before we do something in our cubicle.

If you want to get a little laugh about this type of stuff, make sure and check out the book. Not only is it funny, it also has a lot of good points.


What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up?

Recently I found a survey done on Linkedin. The survey asked 8,000 people around the globe what they dreamt of being when they were kids. Can you guess what types of answers came in? If you look at the list, you might discover one that was on your wish list. However, the survey also discovered that only 8.9% of the respondents actually work in the field they dreamt of. Why have so many of us abandoned the dreams we had when we were young?

10 most common childhood dream jobs.png

The survey gave a number of reasons for the low percentage. They ranged from changing interests, difficulty getting a job, expensive to go after their dream (think cost of college).Of course some had concerns over money. But regardless of the reason, it is sad to see so many move away from their dreams, especially when you consider the quote below.

The dream jobs we aspire to as children are a window into our passions and talents.
— Nicole Williams - Connection Director at Linkedin

I believe one reason for this is that we are asking the wrong question. Why do we ask kids what "JOB" they want to have when they grow up? Shouldn't we instead be asking them what they like to do NOW? Shouldn't we be asking them what they like to do? We should even be asking questions like what do they think they are good at or what do they lose time doing? It is crucial that we ask them these questions, not just once but frequently

When I found my purpose/passion a few years ago, everything came into focus. I realized I was put on this earth to TALK. I should note that I discovered this while on stage in front of 400 people in a Marriott conference room in North Carolina. I call it my "Beyonce Moment" because it was in that moment on stage when I actually had a conversation with myself.

Dawne, you are killing it. You sound so smart. People are laughing, they think you’re funny and your outfit is on fire. Holy Crap, I love this. If I had a wind machine, this moment would go down as the most epic of all time”
My real life baby book with the proof in my own mother's handwriting. (1976)

My real life baby book with the proof in my own mother's handwriting. (1976)

The truth is I felt like this must be what it's like to be living in your purpose. It was life altering but it also hit me like a ton of bricks. How had I never realized this? Every job I had ever imagined myself in was centered around talking (SNL cast member, Broadway star, the next Barbara Walters, a get the point). To make matters worse, I asked my Mom when she knew I was a talker. She didn't answer me, instead she texted me this picture of my baby book. You'll notice it says that I started talking at 6 months! Did you know the average baby starts talking at 18 months? (Yes, I looked it up). It was always there. I wasn't paying attention because I wasn't looking for what I was good at or what I loved doing, I was looking for a job.

In an effort to help other people find their purpose, I want to share a few of the questions I ask myself. It is important to dig deep and understand what the questions really mean. I keep a journal for just this purpose. Each year I ask myself the same questions. (these are just a few of them) I do this so I can make sure I am not missing anything and I am moving in the right direction.

What did you want to be and what are you doing to make your dreams real? Tell me in the comments.



P.S. I have decided not to suggest a book today but instead I want to compel you to pick up your own journal and start answering your questions now. It is never to late to go for your purpose.It's yours nobody else's. You have to pick the journal that is best for you, but if you want a suggestion, check out Compendium who makes some great books to help inspire you in your writing. Click on the image to find all sorts of great journals.