I’m excited to launch a new career development series on the blog. These tips are for anyone looking to enhance their professional skills and succeed at work.

I’ve had my fair share of big failures and successes – that’s part of the reason why I think I’m qualified to give advice in this area. I’ve also been a working professional for more than 20 years and had to grow up very fast professionally as a college student who went to NYU and had many work experiences before I even graduated.

I’ve seen the good, bad and ugly. I have been pushed out of jobs, fired, promoted and found my way as an entrepreneur.

You should always be building your brand and be open to all kinds of job opportunities. You just never know. Life can change very quickly and doors will open and close.

I know this sounds cliche, but always be open to change. Here are some things I’ve learned along my own professional journey.

  • Everyone is replaceable at work no matter how much we’d like to think otherwise.
  • Sometimes your success at a job has nothing to do with your actual performance and talents and more to do with office politics and culture.
  • People will come and go from your life and it can be sobering.
  • You will never control your future if you let your present be controlled by your past.
  • Put yourself in different situations. Challenge yourself to do things you haven’t done before and have faith in seeing what happens.
  • Let’s normalize getting fired. It doesn’t mean that you won’t be successful again or that you’re a bad person if you get fired. It means that your job wasn’t a good fit. And it frees you to go find something more suited for you. Plenty of people get fired and they bounce back.
  • Someday you will look back and realize exactly why things in your life had to happen the way it did. ⁣That doesn’t mean that day is today. ⁣Keep the faith.
  • Sometimes things come to you easily. Sometimes you have to work hard for them, Either way, it’s about how you handle them, how you take them on and how they may pivot you in a new direction
  • Never let rejection lead to self-rejection. Think of rejection as a form of redirection.
  • Stop knocking on doors not meant for you.
  • Having emotional intelligence is critical. Try not to make decisions based on emotion.
  • Walk around the room and cool down before you send that potentially damaging email.
  • Honor your creativity and individuality.
  • Build your professional network long before you ever need it. It’s never too late or early to start networking on LinkedIn and in real life.
  • Don’t forget your roots and humble beginnings.
  • Treat everyone from top to bottom – especially at the bottom – with respect and kindness.
  • Don’t keep your office door shut all the time and on the flipside, don’t have a revolving door of people coming in and out of your office. Strike the right balance.
  • Be very careful who you friend or accept a friend request from on social media. It’s not always a great idea to give colleagues a glimpse into your personal life.
  • Often a lawyer’s job is more about managing people than about managing a matter. This may involve conflict management or just knowing how to manage strong personalities.
  • Managing up is just as important as managing your team.
  • You are not defined by your mistakes. Learn from them and move on.
  • Do the worst first – try not to procrastinate!
  • The business of law is different from practicing law and to be successful you need to know how to do both.
  • Fairytales are just that – imaginary. Don’t obsess about the things you were supposed to do by a certain age or how your life was supposed to go. Everyone is different and your path to happiness and fulfillment will be too.
  • The moment you stop chasing things not meant for you is the moment the right things will catch you.
  • Less is always more.
  • Silence in conversations is okay – don’t always feel like you have to overcompensate any conversation lulls.
  • Be yourself and the right environments, opportunities and people will find you.
  • Don’t be a mean girl (or guy). Do not gossip at work (or anywhere!)
  • And always remember to put in your best effort every single day – whatever that looks like – and little by little you will get to where you want to go. Just keep going.

What would you add to the list?

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Photo of Stefanie M. Marrone Stefanie M. Marrone

Stefanie Marrone helps law firms and legal service providers effectively tell their stories and find their unique voices. She has worked at some of the most prominent law firms in the world, developing and executing global revenue generating, business development, internal and external…

Stefanie Marrone helps law firms and legal service providers effectively tell their stories and find their unique voices. She has worked at some of the most prominent law firms in the world, developing and executing global revenue generating, business development, internal and external communications strategies, including media relations, branding, multi-channel content marketing and thought leadership campaigns. She has particular experience in helping B2B companies and their employees effectively utilize social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for business development, revenue generation and visibility.

Stefanie advises law firms of all sizes, professional service firms, B2B companies, recruiters and individuals on the full range of marketing and business development consulting services designed to enhance revenue, retain current clients and achieve greater brand recognition. She also serves as outsourced chief marketing officer/marketing department for small and mid-size law firms.

Over her 20-year legal marketing career, she has worked at and with a broad range of big law, mid-size and small firms, which has given her a valuable perspective of the legal industry.

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