10 REAL work and career tips from the SR team

By Cheryl Koo | Education

Sep 25
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Have you ever wondered what it’s like at a motivational events company? It’s pretty different from your regular corporation, because we practise the motivational exercises we learn at events regularly. Sometimes it’s irritating, but you’d be surprised at how useful it can be.

At Success Resources, we’re a cheerful and friendly bunch, but not the crazy peppy group a lot of people think we are.

So we got some new staff in the office a couple days ago, and an introductory email was sent out to everybody. Some of us replied with greetings, but because they weren’t in our department, that was pretty much it.

Then I thought, you know what? It’d be great if we had a welcome email that was actually helpful to new people. Something like a list of advice that all of us could give to a new colleague.

So we went around asking everybody we could find to give us at least one sentence they’d say to somebody who was new to work. This isn’t the full list, but we took the more general pieces of advice that we felt were worth sharing.

Don’t expect Hallmark-worthy advice (we’re pretty blunt people), but we hope this helps!

“Don’t work with your mouth, work with your brain.”

The first member of our staff we asked came up with this when we approached her. She’s usually really quiet, but we weren’t surprised at her tough advice. When it comes to running events at Success Resources, all of us end up contributing in some way. Either as a crew member, or helping with administration, set-up, etc.

Because of that, we all know how important it is to give suggestions and feedback that actually help. Thinking together about how we can do better after an event is a regular exercise, which is why we always do our best to give constructive feedback.

Also? Nobody likes that person who talks a good talk but never actually does anything.

“Know your value, know your competition.”

One of our company designers contributed this piece of advice that we all agree is very true. Not all companies like to have employees who know how much they’re really worth (especially if they’re underpaying you), but this is important to know not just for salary purposes, but for you to grow.

If you’ve never compared yourself to another fellow in the field, you’ll never know just how much you’re exceeding or lagging behind the herd. You’ll never be driven to expand on your skills.

Take our advice-giver as an example: she’s primarily a web designer, however she also knows how to design snazzy EDMs (electronic direct mail) and other graphic material. She even has some basic video editing skills!

“Learning is more expensive than salary.”

Came from one of our managers who’s been in the company for a few years. As someone who’s new to the field, you won’t realize just how much knowledge and skill you’re missing. The training provided by the company, including the real-life experiences and mentorship from seniors, is actually worth much, much more than the highest starting pay you can get.

Choose your first job based on how much learning you can get, not how high they’re offering. Heck – take an internship if you can afford it. The pay raise will take care of itself once you’ve got the skills.

“Be true to yourself. Make sure that your values and the company’s values align.”

That’s from one of our newly promoted managers who has been with us for more than a decade. Quite a few of our staff were actually our customers who had attended our seminars and events. Some of them even crewed for us (voluntarily!).

Picking a company to settle in for your entire career is like picking a family. You might argue and disagree at times, but ultimately, everybody is trying to achieve the same mission.

“Build up relationships. Get along with people. Be open.”

We all agree that our HR manager is the friendliest lady in the entire company. She’s very motherly and always asks after us when we’re sick, buys us birthday cakes in flavours we’d actually eat, and does her very best to remember our names. Everyone also recalls their onboarding process with her with warmth.

“We do our best to make people feel at home at SR,” she says, “but you also need to cooperate and be open to talking to us.”

Communication is a two-way street, reach out to your colleagues and take the initiative sometimes!

“Explore your interests. Try everything.”

Not knowing your passion or interest is a problem that everybody experiences at least once in their life. But you’re never going to find that interest or disinterest if you don’t try things at least once.

Coming from one of our best salespeople, who has talked to quite literally thousands of people from all walks of life, that’s definitely good advice.

“Take ownership.”

From another member of our sales team (who are the loudest and most energetic bunch in the office). What most people don’t seem to realize, is that the company’s interests are actually your interests. The better the company does, the better you do.

He gave this example: If the receptionist doesn’t bother to highlight a mistake in our promotion poster because it’s out of her job scope and we end up printing it for public use…we’ll end up being labelled as “the company with crappy posters”. Or unprofessional. Neither label is desirable. You want to work in a company you can be proud of? Help us be that, even if it’s out of your job scope.

“Don’t hope for the perfect job offer. Be grateful for your opportunities.”

This gem is from one of our events staff who has been with us for more than a year. Events is one of those jobs where turnover is high, because it involves a lot of manual labour (moving equipment), on top of arranging manpower and itineraries and booking rooms and juggling conflicting schedules. Events is not a 9 to 5 job and you’re not in the air-conditioned office for most of it.

Truthfully, if he were to go to any other company, it is very likely he could land a cushy job as a project lead or manager by now. But he says there’s still a lot he has to learn, and he likes his team and believes in the company’s vision. Whether he’ll move on in a few years or stay with us, we’re definitely grateful to have him!

“Do the work that needs to be done, not just the work that you enjoy.”

It’s hard to find a job that fits you perfectly in every aspect. In fact, we’re willing to bet that it’s downright impossible. There’s always parts that you prefer over others, and some you’d just rather not have to do at all.

But that’s part of work life – you need to take the fun with the boring, the good with the bad. This piece of advice comes from yet another of our sales team by the way! (Told you they were the loudest)

“Find the passion in yourself or other parts of the job if you can’t find it in the work itself.”

And finally, the cold truth is that not everybody ends up with the job that they want. Or even the one they like. But that’s not the job’s fault. You’ll probably keep a look out for alternatives while you’re working in a job like this, but it doesn’t mean you have to be miserable in the meantime.

Find something you enjoy about working in the company, even if it’s outside of the actual work. Maybe it’s your team, maybe it’s the snack bar, maybe it’s the customers. But don’t keep staring at the rough side of things because the only one who’ll be miserable in the end is you.

Other great quotes:

“Be yourself [at interviews], but be polite!”

“Communication is key. But don’t talk rubbish.”

“Ask questions. Be curious. Take initiative.”

“Know the nature of your business.”

“Stay foolish. Stay happy!”

“Give yourself a year to get used to the job…to give yourself an accurate judgement.”

“Anything in the life, if you own it, you can change it.”

“It’s all in your mind. If you believe you can do it, miracles will happen.”

“The only constant is change. Be adaptive.”

And from the finance team (who takes everything too literally)


“Nice to meet you!”

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