The Golden Rule, not just something you learned in Sunday school

I’ve been working at my temporary position for three weeks now. I can honestly say I’m really enjoying myself. Although this job isn’t pushing me to my limits in a communications / public relations sense it is giving me plenty of opportunities to hone basic office and administrative skills that are invaluable.

I have had my mother’s voice in the back of my head for the past week. “Always be nice to everyone, even the custodians. Just because you have a title, or don’t have a title, doesn’t mean you are any less, or more, of a person.” Everyone here subscribes to that, I may be in one of the lower positions on the totem pole but everyone is extremely helpful and inviting.

The other day I was helping another Director organize interviews. He asked me what I thought about the candidates I had been in contact with. At first I was a little taken aback and of course answered honestly, they had all been polite and friendly in my interactions with them. After I provided him with my answer he mentioned that it was important he get everyone’s opinion of how candidates interact with all levels of staff in the department.

Again my mother’s wise words popped into my head. The lesson here is to treat everyone with kindness and exactly how you would wish to be treated. This should be obvious in all interview and professional environments but it is especially true today with the über competitive job market. From day one of your interactions with a hiring committee, which by the way includes the secretary that answers the phones and schedules your appointments (ahem), be polite. You could have identical credentials as another candidate but maybe you snapped at the secretary when she kept you one the phone longer then you wished to double check information. Right there, you may have lost the position.

The golden rule, it’s not just something you memorize in Sunday school.


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