I was in the drama department at my high school for seven years, committing most of my time to plays, musicals, chorus, improv team, and everything in between. Throughout these experiences, I not only honed my acting and musical talents but also learned many practical concepts that have been instrumental in preparing me for college and the business world.
1. Fail gloriously, never timidly.
Whatever you do, do it confidently and don't be afraid to fail; most of the time people won't even notice if you mess up with confidence. No one is successful at everything they do, and owning your mistakes is a respectable quality. This goes the other way around as well; instead of judging others when they mess up, work together to make things better!
2. Less is more.
Both in the world of comedy and in day to day life, something more subtle can have a greater impact than something more dramatic. Speaking few but carefully chosen words can even make someone foolish seem wiser to those around them.
3. Early is on time, on time is late.
It is not enough to simply be "on time." Planning to arrive early is the only way to consistently prepare for the infinite variables and unexpected events liable to occur between two destinations, and it also gives you time to compose yourself and appear put together before any event.
4. Check it at the door.
In order to maintain professionalism, it is important to keep your personal and professional life separate, "checking your attitude at the door." This enables you to be more productive and keep focused on the task at hand.
5. Use your diaphragm.
When addressing a group of people, it is important to support your voice by breathing from your diaphragm, which allows you to sound powerful and be heard without having to scream.
6. Articulate and enunciate.
Another critical aspect of public speaking and conversing, in general, is adeptly using your articulators, the lips, the teeth, and the tip of the tongue, to express your ideas in a clear, intelligently sounding manner.
7. You may need to take the job that you don't really want.
You will likely have to take jobs that you don't necessarily love in order to get where you need to be. Working your way up the corporate latter or strategically positioning yourself during a merger can be useful stepping stones to get you to your dream job.
8. Help out whenever you can; it makes a difference.
People notice those who work hard, and it may be the difference which garners you a promotion instead of your other peers. And having a selfless, can-do attitude, in general, is a more fulfilling way of life, furthering not only the happiness of those around you but also yourself.
9. Be open to other's opinions.
Even if someone has an abrasive manner, do your best to strip away outside factors and humbly consider whether someone's points are logical, factual, and helpful. This concept applies to criticism as well; taking other's advice, regardless of the source if it is accurate, is a great way to further yourself as a person and worker.
10. Be prepared.
Sometimes the hardest part of getting something done is starting, but taking initiative to be well prepared can be a surprisingly rare quality and will help you stand out, positioning you better in the company as superiors take notice that you are able to take on more responsibility and may be ready for a higher role.
11. Put yourself into everything that you do.
A prerequisite for this one is to be confident in who you are so that you can then be fully invested in whatever you are doing. Be proud of your work, even if it doesn't seem important, and do a good job at everything you do, because your work is a reflection of who you are whether you intend it to be or not.
12. Present your best self even when you are not at work.
You never know when an opportunity or connection may present itself, and when it does you want to have your best foot forward. This doesn't mean wear a suit and tie to get the groceries, but don't go out without putting forth some effort into how you look. Also, be kind to everyone; someone seemingly unimportant may end up having influence over your life--you never know.